Book news and reviews – November 2014

Words by:
Yusef Sayed
Featured in:
November 2014

With the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta planned as part of the Lincoln Castle Revealed Project in 2015, those interested in learning more about this historic legal document first-hand will welcome the publication by Penguin Classics of a new edition, featuring a commentary by historian David Carpenter, in January 2015.

A new travel book by journalist Matthew Engels sees the writer visiting all of the counties in England to discover what remains of past traditions and what unique activities characterise these places today. In Engel’s England, Lincolnshire is deemed ‘Very good in parts.’ Lincolnshire Life will discuss Engel’s comments about the county when the book is reviewed in a forthcoming issue.

On Wednesday 5th November The Collection in Lincoln will welcome Elly Griffiths to promote her new book The Zig Zag Girl. Griffiths is one of Lincoln’s favourite crime writers, and author of the Ruth Galloway series. The event begins at 7pm and tickets are available from Lindum Books Tel: 01522 262374 or The Collection box office Tel: 01522 550990.

Penny Junor’s latest biography reveals the Prince Harry you’ve never read about before. Penny will visit Bookmark in Spalding on Saturday 15th November. Tickets are £3.50 to include a glass of wine or juice. And Gervase Phinn will be instore on Saturday 6th December between 12–2pm to sign copies of his new book, The Virgin Mary’s Got Nits. This will be a free event. Tel: 01775 769231.

Published by The Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, Price £16.95

Local war memorials are sure to draw huge numbers of people this November to pay respects to those who fell during the Great War. These focal points in towns and villages are the subject of a comprehensive new book by Michael Credland. An encyclopaedia of the 295 outdoor war memorials of Lincolnshire, The First World War Memorials of Lincolnshire draws on three decades of research.

A gazetteer details the location of each monument and historical information relating to their commission and unveiling. In addition to this, unusual war stories, information about the architects and masons who designed the memorials and the different types of memorials are discussed in the first part of the book. Finally, comprehensive listings of all of the names on the memorials are included.

Illustrated and designed for quick consultation, this is a valuable compendium for historians and families keen to learn more about the memorials of special importance to them.

Published by Patacake Books, Price £8.75

The enthusiasm among county bakers of all levels of expertise is no doubt high at the moment, following Nancy Birtwhistle’s success in this year’s Great British Bake Off. And with the return of Downton Abbey to our television screens, this new publication will appeal to anyone looking to recapture the delicacies of past eras, and cook up something unique for the imminent Christmas socials.

Recipes of an Edwardian Baker is a slim and elegantly designed book that collects some of the specialities of Fred Chambers, a master baker and confectioner who worked in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire in the early twentieth century.

The thirteen recipes make, appropriately, a ‘baker’s dozen’ and include Grantham Gingerbread, Lincolnshire Plum Bread, and other mostly forgotten treats such as Adelaide Drops. This is the first in a planned series of volumes for Patacake Books.

Published by Taverner Publications, Price £12

Lincolnshire farmer R Bentley Nelstrop reflects upon his life in agriculture, the changes within the business, pastimes and family history in this autobiography. The book is cleverly titled, referring not only to the present and the past – fitting for a life surveying account – but for its simultaneous reference to the familiar, paradoxical local greeting, ‘Now then’.

Like many publications in a similar vein, it will appeal foremost to the author’s circle of friends and family. But one gets the sense that Nelstrop’s circle is large, thanks in part to his many activities as part of various committees relating to the NFU and NIAB. As a lifelong farmer, who has seen farming practices change drastically throughout the decades, Nelstrop’s comments on the pros and cons of today’s methods are informed and sobering, in the face of increasing pressures for commercial viability, imports, targets for renewables and self-interested land investment.

To obtain a copy of the book, please contact the author on 01522 810226.

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