Book news and reviews – June 2014

Words by:
Yusef Sayed
Featured in:
June 2014

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown will visit Bookmark in Spalding on 19th June, to speak about his latest book ‘The Cruel Victory’ about the role of the French Resistance in the D-Day operation. The event begins at 7.15pm and tickets are available through the shop. Tel: 01775 769231.

A new title by Richard Gurnham looks at the sin and scandal which ran wild through Victorian Lincolnshire. Nymphs of the Pavement approaches the debauchery rife in the county in bygone days head on. Published by The History Press, the book is available now.

The life of a beloved Lincolnshire historian is being celebrated on 14th June. Hilary Healy’s Lincolnshire, a day of talks and exhibitions, will be held at Spalding Grammar School and will include the launch of a new book by the late author, Pinchbeck Mills. Bookings must be made before 4th June. Contact the SLHA on 01522 521337 or email for more information.

Published by Matador, Price £9.99

The Lincoln Imp itself is the guiding spirit of this new book, written in verse form. It follows the famous emblem of the city as he flees an off-key chorister in the Cathedral and embarks on an adventure across the county. Author Stephen Middleton telescopes historical eras so that the sights and sounds of the Viking and Roman times come to life anew. Impressions of thriving, energetic and tumultuous life in Lincolnshire are collected throughout the Imp’s imaginative flight and compressed into evocative stanzas and given lyricism through rhyme. The railways and noise of industry are juxtaposed with the earthy textures of the Wolds and fenland, and the encounters with the elements at sea. Ancient history, folklore and scenes from daily life in Lincolnshire villages are uncovered on the Imp’s trip and past and present are magically transformed through poetic reverie.

Published by PublishNation, Price £7.99

The third thriller by Lincoln based writer Cary Smith in as many years pulls no punches, and Lincolnshire Life has come to expect no less from a prolific storyteller unafraid to draw on some of the harsh realities of contemporary life. Seaside Snatch tells the story of a kidnapping and the inhumanity of the sex trade into which a young girl is pulled. DCI Luke Stevens is tasked with finding the girl and the novel whisks us into Smith’s colourful version of the internal operations of the police force.

There is the cynical banter and barbed social commentary that will be familiar to readers of either of Smith’s previous books, and even a mention Lincolnshire Life. In setting this story of several unsavoury interconnected incidents within the borders of the county, on the shores of Skegness and the University of Lincoln, a sense of pervasive immorality that seems to trouble us still today, conveyed through the media reports that seem to drive Smith’s imagination, is brought into unsettling focus.

Published by The History Press, Price £16.99

The history of Spalding as a bustling commercial port within the shipping industry is overlooked somewhat today. The River Welland was once a waterway navigated by countless mariners and their vessels. Keith Seaton here presents the results of several years of attentive research, of census records, local history books and first-hand navigation through the land and channels of which he writes. Richly illustrated with black and white photographs and with shipping registers included, to supplement the personal and social history of Spalding and the Welland that he has drawn together, the book may uncover family ties or rekindle memories among readers with links to the area.

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