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Bapton Books: a Very Small Imprint

To sum up: the news today....
Bapton Books Imprint

Or, Why We Have Been Absent.

On All Hallows Eve 2014, Mr Pyle suffered a heart attack, and, on 7 November, underwent a treble bypass surgery. (Mr Pyle asks that I clarify: he remains a bass-baritone, not a treble. It was not that sort of surgery.) During his ongoing recovery and medical leave...

  • I have taken on many of the administrative duties at Bapton Books in his stead;

  • I am finishing up Evensong, the sequel to Cross and Poppy;

That last project is one I have mentioned once or twice before now, but is now very much to the fore: Britain By the Slice, in two volumes, along a gridline North to South and along another East to West.


It now has a Kickstarter appeal which I advert you to; we should be greatly obliged for any assistance.

I hope, when pressure of work somewhat more readily permits, to be more visible here.

bugger off

On censors and their creaturesCollapse )

Cross and Poppy / Village Tales fans:
Bapton Books Imprint
Cross and Poppy fans will be pleased to know that The Woolfonts now have a tumblr blog: http://thewoolfonts.tumblr.com/

Parallel Deaths
Two men there were, born in the decade between the final year of the Great War and the year before the Great Crash. Both were born to peoples who had been and yet were persecuted and oppressed. Each devoted himself to the service of his people and of a nation in which that people was a majority.

Both, in these courses, found allies where they could: some of them embarrassing at best; a few, despicable. Each was unable – as happened to Wellington himself, at Badajoz – always to control his allies and his followers: although neither bore the sort of responsibility for those excesses that Dyer, say, bore for Amritsar.

Both, having secured security for their people and their people’s nation through measures that included resort on occasion to arms, then seized the opportunity, as political leaders, to make peace, even as many of their followers and allies erupted in fury and cried that they were betrayed. One was given the grace of time to succeed, and in some measure succeeded; the other was struck down upon the threshold of his new work.

And yet the reaction to the deaths of these two leaders has been very different. Few failed to praise Mandela in death; many revile Ariel Sharon. What can explain this? Whence comes this open hypocrisy, this naked double-standard?

Of course the answer is clear.

The same two things explain this as explain far too much of public discourse. The first is this: the Left is forgiven anything; the Right, excused nothing. (When a Leftist commits such atrocities as make it impossible to hand-wave, palliate, or bury the news of them, he is immediately recast as a Rightist. See also Hitler, Adolf.)

The second of course is the still simpler and more universal answer. Arik Sharon was a Jew, and served Israel. And The Narrative is made by the usual gang of Jew-haters.

If you do not judge – as history shall judgeNelson Mandela and Ariel Sharon by the same standards, and pass upon each the same or a highly similar verdict, we are – as the young people say – nine hundred per cent. done with you.

It falls to me to make The Announcement here, and I’m glad it does.
Gerv’s novel – Cross and Poppy, the first in the Village Tales series – is out. It’s available as an Amazon Kindle edition. It’s being made available in trade paper (and is already thus available directly, here). It’s at Smashwords; and in the coming days, it’ll propagate to Apple, Diesel, Kobo, Oyster, B&N, and all the rest. We’ll tell you when it does.

Obviously, I read it in MS; watched it develop; ran a blue pencil over drafts. And I’m right proud to be associated with it.

If you look at the sites where it’s being sold, you’ll see the sales and marketing copy; and it’s true. But if you were to ask me, personally, I’d describe it in my own way. If you took Miss Read’s villagers; Barbara Pym’s Jane-like gentry; Trollope’s clerics; and a Plum Wodehouse duke; made them all realistic (without losing Plum’s humour); and dropped them in the modern world with modern problems, what you’d get is what Gerv’s written. Up to y’all, and everyone’s tastes differ, but (speaking as a longtime fan of Miss Read, Barbara Pym, Barsetshire, and Blandings Castle) I think it just may leave your ankles as exposed to a draft as mine, because in my view, it’ll knock your socks off.

Also - and this will furnish some samples, too - we do have a tumblr now, in case you had not heard.

For our tomorrows...

It's the anniversary of American independence, and almost time for tea.
Bapton Books Imprint
Let's not dump it into any harbours, shall we? (I am looking directly at you two Bostonians on my friends-list, just now.)

Instead, we may celebrate with MSP's new book….

Benevolent Designs: The Countess and the General: George Washington, Selina Countess of Huntingdon, their correspondence, & the evangelizing of America is now available:

On Amazon Kindle (UK included);
In paper, at Amazon's CS page as it propagates to the main Amazon catalogue;
For those who prefer other e-formats, at Smashwords, whence it is propagating over the next few days to Apple iTunes bookstore, Kobo, Sony, B&N Nook, Diesel, and all that.

A very happy Independence Day to my American friends.

Coming in 2013.
Benevolent Designs - front cover

Further to the book....
Bapton Books Imprint

The new book.
Bapton Books Imprint

[The new book....]

It was the year of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, the destruction of Guernica from the air, the New London School Explosion, and the Hindenburg disaster; of Alban Berg’s Lulu and MC Escher’s first ‘impossible’ print, the Panay Incident and Howard Hughes’ newest airspeed record. Spain bled, and Hitler outlined his plans for Lebensraum: the Hoßbach Memorandum.

The Ohio River and the Lower Mississippi flooded. The recovery of 1936 plummeted into the Recession of 1937 – 1938. Churchill was in the political wilderness; FDR thwarted himself by overreach and his plan to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court, raising a bipartisan conservative coalition against him in Congress; Stanley Baldwin left Downing Street in favour of his chosen successor, Neville Chamberlain. The duke of Windsor married Mrs Simpson; the coronation went ahead, with a different monarch: George 6th.

Stalin carried on with purge and show-trial. Japan renewed hostilities in China – ‘Bloody Saturday’ in Shanghai, and the Rape of Nanking. Italy committed genocide and war crimes in Abyssinia; the Third Reich continued its blind career towards destruction.

Dowding and Pile were determining that – whatever Baldwin had said – the bomber should not, actually, always get through: not through ack-ack, not through fighter screens, and above all not through radar. George C Marshall was keeping an eye on rising stars: Ike; Patton; Bradley.

Sam Rayburn was Majority Leader of the US House; Lyndon Johnson entered Congress; Harry S Truman was midway through his first, undistinguished Senate term.

Bohr and Teller were looking into arcane mysteries; Hayek and Coase were making sense of the economic shambles; Wittgenstein threw away all his previous conclusions and began afresh, wrestling with language and meaning. Eliot was hearing the first premonitory whispers of four quartets in scansion, beyond Burnt Norton; Auden, the echoes of the Viking sagas.

The future and the past were interpenetrate: time present and time past…. Men sought the mastery of Nature, from the flooded Ohio to the new Golden Gate Bridge, and courted the Nemesis that on bold hubris waits; others quested after authenticity. By the end of the year, Walt Disney had recreated an old story as the first feature-length animated film: that of Snow White; Carl Orff had rescued old tavern songs of Fortune’s Wheel; and an obscure Oxford philologist had made new myth, from a hole in the ground where dwelt a hobbit.

1937 was a year of portent.

Now its story is told, by the authors of the celebrated centenary history of the US and UK Titanic Enquiries, hailed by the Daily Telegraph’s James Delingpole as a ‘cool reassessment’ and by Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Paris contributing correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph, as ‘[a] sharply and eruditely-drawn account…. [A] vivid reconstruction and analysis … a parliamentary procedural as well as the re-creation of a vanished pre-War world’. Markham Shaw Pyle is the historian of how, in 1941, four scant months before Pearl Harbor, the US Congress kept the draft – by one vote; GMW Wemyss, the chronicler of those three days in May 1940 during which Chamberlain was toppled and Churchill raised to the premiership just as Hitler began his invasion of France.

In this sweeping history of a portentous year, they once more range from intellectual history to the fields of battle, from flooded farms to the halls of Congress and the Palace of Westminster, illuminating great and little alike. This is at once history in the grand manner, and history from the ground up: from nuts and bolts and poets’ insights, to secret diplomacy, the mysteries of physics, the warfare in the human heart, and moments of high tragedy and unconquered hope.

’37: the year of portent is available for early shipping now, and shall be available shortly through the usual channels, in paperback and as an e-book.