H.G Wells – the Father of Science Fiction

To celebrate the life and work of one of Britain’s greatest novelists, H.G. Wells, the Royal Mint has issued a new £2 coin.

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, and lived from 1866 – 1946. He is best known for his science fiction novels, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Time Machine. These three books are encapsulated in the design of the new coin.
These novels gripped the imagination of the Victorian public and were adapted for successful Hollywood movies and TV series’.

His fictionalised worlds created a sense of horror by preying on people’s fears of the unknown, leading him to be called ‘the father of science fiction’. During Orson Welles’ 1938 live radio adaptation of War of the Worlds, many listeners thought it was really happening, flooding the radio station and the police with calls.

His legacy is over 50 novels and 100 short stories – my favourite short story being The Valley of the Blind. Ever heard the saying, ‘in the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king’? Thank H.G. Wells for it.

Arthur, King of the Britons – book review

BLACK BOOKS BLOG

#BOOKREVIEW ARTHUR REX BRITTONUM BY TIM WALKER @TIMWALKER1666

Posted by blackbooks2017

Today I am reviewing book 5 of Tim Walker’s Light in the Dark Ages called Arthur Rex Brittonum

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the decay of post-Roman Britain, Arthur seeks to unite a troubled land

Arthur Rex Brittonum (‘King of the Britons’) is an action-packed telling of the King Arthur story rooted in historical accounts that predate the familiar Camelot legend. 

Britain in the early sixth century has reverted to tribal lands, where chiefs settle old scores with neighbours whilst eyeing with trepidation the invaders who menace the shore in search of plunder and settlement.

Arthur, only son of the late King Uther, has been crowned King of the Britons by the northern chiefs and must now persuade their counterparts in the south and west to embrace him. Will his bid to lead their combined army against the Saxon threat succeed? He arrives in Powys buoyed by popular acclaim at home, a king, husband and father – but can he sustain his efforts in unfamiliar territory?  It is a treacherous and winding road that ultimately leads him to a winner-takes-all clash at the citadel of Mount Badon.

Tim Walker’s Arthur Rex Brittonum picks up the thread from the earlier life of Arthur in 2019’s Arthur Dux Bellorum, but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Mathew Harffy will enjoy Walker’s A Light in the Dark Ages series and its newest addition – Arthur Rex Brittonum.

MY REVIEW

This is book 5 in Tim’s Light in the Dark Ages series, which follows Britain in the 6th Century after the Romans had abandoned Britain and turmoil started before Arthur came along to try and Reunite the land.

As with the previous books this one is really well written and immersed me in the action start from the start.

Throughout the book there are adventures, journeys throughout the very well described land and some epic battles as Arthur tries to prove to the rest of Britain that he is the king who can bring peace to the land.

If you thought you knew everything there was to know about the legend of Arthur then think again as this bring more depth to his legendary character

Overall it is yet another great book by Tim and I have loved reading them all and learning about the early centuries of Great Britain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHOR PROFILE – TIM WALKER

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. He grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. He then studied for and attained a degree in Communication studies and moved to London where he worked in the newspaper publishing industry for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business.

Tim at an old Iron Age hillfort on the Ridgeway

His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2013, as a therapeutic activity whilst undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, in 2014, following a visit to the near-by site of a former Roman town. The aim of the series is to connect the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend, presenting an imagined history of Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries.

His new book, published in June 2020, is Arthur, Rex Brittonum, a re-imagining of the story of King Arthur (book five in the series). It follows on from 2019’s Arthur Dux Bellorum, the story of young Arthur (book four in the series), that received recognition from two sources in 2019 – One Stop Fiction Book of the Month in April, and an honourable mention in the Coffee Pot Book Club Book of the Year (Historical Fiction) Awards. The series starts with Abandoned (second edition, 2018); followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017); and book three, Uther’s Destiny (2018). Series book covers are designed by Canadian graphic artist, Cathy Walker. Tim is self-published under his brand name, timwalkerwrites.

Tim has also written two books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015), and Postcards from London (2017); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); Perverse (verse and short fiction, 2020); and two children’s books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017) and Charly & The Superheroes (2018) with a third in the pipeline – Charly in Space.

Find out more about the author at – http://www.timwalkerwrites.co.uk 

Author Website: http://timwalkerwrites.co.uk 

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/timwalker1666 

Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/TimWalkerWrites

Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/TimWalkerWrites

Twitter: http://twitter.com/timwalker1666

Abandoned

3 THOUGHTS ON “#BOOKREVIEW ARTHUR REX BRITTONUM BY TIM WALKER @TIMWALKER1666

  1. TIMWALKER1666Thanks Dimon – another great review! Glad you’ve enjoyed the series 😀Liked by youREPLY
  2. TIMWALKER1666oops… SimonLiked by youREPLY
  3. Pingback: #BookReview Arthur Rex Brittonum by Tim Walker @Timwalker1666 – Tim Walker

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I’m very new to blogging so please bear with me and hopefully it will pick up and be brilliant. I will review all the books I read on here as well as hopefully some author interviews and other interesting book related things so enjoy and if you want me to include your book or someone else’s then please let me know

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Positively Dickensian

On a bleak Black Friday, 25th November 2016, I ventured out from the warmth of my humble abode to attend the most delightful author talk, the subject being arguably one of the greatest writers in our English language, Mister Charles Dickens.  The presentation, made in Slough’s newest space, a triumph of modern architecture, the Curve, was delivered with enthusiasm by historian Lucinda Hawksley, a great-great-great granddaughter of the man himself. She had come to share with us her new biography of her illustrious ancestor, ‘Charles Dickens and his Circle.’

charles-dickens-and-his-circleHer connection to this great literary figure made for an intriguingly personal approach in offering an insight into the life, loves, motivations and achievements of this extraordinary man, told through his associations and friendships with other celebrity figures of the Victorian Age. Indeed, a member of the audience remarked on a perceived family likeness, as she stood next to a portrait of the 27-year-old Dickens by artist Daniel Maclise.  This was the first of many portraits shown of Dickens (with a growing beard over his lifetime) and other notable Victorians. Some are paintings housed in the National Portrait Gallery in London (the publishers of this book) and others, illustrations and photographs.

Lucinda’s book includes portraits of the key figures in Dickens’ life, both family and friends that made for a good slide show, conveying a feel for the time as she delicately exposed the key moments of his life for us to get a sense of the man.  She told us that his early childhood in Portsmouth was a happy time, with his carefree parents creating an atmosphere of kindness, love and playfulness in a tiny terraced house (still standing as a museum).

Things changed for the worse when the family moved to the urban squalor of London.  Soon his parents got into debt and ended up in Debtor’s Prison.  In fact the whole family were interred, and the young Charles, then 12 years old, was sent out to work to earn enough to cover the family’s costs.  His first job was working in a shoe polish factory on the Strand, and he would walk there and back from his one room lodgings in Camden Town each day.

This wretched end to his happy childhood deeply affected Charles, but being of strong character, he battled through and helped his family out of debt, eventually progressing to a better job as a solicitor’s clerk. He began to follow his heart’s desire to be a reporter by going ‘freelance’ and selling news reports to various publications.  Newspapers and magazines abounded in Victorian London, and he soon established a reputation under his pen name ‘Boz’, going on to serialise what was to become his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, in a magazine.  Much later, he finally dared to write about a family who were subjected to the shame and social censure of being sent to the Debtors Prison in Little Dorrit, a subject that haunted him through his life, given the trials of his parents.

Lucinda describes his struggles to achieve his dream of becoming a writer, and the crossover from journalism to fiction writing, through which Dickens could convey his observations and experiences of life in Victorian London.  Various characters entered his life, the first being his wife, Catherine.  She was the daughter of his newspaper editor, and is described as being from a well-off middle class family, and a cut above the ambitious but impoverished Charles.  Together they had ten children, nine surviving to adulthood (kicking the trend of only one in three children becoming adults in Victorian times).  During the course of their marriage he was transformed from an unknown journalist to a famous novelist.

Indeed, the rigours of poverty in industrial Britain were an ever-present theme in Dickens’s writing, and he spent much of his time campaigning for social justice and improvements for the poor.  Lucinda presents us with an array of celebrity friends and associates of the Dickens family – fellow writers and artists, philanthropists and business associates, painting a picture of the celebrity culture of the day.  He went on book promotion and reading tours, engaging with his readers, which has earned him the reputation as the first ‘modern’ author.  He also fought for copyright law, as his works were mercilessly bootlegged, robbing him of income.

Once he became famous, he joined the literary set in London, mixing with the likes of William Makepeace Thackeray, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot).  Illustrators and artists abounded, including JMW Turner, and Hans Christian Anderson was their house guest.  Philanthropists and radicals, royalty and musicians could all be found at their parties.  He was greeted with the fervour of a pop star on his visits to the United States of America, where he befriended Edgar Allan Poe, William Wadsworth Longfellow and Washington Irving.

Lucinda described some of the more poignant moments of his life, including when he left Catherine for his mistress, Ellen Ternan.  Dickens barely survived a devastating train crash in Kent that left him physically and emotionally scarred.  He had pulled Ellen and her mother out of their crushed carriage and was lauded for helping the wounded and dying.  He died exactly five years to the day after this awful event, in 1870 at the age of 57.

These were some of the fascinating insights into the life of Charles Dickens laid before us as the often stern faces of the Victorian greats and Dickens’ family members were flashed on the screen.  I procured a signed copy and started reading the book as soon as I got home.

 

Charles Dickens and his Circle, by Lucinda Hawksley, published by The National Portraits Gallery Publications, 2016.