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April 2014: York and Its Surrounds

This April is a great time to be heading for York. The major attractions are all open, with luck the weather will continue to be ...More
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Beryl Bainbridge

In a literary world populated with increasingly media savvy author-entrepreneurs Beryl Bainbridge was a throwback. She was the writer as eccentric, living largely on cigarettes and takeaways in a house whose hall was dominated by a stuffed buffalo. The writer as unworldly, sticking for many years with a publisher as non-commercial as herself. But also the writer as craftswoman, revising copy time and again, seeking the right rhythm. Every obituary of her will mention the fact that she didn’t win The Booker Prize, as if that ‘failure’ somehow made her career incomplete. So she was never the writer as star, at least in the eyes of those who worship at the Booker altar. But leaving a huge body of pacy, quirky, dense and poetic novels she was the writer as writer, and so was a hero.

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Brit Quote:
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. - Winston Churchill
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On this day:
Chaucer gives 1st recital of Canterbury Tales - 1397, Peak District is designated Britain's first national park - 1951
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