Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Murmuration, Three Rules and Lots of Elephants

Summer’s here at last…and what better way to celebrate than with the summer edition of Vintage Script? Here’s a preview of what’s between the covers…

Death on Stephen’s Green
Eamon Murphy

Eamon’s tale is a thriller in a nutshell. A man is shot in Stephen’s Green, Dublin, to the backdrop of a tumultuous episode in Irish history. Eamon skilfully pulls together the threads of personal and national history, slipping easily between the detail and the bigger picture.
Of Time and Newmarket’s Heaths
Edward Clark

You can see Edward’s artist’s touch as he describes the heaths and training grounds of Newmarket, capital of horseracing: early summer mornings on Warren Hill, he says, ‘…were obscured by a veil of mist, rapidly erased by the climbing sun to reveal a splendour of colour. Pale greens, yellows and siennas of dry grasses and foliage becoming clear, vivid against the blue’. Edward can bring any subject to life with his visual and lyrical prose.

Smokehouse Fulton
Eamonn Griffin

Here Eamonn captures the spirit of musicianship and of Americana with a subtle supernatural twist. Our Eamonn’s a smooth operator—my favourite quote from the master of understatement is, ‘Man, he felt alive’. Merely reading his words makes you feel like one cool cat.
Bathing Machines and Bloomer Costumes
Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty’s known in Blaydon and beyond for her revealing insights into times gone by. Here she recounts the history of a trip to the seaside. She talks of ‘Victorian ladies tethered like dogs to bathing machines by a piece of rope tied around their waist’, and what the Victorians did—or didn’t—wear to go bathing.

The Pillbox
Alexandra Clare
Talking of the seaside, Alexandra’s story is set in the Suffolk resort of Southwold,
and describes the reaction of the home front to events in France in the summer of 1940. Alexandra succeeds in bringing a poignant tale to life, which is both entertaining and revealing.
Our House
Michael Montagu

You feel like you really are enjoying a very personal tour round Michael’s childhood home in Henley-on-Thames in this piece. The detail draws you in and makes you smile: his mother’s preoccupation with the pile carpet being constantly brushed to avoid untidiness, the antiquated heating system and the frost flowers on Michael’s bedroom window. Michael’s talent is to make you feel right at home—go on, sink into one of the comfy sofas in the morning (or “all day”) room, that’s it, right next to the fire, and help yourself to sandwiches, cake and a nice cup of tea.
Aunty Ettie’s Elephant
Jacob Edwards

Jacob—our first antipodean contributor—paints a warm portrait of forgetful Nanna, based on his own grandmother, and sets the scene beautifully with lychee and banana trees shifting in the breeze and a conifer creaking before the rainstorm.
Mr Stephenson’s Regret: A Review
Emma Louise Oram
Yes, it’s me, reviewing old Vintage Script favourite David Williams’ novel about railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson. Here I describe David as a master storyteller, and revel in his taut and passionate prose. Go, David!
Three Rules of Newgate
Katy Darby

We are honoured to have a sneak preview of Katy’s novel in progress, Hannah Hawking: A Newgate Story. If the ‘rain-darkened granite steps and forbidding black door’ and the redoubtable Mrs Arcombe don’t keep you on the straight and narrow, then nothing will.

Strawberry Tea and Reversible Jackets: Martial Law in Poland
Michal Franaszczuk

In his informative article, Michal reveals what it was really like to grow up under martial law in Poland. His personal touches bring life to the history. I especially loved the image of a young Michal queuing up twice for butter, deftly reversing his jacket between purchases as if he was a completely different boy…
A Murmuration of Starlings
Neil Coley
A reluctant hero ponders a murmuration hundreds of starlings in the evening sky. He marvels at the patterns they create, their skill and synchronicity. A touching and thoughtful piece from new Vintage Script writer Neil.
The Blacksmith’s Wife
Janis Pegrum-Smith

A happy ending is always a good thing, and a happy ending set in the late Suffolk summer that tells of true love is a bonus! Janis makes you want to linger in that churchyard in Darsham, tasting the sweet, plump blackberries and watching the sun set. Ah, bliss!

The summer edition of Vintage Script is on sale now.

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