Spanning eight centuries, covering varied and diverse works, this full-colour book reveals Nottinghamshire’s most revered writers, past and present. From Walter Hilton – who wrote a book of spiritual instruction in the fourteenth century – to today’s leading lights, Edlin-White covers the familiar and the forgotten in a book that has been seven years in the making.
Available from November 30th, and published by Nottingham based Five Leaves Publications, Exploring Nottinghamshire Writers is a well-researched work that pays homage to our fine literary landscape. There are 93 biographies of deceased writers who once lived in the county, each afforded a two-page spread enriched with a list of relevant locations, portraits and illustrations, alongside samples of their writing.
Edlin-White has travelled across the county exploring cemeteries, archives, bookshops and libraries for the purpose of research: an endeavour that has been a labour of love for the Nottingham born author. “The thrill of the chase does not diminish with the publication of this book,” she said, adding, “I am aware that there are almost certainly more Nottinghamshire authors still waiting to be found – somewhere!”
Many of the less familiar writers were bestsellers in their day and demand further reading. Exploring Nottinghamshire Writers provides a wonderful introduction to these new ‘old’ writers, such as ‘Mollie’ Morris of whom Edlin-White tells me: “A particular author whom I would love to see reprinted and enjoyed is Katharine ‘Mollie’ Morris (1910-1999). She lived at Little Dower House, Bleasby and published five inter-connected novels between 1933 and 1958: New Harrowing, The Vixon’s Cub, Country Dance, The House by the Water and The Long Meadow. All are inspired by Bleasy and the other small farming villages alongside the Trent, which so far as I know makes her books, for their time, unique. She was also a poet and artist. Katharine Morris is buried in the churchyard at Bleasby.”
Around thirty living writers are also featured in the 320-page book, including reflections from many of our finest contemporary scribes explaining the influence Nottinghamshire has had on them and their writing.
Ross Bradshaw, publisher at Five Leaves, said: “It’s our contribution to the celebration of Nottingham’s UNESCO City of Literature status, and we hope it will inspire the county’s residents and visitors to search out and rediscover the rich literary heritage that has made Nottinghamshire the literary county it still is today.”
Edlin-White hopes that readers will use the book as a guide, dipping into it and making their own notes as new discoveries are made and old paths retrodden. Exploring Nottinghamshire Writers also includes six essays covering topics such as Graham Greene’s time in Nottingham, the visits of Charles Dickens, the Sherwood Forest group of writers and the history of our libraries.
Rowena Edlin-White, who lives in Carlton, is an author, researcher, performer, speaker, editor and small publisher in several genres. She will be reading from her book and speaking about it at Five Leaves Bookshop on Sunday 10 December at 5pm.
At the book’s launch will be a short speech from Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, who has said: “I was fascinated to discover the many voices that, throughout history, have been silenced or undervalued. This directory puts them under the spotlight they have always deserved and takes you on a journey through a county brought alive in and by its writers; a quality and diversity that represent perfectly the vitality of Nottingham literature.”
It’s time to discover the writers that have made Nottingham a UNESCO City of Literature.