Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Maverick Surgeon, RMS Titanic, The Witch's Ladder & More

It's spring, and that can only mean one thing—the latest edition of Vintage Script is out, full of little joys to be unwrapped and devoured. As well as a time of anniversaries, this season is one of reminiscence, discovery and a look forward to delights to come. Here's a quick taste of what's on offer.

The Work Is Not God's
Richard Smyth
A Gothic tale, this one—not for the fainthearted. If you like anatomy and have a taste for the macabre, this is a story for you. Richard's vivacious prose transports you right to the very point where blade meets flesh.

The Unsinkable Rose Ellen Murray
Kirsty Lee

We all think we know the Titanic story, says Kirsty, but there are as many mysteries about it as there were lost lives. Here we meet an imaginative "survivor" of the disaster with a penchant for sea travel (and storytelling), despite an unfortunate propensity to sink a ship.

I Remember Harry Bagnall
Bill Carr

A poignant love story, set in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, at the outset of the First World War. 950 men from Byker alone were killed in the war, and Bill here pays tribute to lives loved and lost.

The Age Of Wood
Max Adams

Max tells us the story of wood, and the people who have worked it through the ages. It's a delightful reminder that that woodlands are a vital resource for raw materials, for history and for stories.

The Age Of Wood

The Flying Boy
Edward Clark
Inspired by an old photo, Edward recalls the long, hot summer days of his youth spent at the open-air pool. His writing makes you believe that the Flying Boy of the title could jump out of the page before you, and you really can smell the chlorine and feel the heat rising up from the flagstones.

Exhibit M.218-1978
Joanne Ogden

The centrepiece of this story is a brooch of enamelled gold, whose secret brings about a satisfying conclusion to a gripping tale. It's a delicate thing that proves powerful in troubled times.

A Knock At The Door
David Williams

This extract from David's novel Mr Stephenson's Regret gives us an insight into the private lives of railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson. Fame and fortune may have come later in life for George, but here David—a fluent and sensitive writer—gives us a sense of the struggles he faced as a father, son, brother and man.

George Stephenson

William's War
Mavis Lee
Mavis has created a collage here from letters, postcards, programmes and other snippets that her grandfather, William, sent or brought back from the First World War. The details are touching—he tells of how he clung to a raft for over six hours after his ship was torpedoed, and talks later of the souvenirs he hopes to return with. And there's a happy ending too...

Chewing Gum
Sue Mackrell

Sue has happy memories of visiting her aunt's sweet shop in South Wales, and her tale vividly recalls the fusty shop and the treasures therein—Rainbow Drops, Flying Saucers and Everlasting Toffee. It will strike a chord with anyone who remembers the joy of a paper bag laden with their favourite sweet treats.

1912 Overture
Kim Charleston

Not only is this year the centenary of the Titanic disaster, but also that of the death of Bram Stoker. Here Kim deftly combines the two in a series of letters from one of his domestics. The parallel strands of the story remind us that where there is hope and imagination, there is also frailty and tragedy.

Bram Stoker's famous book

A Stroke Of Luck?
Michael Montagu

Michael turns "genetic detective" here to trace the medical history of his famous family—kings of Scotland and England descended from the House of Stuart. Fascinatingly, he reveals that Charles II most likely died from acute mercury poisoning—he was a keen scientist, it seems, and loved nothing better than a session of experimenting with mercury in his lab...

The Witch's Ladder
Claire Fuller

A witch's ladder made with cock's feathers and human hair...could it at once cause a destructive inferno and bring the best of good fortune to its victims' neighbours? Read Claire's story and decide for yourself...

The spring edition of Vintage Script is on sale now.

No blog post next week...Vintage Script will be en route for our new HQ in Suffolk. Normal service to resume week commencing 7 May...catch you then!


  1. Looking forward to the new magazine's arrival, Emma!

  2. I've emailed you separately with more detailed comments on/ praise about the latest issue. Suffice to say here I think this may be your best yet.