Front page news - archive

 

 

 

August 2014 The personal diary of a fellow Territorial in the London Rifle Brigade, Rifleman Hubert 'Hob' Brown, is being published for the first time by his step-grandson on a dedicated website, each entry 100 years to the day from the time of writing. The diary was kept between 2 August 1914 and 1 July 1916, when Hob Brown was wounded at Gommecourt on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and repatriated to England. A little older than Henry Williamson (he was born in 1889), Hob joined the LRB in 1909 (Army No. 8699), shortly after it was formed, while HW joined on 22 January 1914 (No. 9689). While they were in different companies, they must have known each other, and their two diaries align perfectly until HW was invalided home in January 1915. It will be interesting to follow the fortunes of Hob (and thus Henry) on a daily basis.

 

*************************

 

July 2014 Henry Williamson's Writing Hut has been granted Grade II listed status by English Heritage; see the BBC report.

 

*************************

 

May 2014 — Update on the February announcement on this page of the forthcoming auction of Henry Williamson's Writing Hut and associated land: the BBC announced on 22 May that the Hut and land has been sold privately ahead of the auction.  The BBC's webpage also contains a link to a short extract from a 1965 interview with HW previously unknown to this webmaster.

 

*************************

 

April 2014 — BBC Desert Island Discs: Henry Williamson appeared on Desert Island Discs on Saturday, 11 October 1969, and the programme has only been heard since on private recordings of variable quality made at the time of the broadcast.  The BBC has now added the complete programme to its online Desert Island Discs collection of interviews, a most welcome addition.

 

*************************

 

March 2014  We bring to your attention I Was There: The Great War Interviews (BBC2 television, 14 March, 9.00 p.m.), which reveals poignant personal stories from people who took part in the First World War, one of whom is Henry Williamson.

 

The programme uses archive material recorded by Julia Cave for the landmark television series The Great War (made and shown in 26 episodes in 1964 by Gordon Watkins, who was a friend of HW and at one time a member of the HWS), but not used then and not previously seen. This material has been blended into a powerful, sensitive and moving film by Detlef Siebert for the BBC.

 

HW has only a few brief remarks (as one of several others) in this actual film, but there are a further associated 13 programmes of full individual interviews; HW's full-length interview (around half an hour) features as one of these programmes, and is available on BBC iPlayer now.

The programmes are curated by Sir Max Hastings (well-known authority on the Great War and son of Macdonald Hastings, another friend of HW, who wrote up the well-known shoot on the Norfolk Farm for Picture Post (see HWSJ 40, Sept. 2004, pp. 22-36, where a fully illustrated account of this event is given).

 

*************************

 

February 2014  It is with the greatest reluctance that the Williamson family has announced that Henry Williamson's Writing Hut, together with the studio close by and an acre of land, are to be put up for auction on 23 May. It is to be hoped that the buyer will be sympathetic to the hut and its environs, given its great literary significance. For HW it was a place of sanctuary, and many of his works were written there, including books in the Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight series. It has become, for Williamson readers, a place of pilgrimage, with visitors from as far away as the United States and Australia. The auctioneers are Webbers Property Services, from whom further particulars can be obtained. The news recently featured in the Daily Mail and the Mail Online, with some excellent photos.

 

 

writing hut 2009
The Writing Hut in 2009
HW building hut
Building the Hut in 1929
hw in hut
Henry Williamson by the Hut fireplace . . .
HW outside hut
. . . and at the Hut doorway

 

*************************

 

NEW! — We have finished the conversion of our all publications to e-books, both as a means of keeping available out of print titles and to attract readers who possess Kindles, Nook and Kobi readers, iPads, tablets etc., and who enjoy taking their library with them wherever they are. Twenty-three e-books are now available, just click on the E-books button on our main menu bar for full details and descriptions of individual titles - or go to Amazon.

 

********************

 

June 2012 — The haunting music that accompanied David Cobham's 1973 BBC film The Vanishing Hedgerows, which featured Henry Williamson returning to his Norfolk farm, was composed specially for the documentary by Paul Lewis. 'Norfolk Idyll', the concert work based on the score, has been released in its original orchestration for flute and harp on the CD Summer was in August – British Flute Music, performed by Rachel Smith, flute, and Jenny Broome, harp, Campion Cameo 2030, available from Amazon. Four other pieces by Paul Lewis are also included among the twelve tracks.


The sheet music of 'Norfolk Idyll' bears the dedication “In memory of Henry Williamson”, and is published by Broadbent and Dunn, available direct or through music shops.


The work has also been recorded in a version for harmonica and harp under its previous title 'Norfolk Rhapsody' on the CD Serenade and Dance – the Romantic Harmonica Music of Paul Lewis, performed by James Hughes, harmonica, and Elizabeth Jane Baldry, harp, Campion Cameo 2024, again available from Amazon.

 

********************

 

February 2012 — Last September Manchester University Press published Adam Reed's academic monograph Literature and Agency in English Fiction Reading: A Study of the Henry Williamson Society. The recommended retail price is a steep £65, though it can be bought slightly cheaper from Amazon. 'This book represents the first anthropological study of fiction reading and the first ethnography of British literary culture. It is the outcome of long-term engagement with a set of solitary readers who belong to a single literary society.' Many members of the Society were interviewed by Adam over a period of years, though in a manner reminiscent of Henry Williamson himself, he has disguised their identities. His non-literary approach to a literary society makes for most interesting reading.

 

********************

Shopping Cart


 x 

Cart empty