NEW FOR 2019


This Way Not That Way, by Nick Cowen

Further adventures in the hilarious Trust Harrison series. A strange interdependence has been forged between local authority lifer, Victor Wayland, public rights of way officer, and the enigmatic Harrison, a young and streetwise volunteer. Harrison and his gang have torn up the volunteer’s rule book and are finding their own ways and means 2019to sort out the thornier issues of public rights of way maintenance. Meanwhile Victor is really starting to feel part of something . . . he’s just not sure what that something is . . . and can a sedentary population really be persuaded to heave themselves up from the sofa and take their first steps towards walking back to happiness? They will if Harrison has got anything to do with it. September 2019, 271pp, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-75-4.



Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters, by William Beckford, new edition with introduction and notes by Robert J. Gemmett

William Beckford (1760-1844) a fabulously wealthy and extravagant dilettante figure, is remembered for his strange oriental Gothic novel, Vathek, and for his architectural follies, Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire and Beckford’s Tower in Bath. Biographical Memoirs, originally published in 1780, was his first book. It reveals his extensive knowledge of art as a critic and connoisseur and his satirical talent as a novelist. Through the vehicle of a satire reminiscent of Voltaire, he criticizes the excesses of schools of painting, particularly the Dutch and Flemish, to minute detail and empty virtuosity, while his extended parody of prominent biographies of artists, fostered by such writers as Vasari and Horace Walpole, becomes an incisive commentary on the history of art and art criticism to the end of the 18th century. Robert Gemmett, Professor Emeritus of English, State University of New York, is the author of numerous books and articles of Beckford’s life and works. February 2018, 120 pages, illustrations, hardback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-52-5.



Flesh and Bones, of Frome Selwood and Wessex, by Annette Burkitt

It is the year 934. A winter court of King Athelstan of Wessex is being held at Frome in Somerset, a market town in the forest of Selwood. The church of St John the Baptist, the Saxon monastery founded by St Aldhelm and the nearby royal palace are the settings for the court’s continuing attempts to merge British and Saxon kingdoms into a single nation. In the relic room of the monastery a clerk, Nonna, delves into the deep past of the local landscape and the Britons of the former kingdom of Dumnonia. Britons and Saxons, Heaven and Hell, relics and reliquaries, jealousy and intrigue, fiction and fact are woven into a story of Wessex in the 10th century. Based upon original documentation, secondary sources and recent historical thought, Flesh builds a fictional story on a synthesis of the Bones of archaeology, history, folklore and place-name research. It aims to bridge the gap between the academic and the general reader, for whom the Dark Ages are still, sadly, just that. December 2017, 388 pages, with author’s illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-50-1.





Trust Harrison, by Nick Cowen.

With retirement beckoning on the near horizon, recession weary public rights of way officer Victor Wayland has the Friday afternoon of his working life disrupted by the appearance of the uninvited Harrison, a young and streetwise volunteer. The local authority is on its knees, but can the blank-faced and enigmatic Harrison really be the saviour of our public rights of way, and what is it about Harrison and dogs? Trust Harrison is a tale of both hopelessness and hope; a call to arms and damnation by fiscal austerity. Surprising and insightful, this first volume is only the beginning

of the journey; the first leg, the foothills . . . setting off. Familiar to Hobnob readers from his spoof trilogy describing the adventures of an antiquarian pedestrian, Nick Cowen has set his latest novel in the present day, and Hobnob has enjoyed publishing it for him. 217pp, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-34-1.

NOTE: This title is not sold by me, but I can put the author in touch with potential purchasers.






Fathoming the Universe, by Sue Boddington.

Novel set in Elizabethan Wiltshire, which describes the eventful life of a scholar and adventurer, who took part in an expedition to the American coast and found a wife, a force of nature. Now read on . . . Published by Hobnob for the author, formerly librarian of Calne, who is well known in the local literary scene. 2016, 397pp paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-36-5.

NOTE: This title is not sold by me, but I can put the author in touch with potential purchasers.




A Tour in Search of Chalk through parts of South Wiltshire in 1807, written in a series of letters by a Pedestrian. An adventure story (!) presented in a format common to book-shelves of two centuries ago. This is an authentic attempt to recreate the genre and illuminate the period when archaeology was in its infancy, and walking – pedestrianism – simply meant that you had insufficient funds to travel properly. South Wiltshire form the backdrop for young Londoner Henry Chalk as he puts pen to paper and his own story unfolds. A remarkable book, hard to classify, hard to put down, and completely anonymous. 2005, 214 pages, subtly illustrated and ‘got up’ in Regency style, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-42-X.

A Tour in Search of Flint, by A Pedestrian (a.k.a. Nick Cowen) is the second adventure story in the Henry Chalk series presented in a format that was very common to the bookshelves of two centuries ago; a tour recounted in a series of letters and published anonymously. It is now May 1808 and the young pedestrian tourist is again at large in south Wiltshire where all paths and turnpikes lead to adventure. With antiquarians intent upon opening every prominent barrow in the chalk landscape, Henry Chalk is drawn to the less conspicuous signs of ancient occupation. Somewhere there exists a source of high quality flint that was essential to the everyday life of our ancient ancestors and so Henry’s search begins. August 2009, 210 x 125mm, xiv, 207pp, illustrated paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-75-6.

A Tour in Search of Gold through Parts of Wiltshire, Written in a Series of Letters by A Pedestrian (Nick Cowen)
This concludes a trilogy of adventure stories in the Henry Chalk series and, as before, it is presented in a format that was very common to the bookshelves of two hundred years ago: a tour recounted in a series of letters and published anonymously. A chance discovery and an invitation to visit Wiltshire in September 1808 lures the young pedestrian tourist back for further adventures whilst a shocking encounter awaits. Present at the excavation of Bush Barrow near Stonehenge Henry Chalk ponders upon the evidence of a new horizon for our ancient ancestors with the unearthing of the first rare metals to arrive on these shores. An exciting denouement brings this much-praised series to its fittingly dramatic conclusion. December 2013, 228 pages, paperback, £8.95. ISBN 978-0946418-95-4.

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