Book news and reviews – May 2015
A new biography of Lincoln Cathedral has been published by Scala, authored by architectural historian Jonathan Foyle. Lincoln Cathedral, The Biography of a Great Building includes a fully illustrated history of this great landmark, with specially commissioned photography, archival images and the author’s own drawings.
Lincolnshire raised author Gavin Extence is currently promoting The Mirror World of Melody Black, the follow-up to his bestselling debut novel The Universe Versus Alex Woods. The new story focuses on a young woman whose emotional life begins to unravel after she discovers the dead body of a neighbour. The book is published by Hodder & Stoughton.
M-Mother: Dambuster Flight Lieutenant John ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood by Jenny Elmes is a new book about the author’s uncle, John Vere Hopgood. An expert pilot in three Bomber Command Squadrons, Hopgood taught Guy Gibson how to fly a Lancaster and was second in command in the Dambusters raid of May 1943. The book will receive a special launch on the Dambusters anniversary weekend, Sunday 17th May at The Blue Bell Inn (Thorpe Road,Tattershall, Thorpe, Lincolnshire, LN4 4PE) from 7pm.
BIRCHWOOD, HARTSHOLME AND SWANPOOL: LINCOLN’S OUTER SOUTH-WESTERN SUBURBS BY ANDREW WALKER (ED)
Published by The Survey of Lincoln, Price £6.95
The tenth in The Survey of Lincoln series, which investigates the history of Lincoln by studying its buildings and development of the cityscape, this edition explores the south-western suburbs. As with the other instalments in the series, the booklet is comprised of essays written by a number of contributors.
The origins of Hartsholme Lake and the emergence of the popular country park adjacent to it are detailed in addition to an account of the Boultham Sidings and the significance of the grain silo and cold store on Skellingthorpe Road. Focus is also given to the places of worship in this part of the city.
Illustrated with colour and black and white photographs of the locale, past and present, the publication offers an accessible guidebook of local history and presents a wide-ranging overview of community and business life. The series continues to be a useful contribution to the recorded history of the city.
LINCOLNSHIRE – A DOG WALKER’S GUIDE BY CATHERINE SMITH
Published by Countryside Books, Price £7.95
For dog walkers wishing to find a new route for a leisurely stroll within the county, Grantham author Catherine Smith has compiled twenty circular walks that pets and owners alike are likely to enjoy. By providing helpful information that is relevant to the experience of the dog, including the types of livestock that might be encountered, stretches of road walking and details of the nearest dog-friendly pub, the author reflects the benefits and drawbacks of previous experience.
The county is divided into five areas – the Vales, the Fens, the Wash, the Wolds and the northern Humber estuary region – and the walks regularly encompass nature reserves and coastal areas. Specifically aimed at those intending to stretch their legs for more than an hour, the routes range in length from two-and-a-half to six miles, from Winteringham to Freiston Shore, with the lesser known Ostler’s Plantation and Twigmoor Woods in between.
Accompanied by clear maps and directions, the book will easily slip into a small bag for convenience and will encourage enthusiastic walkers to explore interesting and picturesque parts of the county that they may very well have never ventured to before.
SCUNTHORPE MURDERS BY DOUGLAS WYNN
Published by The History Press, Price £9.99
The public’s simultaneous revulsion and fascination towards the most heinous crimes explains the ongoing popularity of books and television dramas in the crime genre, involving both real and fictional cases. So it should not disconcert too much to see the publication of a book devoted to murder cases in Scunthorpe alone, part of a series of many similar books covering the country released by The History Press.
Readers interested in the grim history of murder in one specific town perhaps signal a slightly more morbid interest than most, especially if they are residents of said town, but the variety of incidents detailed here offer much interest for the general reader attracted to the subject matter.
Historian Douglas Wynn has published numerous other books that cover the darker aspects of Lincolnshire history and this collection of short case studies will probably be of interest foremost to those familiar with the author’s work.