adam roberts, archaeology, awards, bb, charles chilton, children of the stones, druids, enid blyton, h g wells, journey into space, london underground, m r james, martin lewis, mary shelley, orson welles, william stukeley
The usual bizarre mix of books, archaeology and the London underground.
Previously unknown letters by Mary Shelley discovered in Essex archive – the mention of Edward Trelawny should also interest people
Interesting piece by John Sutherland on how M.R.James took over Christmas
Orson Welles interviews H.G. Wells – I may have posted this before but its wondrousness does not fade.
Adam Roberts discusses the Award Season 2014, and articulates some of my current reservations.
Adam is also currently reading his way through the entire Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. It is hilarious, not necessarily in a good way. I had a complete hardback set of these when I was a child. You may well ask what my parents were thinking.
And while we’re about it, Patrick Barkham extols the virtues of Brendon Chase by B.B. I remember reading this as a child and loathing it. Looking at it as an adult, I can see precisely why I did. While it was quite possible to ‘read’ myself into some ‘boys’ books, and I very often did, this simply resisted all efforts. (Also, I suspect I generally didn’t get along with B.B as I remember reading and disliking The Little Grey Men stories.)
Radio 4 Extra has been running a lovely series of programmes by or about Charles Chilton, who died a year ago at the age of 95. Best known to sf fans for Journey into Space, this particular programme is a delightful half-hour reminiscence by members of the original cast and Chilton himself. (I’d also recommend Chilton’s two autobiographical programmes and The Long, Long Trail.)
Illuminating piece by Martin Lewis about reviewing a book he didn’t like, by an author he does like, with genuinely classy comment by said author.
Aficionadoes of Children of the Stones will find these early maps of Stonehenge to be of interest. They were made by William Stukeley, an eighteenth-century vicar who believed stone circles were made by druids. Stukeley was of course entirely wrong but he nonetheless can arguably be called the father of British archaeology.