Millions of Words, Thousands of People, Hundreds of Books ~ Our History
Millions of Words, Thousands of People, Hundreds of Books ~ Our History
Hobnob Press
HobnobPress

Fiction ~ recent titles

The Price of Bread, by Crysse Morrison

Frome-based novelist, poet and blogger Crysse Morrison takes us back fifty years to a world far-removed from the Somerset of her previous Hobnob title, the acclaimed Frome Unzipped. In her novel it’s the winter of 1970 and Northern Ireland is smouldering with the unresolved hostilities of its ancient sectarian tribes, with Belfast a hotbed for trouble. In the heart of the city, Lee and her partner and friends ignore sectarian labels, and Lee still trusts in her hippy mantra ‘all you need is love’ –  but the streets are increasingly dangerous, especially with two young children and more immediate challenges like how to beat the cold and the rising price of bread. When threats are scrawled on their back wall, and as sandbags and barricades block the streets, ‘love’ is becoming a precious and elusive commodity…

July 2020, 200pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-906978-85-3.

The Complete Adventures of Henry Chalk, Pedestrian Tourist, by Nick Cowen

The fictional tours of Henry Chalk in 1807-8, told in a series of letters to his uncle in the style of a pedestrian tourist. With danger snapping at his heels our hero stumbles upon the founding fathers of archaeology who are intent on opening every prominent burial mound in the Stonehenge landscape. Love and mystery entwine the young walker like an ever-tightening creeper as he explores the sunken lanes and glaring chalklands. And as the young hero puts pen to paper to record his adventures, his own story unfolds, whilst a shocking denouement awaits. First published by Hobnob between 2005 and 2013 in three parts, the trilogy is now brought together in a single volume, with additional drawings by the author and biographies and explanations of the real characters encountered by our hero.

July 2020, 512pp, line drawings, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-89-1.

The Thegn’s Creed, by Sue Boddington

Sue’s second historical novel. It tells the story of two brothers, thegns from the Saxon aristocracy, struggling to come to terms with the upheaval of their world and maintain their status as freemen on their ancestral land. Their fortunes are played out against a backdrop of 11th Century Wiltshire village life and the seasonal round of agricultural toil in an England still full of tension between Saxon and Norman.

July 2020, 284pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-88-4.

Dissenters: Conscience and Corruption in 17th-century Frome, a novel by Liz Hutchinson

In the 1660s English society experiences religious, social and industrial upheavals. Throughout the land, thousands of Puritan clergy are expelled from their churches and homes, dissenting congregations suffer repression by the magistrates and meet illegally. In Frome, Somerset, a family is impoverished and drawn into a smuggling gang. The changing times offer new opportunities – some less reputable than others – and violence is often the first response to those who enforce the law. The town’s flourishing woollen industry allows some to build fortunes, especially the more unscrupulous developers. But for others, the threat of poverty, starvation or the gallows is always present . . .

May 2020, 274pp, paperback, £10.95, ISBN 978-906978-83-9.

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.

Fiction ~ older titles

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.

 

 

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