Archive for the ‘new releases’ Category

New Releases Round-Up 16/9/13

Posted: September 16, 2013 by Lee in fiction, new releases, non-fiction

Several authors have been in touch with Cornish Literature to inform us of their new books, in addition to those covered in the last ‘Round-Up’.

B.D. Hawkey was born in Cornwall and can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. Her first published work, the short poem Taken, was in Bright Voices: South West England, Channel Islands Edition by United Press Ltd in 2003. Her debut novel Old Sins, Long Shadows is available in paperback and kindle formats: at the time of writing it’s available as a free Kindle download. Speaking to Cornish Literature, Hawkey said:

“It is a Cornish Victorian romance set against the backdrop of the magnificent Bosvenna Estate, with eccentric rural characters and the sweeping hills of the dramatic Bodmin Moor. Janey Carhart’s story is a tale of obsession, jealousy and love.”

R. Rushforth Morley, meanwhile, described his new book to us as “a comic historical novel that attempts to deal with issues of Cornish identity”, it concerns events in a remote 19th century Cornish fishing village that are interwoven with tales of the Celtic saints, narrated by the lonely Parson Mudge. The Gift of Honey is published by Indigo Dreams in paperback and an extract can be read at the link above. Morley, too, is a published poet and helps run the Poetry on the Lake festival in Orta, on the Italian Lakes. The author received an Arts Council Grant to assist the completion of The Gift of Honey.

Like Morley, Sydney Higgins has experience of living and working in Northern Italy. Born in St. Ives he has been a lecturer at the University of Camerino since 1992. His book Theatre in the Round: The Staging of Cornish Medieval Drama is due to be published on 15th December. The importance of Cornish Mediaeval plays are well known to students of Cornish Studies and to Celtic linguists but Higgins argues that they are also important to understanding the development of theatre more generally in Britain.

As usual, anyone interested in reviewing any of these books for Cornish Literature should get in touch with us so that we may be able to provide you with a review copy.


Redruth writer Abi Wyatt has news of a second Murder of Krows Anthology, co-edited by Abi and Duncan Yeates, which is due to be launched in the autumn at The Melting Pot in Redruth. Along with special artwork, poems include offerings by Dr Alan Kent and Les Merton, and other poets in Cornwall. It will be a limited print run ! Copies are sure to be snapped up so get in touch with Abi, perhaps via Poetry24 or by Red River Poets facebook page.poetry24

Co-edited by Abi, in addition, is the international, news-inspired poetry web site Poetry24, and Abi is keen to encourage submissions from poets based in Cornwall. If you are a poet in Cornwall and would like to contribute, scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look . . . If you don’t yet feel up to contributing (yet), why not scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look anyway at today’s muse on the news.

Of Abi’s own work, her poem ‘The Long Falling Down‘ is included in a recent anthology of poems ‘Journey to Crone‘. This is one of the five star reviews:

Excellent and moving poetry. The Poems are original, insightful, well crafted, and distinctly female. The voices resonate long after the reading is complete.

Ashley and Eileen Ludgate organised a mini-folk music festival at the Bath Inn, Penzance, where Abi performed more of her poems, including the haunting and soon-to-be-anthologised ‘Dozy Mary‘. It’s good that music and poetry are mixing at events in Cornwall.

Staying in Penzance, a new writer’s group called Writer’s Cafe is set to meet every other Tuesday, at 2pm, in the Lost and Found cafe, Chapel Street, Penzance. The 9th July 2013 is the next meeting, that’s this Tuesday coming !! And from the 17th to the 21st July is this year’s Penzance Literary Festival, with dozens of excellent events – have a look at the website and browse through the schedule – too much good stuff to list here (and much of that is Cornish in composition and/or content – the usual suspects and some interesting others (including music) . . .).
Passio Cristi page from Scawen
One of the talks at Pz lit fest is presented by the Penzance Conservation Community Interest Company – in May they took delivery of William Scawen‘s original manuscript of his Antiquities Cornu-Brittanic 1688, and also his Observations on a Cornish Manuscript entitled Passio Christi i.e. the poem Pascon Agan Arluth. Cornwall Record Office also contracted Pz Conservation CIC to restore William Borlase’s 1750 Memorandums of the Cornish Tongue original manuscript. (These historically significant Cornish manuscripts might be held in the proposed Redruth archive centre, which was recently awarded a £386 thousand heritage lottery grant towards the price tag of around £15 million. It would be nice if these manuscripts above were fully digitised for public viewing before too long. Mar plek.)
Williams Llawnt
In 1865 Rev Robert Williams of Llawnt Ugha (Lawns Ughella / Upper Lawn) in Wales published Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum, which was perhaps the first modern Cornish dictionary. Now, Cornish cultural writer Derek R Williams has authored Williams: The Llawnt – a biography of the Welsh minister and linguist, published by the excellent Y Lolfa.
Looking to Cornwall’s east, another publication brought to our attention is Theatreworks, a collection of plays by Charles Causley, edited by Alan Kent and published by Francis Boutle. Included among 11 librettos and other dramatic works are The Doctor and the Devils (inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas), The Ballad of Aucassin and Nicolette, first performed at the Exeter festival in 1978, and The Tinderbox,which Charles Causley wrote for Kneehigh Theatre in 1990. Alan himself drekly will have published his new books Towards a Cornish Philosophy and a book for children, Surf Dogs.

Sadly for its workers as well as for the future of book production within Cornwall, MPG Books of Bodmin has gone into administration in the last month with the loss of more than 50 jobs.

Written, and with photographs collected, by motor engineering aficiando Ernie Warmington of Redruth, Cornish Road Transport Through Time, published by Amberley Publishing (Amberley in Sussex being the resting place of ASD Smith/Caradar, by the way) traces its subject from Murdock’s engine, and horse drawn vehicles of various kinds to internal combustion motor vehicles used, and produced in Cornwall.
Road transport Cornwall

Cornish Studies Volume 20

At some point over the end of 2012 the latest volume in the Cornish Studies series of books was released by University of Exeter Press.  The series has, for the past twenty years, offered a collection of articles which have perceptibly and effectively altered our thinking about notions of Cornwall and Cornishness and, although I haven’t yet seen the contents of number 20 it should continue in this tradition, being a festschrift for the recently retired Bernard Deacon.  Bernard’s analysis of nineteenth and twentieth century Cornish social and industrial history in particular has been one of the principle developments in the “New Cornish Studies” whilst his contributions to language studies, literature studies and social studies have been no less welcome or insightful.

Priced at £15.99, Cornish Studies 20 is a paperback of 272 pages.

Drama Kernewek

Press Release:  A new resource about Cornish medieval drama has been published by MAGA.

Although aimed primarily for use by secondary schools, the resource will also be of interest to people of all ages as it is full of pictures, facts and information about Cornish medieval drama.

Cornwall has a unique theatrical heritage, and the plays that were
written and performed here in the medieval period played an important role in the development of drama in Britain.  Drama Kernewek will take students and readers back over 600 years to experience Cornwall in the Middle Ages and find out about the plays that were performed in towns and villages around the Duchy from the 14th century through to the early 17th century.

Drama Kernewek is available from MAGA for the price of £6.95, contact or 01872 323497.  It’s written both in Cornish (SWF) and in English.

A new biography of arguably Truro’s most famous eighteenth century son; the playwright, impresario and actor Samuel Foote, has just been released. Amongst many notable successes the son of the eponymous mayor of Truro satirised the Cornish gentry in The Knights (1748). A link to The Guardian review can be found below.

Samuel Foote

via Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly – review | Books | The Observer.

News Roundup 8/11/12

Posted: November 8, 2012 by Lee in new releases, news
  • Evertype have just published Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, in English and with a separate translation into Cornish by Nicholas Williams.  The translation is in Kernewek Standard, as most of Evertype’s translations have been.  What chances are there that we can stop specifying the orthography for new releases in Cornish in twelve months time?  The “next phase” of standardisation is due in 2013 but I have a horrible feeling that it’s just going to produce yet another iteration of the language.  If it happens, maybe someone will translate The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot into whatever the new system is?
  • On the non-fiction front, Troy Books have just published an updated version of The Cornish Traditional Year by Simon Reed.  Their press release states that “‘The Cornish Traditional Year’ presents an intimate exploration of Cornwall’s distinctive calendar and yearly cycle, that form such an important part of its culture. It is a valuable resource for people with an interest in regional traditional customs and festivals. It is also an ideal companion book to ‘Traditional Witchcraft – A Cornish Book of Ways’ in which Gemma Gary touches on some of the better known Cornish festivals; such as Helston’s ‘Flora Day’ and the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss. In ‘The Cornish Traditional Year’, Simon guides the reader through these famous festivals along with the numerous lesser known, and sometimes bizarre customs, feasts and festivals of the Cornish Traditional year. The new revised edition is available in both paperback and hardback editions.”  Meanwhile, Cornish Studies 20, from University of Exeter Press seems to be suffering the now traditional publication limbo after failing to appear for sale at the end of October.  I seem to remember it was January before Cornish Studies 19 (and 18, and 17…) finally made its bow after a similar projected late October publication date.
  • Readers interested in music as well as literature might like to have a listen to Richard Trethewey’s debut album, out this week.  I included a short review of it in a small feature on Cornish music here.
  • Finally, if anyone missed the announcement earlier this week, Cornish-born author Nick Harkaway will be participating in a live video interview on GoodReads on November 12th.  Members of the books-oriented social network may be interested to know that I’ve also recently created a list of Holyer an Gof award winners and nominees on the site.  It’s far from complete but at least gives more information than the awards’ own website does!