CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2018
We are delighted that once again we will be supplying the books for the Festival, which runs from 8th to 12th May. Vicky Bennett has put together another eclectic mix of books and authors centred around the theme of gothic horror. Amongst the authors are Rory Clements, Henry Hemming, Richard Holloway, Jane Robinson and Miranda Seymour. The Big Book Group discusses The Lost Girl with the author Carol Drinkwater. Dame Harriet Walter talks about women at the centre of Shakespeare's stage and Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro reflects on the pleasures of book collecting and second-hand bookshops. Perhaps the most poignant event will be a talk by Gaby Doherty on her book Grenfell Hope about living in north Kensington before and after the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. The Festival ends with a joint event with the Chipping Campden Music Festival entitled Elegie: Rachmaninoff, A Heart in Exile, featuring the actor Henry Goodman and the pianist Lucy Parham. You can collect a programme from us or go to www.campdenlitfest.co.uk.
DAYLESFORD BOOK CLUB
This goes from strength to strength under Aloyse's inspired and inspiring leadership. It meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 10.00am at Daylesford Organic in Kingham. Books discussed so far in 2018 are Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and Bad Dreams and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley. Coming up are A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert on 28th March and The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce on 25th April. If you would like more information, please contact Aloyse at the Borzoi.
LOCAL LAUNCH OF SECRET HOUSES OF THE COTSWOLDS AT NOTGROVE MANOR
Jeremy Musson gave a talk at the local launch of his latest book Secret Houses of the Cotswolds, which took place on Thursday 8th March at Notgrove Manor, one of the houses featured in the book, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Harry Acland. 50 people filled the Hall to hear a fascinating talk, after which Jeremy signed copies of the book.
THE CHRISTMAS FAIR IN THE COTSWOLDS AT DAYLESFORD IN AID OF WELLCHILD
For the second year running, we will be taking a stand at the above from Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th November. We will be taking a wide selection of new books published in the run-up to Christmas, the majority of which will have been signed by the author. There is something rather special about a signed book, ideal as a Christmas present. Last year we were delighted when Jilly Cooper was able to join us at the opening preview evening to sign copies of her latest bestseller "Mount!" This year we have surpassed ourselves with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR authors joining us over the course of the fair to sign their latest books.
First up, on Monday evening from about 6.00/6.30, there will be Quentin Letts, the very popular parliamentary sketch writer and theatre critic for the Daily Mail and a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He will be signing Patronising Bastards: How the Elites Betrayed Britain, which in the space of a few weeks has had to be reprinted THREE times. It has obviously touched a chord, as indeed did a previous book 50 People who Buggered Up Britain. You get the drift!
On Tuesday morning between 10.00am and 12 noon, we will be joined by Santa Montefiore, who really needs no introduction from us. Her many novels remain some of our bestsellers, being incredibly popular with our customers, and she has just finished her Deverill Chronicles trilogy. She has recently turned her attention to children's stories, last year with The Royal Rabbits of London and this year with the sequel Escape from the Tower. Santa will be signing her children's books as well as a selection of her other novels.
Our next author, on Tuesday afternoon from 1.30pm, will be Pippa Paton, the multi award-winning interior designer and spatial planner. We will have her lovely new book Twenty First Century Cotswolds, a celebration of traditional Cotswold buildings and how they have been transformed for life in the 21st century through the author's work. Once you have seen it, you'll want to get the decorators in straightaway!
Finally. we will be welcoming local author Fiona Walker on the Wednesday morning between 11.00am and 12.30. Fiona has already written an amazing SIXTEEN novels and she has just started a new series set in the fictional Cotswold village of Compton Magna. Think Jilly Cooper and you'll get the picture! "A feel-good romp complete with dashing heroes and engaging heroines....." The Daily Mail has already given it a very favourable review: "Walker is an engaging writer with a sharp ear for dialogue and I raced through this beautifully plotted narrative". Fiona will be signing the first in the series, The Country Set.
For more details of the fair, go to www.cotswoldfair.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
DAYLESFORD BOOK CLUB
Our collaboration with Daylesford Organic Farm continues apace. The book club's remaining titles for 2017 are The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain on Wednesday 30th August, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout on 27th September, Addlands by Tom Bullough on 25th October and finally The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault on 29th November. If you are thinking of joining, please get in touch with Aloyse at the Borzoi.
EVENT WITH DEREK TAYLOR ON TUESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER
Derek Taylor is a well-known local figure and he has previously enteratined us with two books, A Horse in the Bathroom and Magna Carta in 20 Places. His latest book is very topical and promises to be equally entertaining: Who Do the English Thnk They Are? Derek is having a launch party on Tuesday 12th September between 6.30 and 8.00pm in the Masonic Hall in Stow, conveniently siturated next to the Borzoi, and he has very kindly asked us to supply the books for the event. Wine and nibbles will be served. All are welcome to come along.
EVENT WITH SARAH WEARNE ON WEDNESDAY 2ND AUGUST
To mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, Sarah Wearne will be talking about and signing her new book, Epitaphs of the Great War: Passchendaele in the Lady Chapel of St Edward's Church, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AB, on Wednesday 2nd August at 6.00pm. Sarah is the archivist at Abingdon School and has been collecting and writing about epitaphs of the Great War for many years. Last year she compiled a book on the Somme and every day over the First World War centenary, 4th August 1914 - 11th November 2018, she tweets an inscription. Refreshments will be served. All welcome.
EVENT WITH CHARLIE LOVETT ON WEDNESDAY 17TH MAY
Charlie Lovett, with whom the Borzoi has collaborated before on events for his books The Bookman's Tale and First Impressions, will be back with us on Wednesday 17th May to talk about and sign his latest novel, The Lost Book of the Grail. There are some subjects that are endlessly fascinating: the Tudor monarchs, the Mitfords, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, the Holy Grail, to name but a few, and Charlie, having covered Jane Austen and Shakespeare, now turns his attention to the Holy Grail. An academic and bibliophile and a young American academic join forces and mount a search for the Book of Ewolda that could reveal long-forgotten secrets about Barchester Cathedral (yes, you heard right!) where they are working, the Grail and their connections to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It all sounds very exciting and fascinating stuff, so why not come along and hear Charlie talking about it and hopefully you too will be hooked! 6.00pm in the Borzoi, with a glass of wine and nibbles, but please let us know in advance if you would like to come. The book costs £8.99.
DAYLESFORD BOOK CLUB
Here is the schedule for the next few months:
29th March: The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
26th April: Kick: The True Story of JFK's Forgotten Sister by Paula Byrne
31st May: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
28th June: I See You by Clare Mackintosh.
EVENT WITH DINAH JEFFERIES ON THURSDAY 9TH MARCH
Dinah Jefferies enthralled a packed shop with stories of her life and the background to her bestselling books. Tea and cake were served and sales of Dinah's books were buoyant. Everyone enjoyed Dinah's talk and we are most grateful to her for coming to visit us and to all those who supported our event.
M: MAXWELL KNIGHT, MI5's GREATEST SPYMASTER BY HENRY HEMMING
We are thrilled to announce that Henry Hemming, whose previous books include Churchill's Iceman: The True Story of Geoffrey Pyke: Genius, Fugitive, Spy, has very kindly agreed to sign copies of his new book, M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster, at a private event by invitation only shortly after publication on 4th May. If you are not on our mailing list and are interested in attending this event, please get in touch with us. The timing of this announcement could not be more propitious: both book and author featured in an article in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 21st February. Herewith a link to said article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/21/secret-story-britains-greatest-spymaster-brought-tv-first-time/.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2017
We are thrilled that once again we will be supplying the books for the Chipping Campden Literature Festival, which this year runs from 9th to 14th May. Vicky Bennett has put together another fascinating programme around the theme of crime, justice and forgiveness. Printed programmes will be available from the end of February. In the meantime, please look at the website www.campdenlitfest.co.uk.
WORLD BOOK DAY 2017 AT STOW PRIMARY SCHOOL
All the fun of World Book Day at Stow Primary School. Aloyse got dressed up too, but sadly no photo of her! School was never this much fun in my day! Thank you, Mrs Scutt, for letting us join you.
OUR FIRST EVENT OF 2017: A TALK BY DINAH JEFFERIES
Come and enjoy afternoon tea and a talk by the well-known author Dinah Jefferies in the Borzoi on Thursday 9th March at 4.00pm. Dinah has had a meteroic rise to fame, with all three of her novel The Separation (set in Malaya), The Tea Planter's Wife (set in Ceylon) and The Silk Merchant's Daughter (set in colonial era Vietnam) enjoying great success and popularity. Her new novel Before the Rains, set in India, bids fair to continue her success. Dinah will be talking about her fascinating life and her new book, which will be available to purchase, and we will be serving afternoon tea. Please let us know well before the event if you would like to come.
DAYLESFORD BOOK CLUB, 25TH JANUARY 2017
On the last Wednesday of the month, Daylesford Organic Farm in Kingham will be holding a book club, and we are thrilled to have been asked to join forces with them. It will take place in The Glasshouse at their Kingham farm between 10am and 11am, when you are invited for a morning of discussion over a cup of tea and coffee. The book to be discussed on the 25th January is Exposure by Helen Dunmore, a book we can thoroughly recommend. The books to be discussed are chosen by the Daylesford team in conjunction with the Borzoi, and we are offering a 10% discount on all book club purchases to book club members. So don't forget to mention this when you buy your copy from us! For further information and to register interest, please call Michole Jeynes on 01608 731700 or email her at email@example.com. You can also go to www.daylesford.com/events. A great start to the New Year for us - happy reading!
WELLCHILD CHRISTMAS FAIR AT DAYLESFORD, 7TH-9TH NOVEMBER 2016
We were thrilled to have a stand at the above and particularly excited that Jilly Cooper agreed to come on the preview evening (7th November) to sign her new book Mount! She was only supposed to be signing for an hour, but such was her enthusiasm and the numbers of people who wanted to see her that she stayed much longer! Thank you Jilly. We had a great fair, selling predominantly signed copies of some of the top titles published in the run-up to Christmas.
SEPTEMBER 2016: EVENT WITH MILES MACNAIR
We are delighted that local author Miles Macnair will be talking about and signing his new book, Lady Lucy Houston DBE: Aviation Pioneer and Mother of the Spitfire in St Edward's Church, Stow, on Saturday 24th September between 12 noon and 1.00pm. All welcome, but leave plenty of time to find somewhere to park!
SIGNING WITH PAULA BYRNE
On Friday 13th May, we were thrilled that Paula Byrne, the critically acclaimed author of Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead and most recently The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, was able to join us at a private event and sign copies of her new book, Kick: The True Story of Kick Kennedy, JFK's Forgotten Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth. We have a few signed copies left, so let us know as soon as possible if you would like one.
WORLD BOOK DAY, THURSDAY 3RD MARCH 2016
A fun time was had by one and all at Stow Primary School on World Book Day. Sorry we couldn't be there to join in the activities!
Once again we will be teaming up with Rebecca Tope to launch the latest in her Cotswold Mysteries series, Guilt in the Cotswolds. However, instead of a signing in the Borzoi, and as we had a very successful joint event last autumn with the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton and author M C Beaton, we have offered the same format to Rebecca thanks to the kind agreement of the Hotel's owner, Jill Coombe. Rebecca will be joining the Lunch Club on Tuesday 5th April at 12 noon for 12.30pm. Lunch will be followed by a talk and signing by Rebecca. The ticket price will include a delicious two-course lunch, the talk and a signed copy of the book. For more information, please contact the hotel on 01386 438429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please try and support this event.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL 3rd - 8th MAY 2016
We are delighted to have been asked again to provide the books for the Festival, which is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most imaginative and innovative festivals of its kind. Vicky Bennett has put together a terrific programme with some fascinating books and important authors - including a member of the Royal Family! The printed programme will be available in March, but put the dates in your diary now!
CHIPPING CAMPDEN MUSIC FESTIVAL 2016
As a welcome bonus, Charlie Bennett has kindly asked us to provide copies of A Pianist's A-Z: A Piano Lover's Reader at a talk by the author, the distinguished pianist Alfred Brendel, at Chipping Campden School on Saturday 21st May at 11.30am. Online and telephone booking will not be available until February - www.campdenmusfestival.co.uk.
M C BEATON
Some photos from M C Beaton's events at the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton where she gave an interesting talk on her life and work and afterwards signed copies of her latest Agatha Raisin mystery. The picture on the right shows two good friends of the Borzoi: the author herself and Jill Coombe from the hotel.
It's not every day you get to meet a local hero, but on Saturday 5th December you can do just that when Joan Bomford, BBC's Countryfile Farming Hero 2015, comes to Stow. She received the accolade, part of the BBC's Food and Farming Awards, from Adam Henson back in April. Joan lives near Evesham and has been farming since the 1930s. She started the Moyfield Riding School, and although now 82, she is still active on the farm. She has written a lovely memoir, Up with the Lark: My Life on the Land, which she will be signing in St Edward's Church from 11am to 12 noon as part of the Christmas Tree Festival in the church. We are hoping for a really good turnout - see you then! But if you cannot come and would like to reserve a signed copy, with or without a personal message, please let us know in good time.
Here is a link to an interview with Joan that appeared in The Daily Telegraph recently: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/farming/11912358/Farming-Hero-of-the-Year-Retirement-I-would-never-consider-it.html
Huge delays on the roads and on the trains could not prevent a large crowd from filling the Borzoi to overflowing on the evening of Friday 18th September to hear Andy Beckett talk about his new book Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82. If you haven't read the book, I urge you to do so, it sounds a fascinating read with lots of previously unknown information about Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War. The Borzoi was honoured by the presence of not just one, but two Brigadiers: Brigadier Beckett, Andy's father and a very popular figure around Stow along with his wife, and Brigadier Piper, cleverly disguised as a chocolate Labrador to evade the paparazzi. As you can see, he couldn't wait to start reading Andy's book, preferring that to all the food that was being served - unusual for a labrador! We were very grateful to Andy (and his sister) for coming all the way from London and to his parents for suggesting the event. Apologies for the terrible quality fo the photos - I need a new mobile!
M C BEATON
Our annual autumn signing with M C Beaton, author of the popular Agatha Raisin Cotswold crime novels, will this year be a joint event with The Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton on Monday 12th October. There will be lunch at 12.30pm, followed by the author talking about her career and the Agatha Raisin mysteries and then signing her brand new story, Agatha Raisin: Dishing the Dirt. Tickets, which include a two-course lunch, the talk and a copy of the book, are £28 each and can be booked by email email@example.com or by calling 01386 438429. We look forward to seeing you there.
Our first event of the autumn sees the journalist and modern historian Andy Beckett talking about and signing his new book Promised You a Miracle: UK80-82. This looks at a country in transition, the first precarious years of Margaret Thatcher's leadership when crowds on the street could mean an ecstatic national celebration or an inner-city riot. Andy's previous book, When the Lights Went Out: What Really Happened to Britain in the Seventies, was a great success, and his new book is sure to receive wide coverage in the broadsheets and the media. His first book, Pinochet in Piccadilly: Britain and Chile's Hidden History (2002), saw him nominated for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. He studied modern history at Oxford University and journalism at the University of California in Berkeley. His name may also be familiar as his parents live in Stow. This event will take place in the Borzoi on Friday 18th September at 6.30pm, and refreshments will be provided. There will be no charge. However, as space is strictly limited in the shop, we would ask anyone who is interested in attending to let us know in advance.
OTHER EVENTS IN JUNE 2015
June was a very busy month for us. In addition to supporting Derek Taylor at his book launch (see below), we also arranged a discussion between Charlie Lovett and Victoria Huxley on Charlie's latest book First Impressions in particular and Jane Austen in general, and hosted a talk and signing in the bookshop garden by Duff Hart-Davis on his new book Our Land at War. Both events were well attended and very interesting. Staff inefficiency, ie mine, means that sadly there are no photos of the latter (apologies!) and I am still working out how to upload photos of the former on to this web page. Ah, the joys of modern technology! We also had a Tiger Trail and Tea Party on Saturday 27th June, which culminated in a party at the shop with a face painter to turn all the children into tigers. Grrrrrr! Lots of fun was had by all. And this time there are some photos!
We were thrilled to be included by Simon & Schuster in the itinerary for the whirlwind tour of bookshops undertaken by young author Benjamin Wood on Monday 13th July to promote his new novel The Ecliptic. It was a real boost for us to be along side such stellar names as Blackwells Oxford, Jaffe & Neale, Mr B's Emporium in Bath and Rossiter Books. The book has already had a great review in The Telegraph and Benjamin is clearly a name to watch. Hannah Corbett, who directs Simon & Schuster's communications and adult publicity department, and Elizabeth Preston, senior press officer at S&S UK/Scribner UK, came with him. Our only concern was that they all seemed more interested in Brock, the shop dog, than the shop itself!!! To see more of the tour, go to our Twitter page or search #EclipticWhistlestopTour.
A great time was had by one and all on the evening of Tuesday 11th June when local author Derek Taylor launched his new book Magna Carta in 20 Places, published by the History Press, at the newly-renovated Old Stock Inn in the Square in Stow. The timing couldn't have been better with celebrations at Runnymede over the following weekend to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the charter culminating in a visit by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Derek read a fascinating piece from his book which whetted the appetite for more - and indeed sales were brisk. Locals and friends from far and wide packed the Inn - there was so much noise you couldn't hear yourself think! The Inn looks great, modern and tasteful in décor, and the staff did a great job handing out drinks and canapés. A great success all round. Thank you Derek for involving us - here's to your next winner!
We had a very enjoyable morning with Rebecca Tope on Saturday 28th Match. There was a mixture of old friends and new supporters, and the hour sped by. As you can see from one of the photos, we welcome all types of customers: humans. dogs.....!
REBECCA TOPE LAUNCHES OUR 2015 PROGRAMME IN FINE STYLE
Our first event of 2015 sees the welcome return of our good friend and supporter Rebecca Tope who will be signing the hardback of her new crime thriller Revenge in the Cotswolds and the paperback of last year's hardback Trouble in the Cotswolds. Rebecca will be in the shop on Saturday 28th March between 11.00am and 12 noon, so please come along and meet her. If you can't come, but would like a signed copy, with or without a personalised greeting, just let us know.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2015
Once again, we will be supplying the books for the above, which runs from 5th to 10th May. Vicky Bennett, the organiser, has put together an eclectic and wide-ranging programme, with some unmissable events. Go to www.campdenlitfest.co.uk or pop into the shop to pick up a programme.
FOUR EVENTS IN JUNE 2015:
MAGNA CARTA IN 20 PLACES BY DEREK TAYLOR
We are delighted that Derek Taylor, a Stow resident and author of the popular A Horse in the Bathroom, has asked us to supply copies of his new book, Magna Carta in 20 Places, at the launch party at The Old Stocks Inn, The Square, Stow GL54 1AF, on Thursday 11th June from 6.30 to 8.00pm. Derek will be talking about and signing his book during the course of the evening. If you cannot come, but would like a signed copy, just get in touch - but you'll be missing an informative and pleasureable evening!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS BY CHARLIE LOVETT
On Thursday 18th June, Charlie Lovett will be making a welcome return appearance to talk about his latest novel, First Impressions. Charlie, who divides his time between Kingham and North Carolina, caused quite a stir a couple of years ago with his first novel, The Bookman's Tale, the story of an antiquarian bookseller whose search for the origin of a mysterious photograph takes him back to the Elizabethan era and the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. In First Impressions, the antiquarian bookseller theme is retained, albeit with a different character, as is the historical element, this time focusing on Jane Austen and her friendship with a cleric. In view of the Jane Austen connection, who better to discuss his book with Charlie than Victoria Huxley, another local author whose Jane Austen and Adlestrop has been extremely popular. The event will take place at Kingham Village Hall OX7 6YQ from 6.30 to 8.00pm. Tickets are £5 each, with 10% off the price of the book on the night.
OUR LAND AT WAR: A PORTRAIT OF RURAL BRITAIN 1939-45 BY DUFF HART-DAVIS
Duff Hart-Davis, a good friend of the Borzoi who has joined us on two previous occasions for book signings, has very kindly agreed to come to the shop on Wednesday 24th June between 6.00 and 7.30pm to talk about and sign copies of his new book Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45. Like all his other books, this is bound to be absolutely fascinating and immensely readable. Tickets cost £5 each and include wine and refreshments and 10% off the price of the book on the night. Early booking is advised! PLEASE NOTE: some early copies of our Spring catalogue of new books gave the date for this event as Thursday 25th June, but this has now been changed to Wednesday 24th June. Our apologies for the confusion!
THE GREAT TIGER TRAIL AND TEA PARTY
Join us for a Tiger Tea Party in the Bookshop on Saturday 27th June from 3.00 to 4.30pm. Collect a card from the shop, find the hidden tigers in shops in Stow and get a sticker on your card for each tiger found, then come back to the bookshop and collect a balloon, have juice and mini cupcakes and have your face painted for free. This special event marks the end of Independent Bookshops Week. We will be selling copies of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Judith Kerr's classic children's story, and The Crocodile Under the Bed, her latest tale of magic and animal adventure, with 10% off the cover price. Come and join the fun!
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2014 EVENTS
We are thrilled to confirm the following:
Friday 3rd October at Willow Farm, Inglesham near Lechlade SN6 7QP
Sofka Zinovieff, who has previously written Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life and The House on Paradise Street, will be signing her new book, The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me, between 6 and 8pm. This is the extraordinary story of the composer and aesthete Lord Berners, his companion Robert Heber-Percy and Robert's wife Jennifer Fry, who lived at Faringdon House in Oxfordshire in the mid-20th century. Sofka is Jennifer's grand-daughter and now lives at Faringdon House. Her book is marvellously witty and full of insight, bringing to life a vanished world and the almost fantastical people who lived in it. On the night only, we will be offering a 20% discount on the price of the book, reducing it from £25 to £20. This event will take place as part of an exclusive evening of shopping and wine-tasting organised by Flint & Lambourn Marquees. The evening itself runs from 5 to 9pm; entry is free. For more details, go to: http://flintmarquees.co.uk/news-events/.
Saturday 11th October at The Borzoi Bookshop
We will be welcoming Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges are not the Only Fruit and Why be Happy when you could be Normal?, and Rebecca Tope, author of the popular Cotswold murder mystery series, to the shop to celebrate the launch of this year's Books Are My Bag campaign. This begins on Thursday 9th October and is the biggest nationwide celebration and promotion of books and bookshops held in the UK. The climax is on the Saturday with Big Bookshop Parties around the country and an author in every shop. Jeanette will be with us during the morning and will be signing the limited edition Tracey Emin-designed canvas bags. There is a special link between Jeanette and the bags - all will be revealed on the day! Rebecca will be joining us in the afternoon from 3 to 4.30. She will be encouraging customers to help her write a short murder mystery based around the bookshop. Come and write a sentence or even a paragraph. We will put the results on Twitter in 140 character bursts throughout the afternoon.
Friday 28th November at 6pm - venue confirmed, see below. PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE
THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED.
We are delighted that the distinguished author Anne de Courcy has agreed to talk about and sign her new book, Margot at War: Love and Betrayal in Downing Street 1912-1916. Anne's previous books are very well known to us and our customers; they include The Fishing Fleet, The Viceroy's Daughters, Debs at War and 1939: The Last Season. Her new book is an unconventional view of the First World War from inside the glittering social salon of Downing Street: a story of unrequited love, loss, sacrifice, scandal and the Prime Minister's wife, Margot Asquith. The venue is Holy Ascension Church, Lower Oddington GL56 0XA. The church has recently been refurbished to a high standard and it will be warm and comfortable for our event! There is plenty of parking space. Tickets are £8 each, to include a glass of wine and nibbles and £5 off the price of the book on the night, and are available in advance from us or on the door. We are hoping for a really good turnout for this event as Anne is one of the most famous authors to have agreed to a signing with us, so please spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues and do your very best to support us and her.
THIS EVENT HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED.
Thursday 4th December between 6.00 and 8.00pm at The Horse and Groom, Upper Oddington GL56 0XH
We are really excited that Alastair Down, everybody's favourite racing presenter and writer and a good supporter of the Borzoi, has agreed to sign his new book, The Best of Alastair Down: Cheltenham Et Al... at an event under our auspices. We are also very grateful for the generous support of Racing Post Books. All welcome!
Saturday 6th December from 11am to 12 noon in St Edward's Church, Stow
M C Beaton, author of the much-loved Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth crime fiction books and the most borrowed adult British author in UK libraries, will be signing her new book, Agatha Raisin and The Blood of an Englishman, as part of the Christmas Tree Festival in the Church. All welcome! Agatha may be about to hit the big time as her first story, The Quiche of Death, has been filmed with Ashley Jensen (of Ugly Betty and Extras fame) and will be shown on Sky1 over Christmas. So come and meet the author and view the lovely Christmas trees as well. We will be selling The Blood of an Englishman for £12.99 (£2 off the RRP) and the TV tie-in paperback of The Quiche of Death for £7.99, but have both and you will only have to pay £18.00! Let's make our final event of the year a real corker!
QUEENS OF CRIME EVENING
This was a great success, with over 50 people packing into St Edward's Hall to hear Alex Marwood, Sabine Durrant and Sarah Hilary in conversation with Jane Wheatley about their psychological crime thrillers. It was a really interesting discussion, which elicited some very pertinent questions from the floor. The wine flowed and the canapes disappeared at a rate of knots. We were let down somewhat by the acoustics, something to remember and address at any future event in the hall. But otherwise everyone seemed happy and enlightened. Huge thanks go to all those who participated in, organised and supported the event. Photos will follow shortly.
JULY IS GOING TO BE A BUSY MONTH!
We have a number of events planned for July. On Tuesday 1st July at 6.00pm, as part of Independent Booksellers' Week, we will be holding a Literary Quiz. The cost is £10 for a team of 4, but this will include wine and nibbles, and there will be exciting prizes! We still have room for a few more teams, so get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to join in the fun.
During IBW, which runs from 28th June to 5th July, we will have a number of promotions and early releases in the shop, so do try and pop in. One such early release is the Faber & Faber Poetry Diary 2015, which will not be available elsewhere until September. There will also be a special booklet by Mark Forsyth, author of the hugely popular The Etymologicon. It is entitled, appropriately: The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted.
On Saturday 12th July at about 4.00pm, we will be welcoming Emma Chapman, author of a deep and dark psychological thriller, How To Be a Good Wife. Emma will be visiting more than 100 independent bookshops during July to show support for "indies" and encourage readers to shop local. What an amazing and inspiring feat! You can follow Emma's progress on Twitter @emmajchapman or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HowTo BeAGoodWife. Emma has written a brilliant article about the importance of independent bookshops and about her IndieBookCrawl - go to www.thebookseller.com/blogs/indie-exposure.html.
On Tuesday 22nd July, we will be hosting a "Queens of Crime" discussion between 3 young and exciting writers of crime and psychological thrillers: Alex Marwood, who so impressed us last year with her disturbing and unsettling The Wicked Girls, and now has an equally tense new thriller, The Killer Next Door; Sarah Hilary, who is garnering some terrific reviews for her first novel, Someone Else's Skin; and Sabine Durrant, whose second crime novel, Remember Me This Way, is every bit as gripping as Under Your Skin. This really exciting event will take place in St Edward's Hall in Stow at 7pm. Tickets are £5 each and include wine and canapes. There will also be a 10% discount off the price of the books during the evening. So don't miss this opportunity to meet three young writers who are certainly going places!
Finally, on Friday 25th July at about 11.00-11.30am, we will have a signing by Nell Gifford of her new book, Giffords Circus: The First Ten Years. If you can't come but would still like a signed copy, just let us know. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
We felt very privileged to welcome Mary Lawson to the Borzoi on Wednesday 19th March. Her first novel, Crow Lake, caused a sensation some years ago and it has remained one of our best sellers ever since. Since then, she has written an equally inspiring novel, The Other Side of the Bridge, and now comes Road Ends, again set in her native Canada and telling of a family falling apart set against the backdrop of a very cold winter. To an attentive and fascinated audience, Mary talked the process of writing, the circumstances of her big break with the publication of Crow Lake and her life in writing since then. She also read extracts from all three of her books - how instructive and enlightening it is to hear an author speak her own written words. There were lots of questions and answers and there would have been some photographs - had Aloyse and Kevin remembered to take any! But as they were busy welcoming the guests, selling books and serving the delicious afternoon tea that everyone enjoyed, they can perhaps be excused. Mary and her husband Stephen were quite delightful; they made a lovely afternoon all the more memorable. So a huge "thank you" to them and also to the customers who came along to support Mary and us.
STOCK-TAKING ON WEDNESDAY 2ND APRIL 2014
Please note that we will be closed all day on Wednesday 2nd April for our annual stock-taking. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2014
We are delighted that once again we will be the official book supplier for the Festival. For the centenary anniversary of WWI, the Festival will be exploring themes of conflict, peace and resolution through the best of writing, past and present. Speakers will include Sir Max Hastings, Richard Overy, Helen Dunmore, Kate Williams, Ursula Buchan, Miranda Seymour and Rosamund Bartlett. Copies of the full programme are available in the Borzoi. Please do your best to support this fantastic local initiative: 6th-11th May. www.campdenlitfest.co.uk. Twitter: @campdenlitfest.
Nell Gifford will be at the Borzoi on Friday 25th July from either 11.00 or 11.30am for an hour to sign her new book, Giffords Circus: The First Ten Years.
MARCH 2014 AT THE BORZOI
We are pleased to announce two events in the Bookshop in March:
On Wednesday 19th March at 4.00pm, Mary Lawson, the acclaimed Canadian author of Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, has agreed to come and talk to us about her life and her new novel, Road Ends. We are making a small charge of £5.00 per person, but afternoon tea will be served and Road Ends will be available at a reduced price. If you would like to come, please, please, PLEASE let us know in advance as we can only seat 30 people. Strongly recommended for Book Clubs!
On Saturday 29th March from 11.00am to 12 noon, we will be welcoming back Rebecca Tope, one of our favourite local authors who writes the popular Thea Osborne crime books set in the Cotswolds. She will be signing copies of her new hardback, Trouble in the Cotswolds, and the paperback of her previous novel, Shadows in the Cotswolds. We will be offering Trouble in the Cotswolds at a discount at the signing. Please come and show your support for Rebecca and the Borzoi.
THE THREE WAYS HOUSE HOTEL, MICKLETON, nr CHIPPING CAMPDEN.
Over the last twelve months, we have forged a rewarding relationship with the Three Ways House Hotel and its lovely Director and keen supporter of the Borzoi, Jill Coombe. They have a monthly Lunch Club with a guest speaker, and if the speaker is an author who would like his or her book(s) made available for purchase, Jill very kindly asks us if we would like to provide the books - and of course we say "yes"! Last year, we supported talks by Diana Alexander ("The Other Mitford: Pamela's Story") and Diz White ("Cotswold Memoir") as well as joining forces for a Literary Luncheon with The Countess of Carnarvon ("Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey) - see below. This year, we have already supported a talk by Caroline Sandon on her very popular book, "Burnt Norton", about which one of our American customers said: "I loved it and was sad that I was at the end". Next month, on Thursday 6th February, we will be supplying the books for a talk on Elizabeth David. Britain's most influential post-war writer on food and cookery, by Jill Norman, who was her editor at Penguin from the 1960s and who, as the literary trustee of her estate, has overseen the publication of five posthumous anthologies of her work. This talk forms part of BITE 2014, the Cotswolds Food Festival. We are really grateful to Jill Coombe for giving us this opportunity and we hope that we can build on it during the months and years to come.
TWO BUSY DAYS IN DECEMBER
The "Spirit of Stow" shopping day was a huge success - I have never seen so many people in the town. Pam Ayres was kept busy in St Edward's for two hours signing her latest poetry collection "You Made Me Late Again!". She was scheduled to start at 11.00am, but such was the interest in meeting and talking to her that she actually began just after 10.00am and continued until 12 noon. Pam chatted quite happily to her legion of fans and was undaunted by the cold of the church. No-one was rushed and there were plenty of happy, smiling faces. Her jacket was much-admired - it had been made by Stow's very own Jenny Edwards-Moss. Then it was back to the shop for a quick visit from Adam Henson - apparently he's quite a well-known local farmer who's often to be seen on the TV! He was wonderful with everyone and signed copies of "Adam's Farm: A Life on the Land". Finally, in the afternoon, we welcomed back M C Beaton, the local crime writer, who signed her new Agatha Raisin mystery, "Something Borrowed, Someone Dead".
We barely had time to recover before we were off to Mickleton and the Three Ways House Hotel to welcome The Countess of Carnarvon to our first-ever literary luncheon at and in conjunction with the hotel. Those of us lucky enough to be on Lady Carnarvon's table at lunch were treated to fascinating stories of all that is involved in running a stately home, and not just any stately home, but one that has hit the heights thanks to its star appearance in a certain television series. After lunch, Lady Carnarvon talked about her latest book, "Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey" and supplemented her talk with stunning photographs of Lady Catherine, her family and the house. She then signed the book in the hotel's main lounge. Just like Pam Ayres, there was never any feeling that Lady Carnarvon was rushing or in a hurry, and her command of her subjects was breathtaking. Listening to all that she does, both in this country and abroad, and all the good causes with which she is involved was really inspiring.
LITERARY LUNCHEON WITH THE COUNTESS OF CARNARVON ON MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER
Please help us make this event, our first-ever Literary Luncheon, a resounding success. Places are still available - see below for full details.
SPIRIT OF STOW - SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER
We will be playing a full part in this celebratory shopping day.
First of all, Pam Ayres will be signing copies of her new poetry collection, You Made Me Late Again!, in St Edward's Church between 11.00am and 12 noon as part of the Christmas Tree Festival. For anyone who loves Pam's inimitable sense of hurmour, this will make an ideal Christmas present.
Next, Adam Henson will be in the Borzoi between 12.30 and 1.00pm to sign copies of his incredibly popular, Adam's Farm: My Life on the Land.
Finally, M C Beaton returns by popular demand to sign more copies of her latest Agatha Raisin crime mystery story, Something Borrowed, Someone Dead. She will be in the Borzoi between 3.00 and 4.00pm.
Meanwhile, throughout the afternoon, the Silver Bough Musicians, who were such a great hit during the Stow Cotswold Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend, will be entertaining the shoppers in Church Street.
And throughout the day, we will be offering 10% off all children's and teenage books in stock.
How's that for a bumper day of activities!
We were delighted to be asked by Professor Anthony Fletcher to support his event in the stunning surroundings of Stanway House on Saturday 9th November. Professor Fletcher talked about "Stanway and the Great War", having researched the archives at Stanway, and introduced his new book "Life, Death and Growing Up on the Western Front", published by Yale University Press. It may have been a cold, wet morning, but by the time 50 people had packed into the Audit Room, the temperature had risen considerably! After a quite fascinating talk, everyone adjourned to the Great Hall for refreshments and Professor Fletcher signed copies of his books. Our thanks go to Lord Wemyss for allowing us to invade his home and of course to Professor Fletcher. The photograph to the left shows Professor Fletcher (left) talking with fellow local author Caroline Sandon ("Burnt Norton"), and to the right with Lord Wemyss.
M C BEATON
A month beforehand, on the morning of Saturday 12th October, we were thrilled to welcome M C Beaton, the very popular local author of the Agatha Raisin crime series, to the shop to sign her latest story, Something Borrowed, Someone Dead. A goodly number of her loyal fans (including one of our most enthusiastic customers Sarah-Jane Rich, seen on the right with the author) came along to chat to her and discuss the eponymous heroine, and there were some forthright views on the recent television adaption of another of her series featuring the Scottish policeman Hamish Macbeth! By popular demand, the author will be back on Saturday 7th December (in the afternoon, time tbc) as part of the Christmas Spirit of Stow shopping day.
We had a great night (Thursday 26th September) in Kingham with Charlie Lovett talking about his life and his fantastic book "The Bookman's Tale". There was a packed house at Mill Lodge at the Mill House Hotel, Charlie spoke brilliantly, and a good time was had by one and all. If you haven't read his book yet, don't delay - we have signed copies.
AUTUMN 2013 EVENTS AND SIGNINGS - UPDATED 11/10
This section will be constantly updated to reflect the latest news on our Autumn events, so keep watching this space! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
DEFINITE! Thursday 26th September at 6.00pm at Mill Lodge, Mill House Hotel, Kingham: Charlie Lovett, a Kingham resident, will be talking about his life and his new book The Bookman's Tale, a gripping thriller, very well written and highly recommended by us, with lots of local references and ideal for book clubs. It is about a mysterious portrait that ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search - through time and the works of Shakespeare - for his lost love. It is also an engrossing exploration of one of literature's most tantalising mysteries - was Shakespeare indeed the author of all his plays? We will be charging £5.00 per head to cover costs - tickets available in advance from us or on the door. Refreshments will be available! The full address of the venue is: Mill Lodge, Station Road, Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6UH.
ON HOLD, HOPEFULLY WILL TAKE PLACE IN NOVEMBER! October, possibly Thursday 10th or 17th - in the Borzoi, starting time between 3.30 and 4.30pm: readings from Strings of Pearls, a collection of poems selected by Janie Hextall and Barbara McNaught. All the poems are inspired by the seductive sparkle of Jewels and jewellery. Their previous collection, Washing Lines, was extremely popular. We hope to have a guest reader. Tea and cakes will be served.
DEFINITE! Saturday 12th October - in the Borzoi between 11.00am and 12 noon: M C Beaton, the well-known local author of the popular Agatha Raisin series of crime books set in the Cotswolds, will be signing copies of her new Agatha Raisin story, Something Borrowed, Someone Dead. All welcome!
DEFINITE! Saturday 9th November at 11.00am at Stanway House: Anthony Fletcher will be giving a talk entitled "Stanway and the Great War" in connection with his new book, Life, Death and Growing Up on the Western Front, which he will be signing. Refreshments will be available afterwards in the Great Hall. Entry by invitation or pre-reserved ticket only, so please contact the Borzoi for more information. This promises to be a fascinating event with a local author in a prestigious location, so please do your very best to support it. Appropriately, it takes place on Remembrance weekend, the Saturday evening seeing the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the Sunday morning the Service at the Cenotaph.
DEFINITE! Saturday 7th December between 11.00am and 12 noon in St Edward's Church, Stow, as part of the Christmas Trees Festival in the Church: Pam Ayres will be signing copies of her new poetry collection, You Made Me Late Again! All welcome! Pam will also be choosing her favourite tree.
NOW CONFIRMED AS DEFINITE! Monday 9th December - our first Literary Luncheon at and in conjunction with the Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton, from 12 noon onwards: The Countess of Carnarvon will be talking about and signing about her new book, Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey.
Join us for a welcome glass of wine, a delicious, seasonal two-course lunch and coffee, followed by an enlightening talk and presentation by Lady Carnarvon. Her new book, her second after Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey in 2011, coincides with the fourth series of Downton Abbey on ITV, and draws on rich material from the private archives at Highclere Castle. With beautiful period photographs, Lady Carnarvon will transport us back to the thrilling and alluring world of the real Downton Abbey and the people who lived there.
The coast is £30.00 per guest, which includes a glass of wine on arrival, a set two-course lunch with coffee followed by the talk, and £5.00 off the Countess' book which she will be signing. Arrival 12 noon for lunch at 12.30pm. Please call to book your place: 01386 438429, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment can be made by credit/debit card or by cheque payable to Three Ways House Hotel and sent to: Three Ways House Hotel, Mickleton, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6SB, Cancellations accepted up to 48 hours beforehand.
We are very fortunate and grateful that Lady Carnarvon has made time for us in her busy schedule and we hope to see a packed house to make this a happy and successful event.
STOW COTSWOLD FESTIVAL - AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
We will be doing our bit to make the above event a weekend to remember. We are sponsoring Chloe the Midnight Storyteller, who will be based in Stow Library on the Bank Holiday Monday. She will have four sessions, at 10.15am, 11.15am, 1.15am and 3.15am. If you have never heard her before, don't miss her on this occasion - she is absolutely riveting and she will transport you into another world. For children and adults alike! From the Library, it is but a couple of minutes' walk to the Borzoi where we shall have some very special offers, including 10% OFF ALL CHILDREN'S BOOKS IN STOCK THROUGHOUT THE LONG WEEKEND! How's that for an irresistible offer! We will also have 2 for the price of 1 and 3 for the price of 2 offers on selected classic adults' and children's stories. We look forward to seeing you!
REVIEW OF EVENTS MAY-JULY 2013
We had our busiest ever few months for signings and events and we are very grateful for all the support we received from the authors and publishers and from those who attended. We feel, we hope, that we may have turned a corner, as previously we were worried whether anyone would come, whereas now we are more confident that there will be a respectable turnout and sometime more than that. As they say, if at first you don't succeed....... We have no events planned for August, but we are working on an exciting and interesting programme for the autumn - let's hope that some if not all of our endeavours bear fruit. Apologies for the absence of photographs of our recent events - those of you who know us well will know that we are not exactly at the cutting edge of technology, even when it comes to mobile phones, but we will be making a concerted effort to overcome our failings and show you lots of photos later in the year!
MAJOR EVENT IN JULY 2013
Our main event for July takes place at 6.00pm on Tuesday 9th July, when Juliet Barnes will be talking about her new book, The Ghosts of Happy Valley. "Happy Valley" was the name given to the region of Kenya's Central Highlands where a community of affluent white expatriates settled between the wars, including Karen Blixen, Beryl Markham and Idina Sackville (subject of The Bolter). The Happy Valley set's notoriety was sealed in 1931 with the still unsolved murder of the Earl of Errol. In her book, Juliet explores Happy Valley in a remarkable archaeological quest to find the homes and haunts of these extraordinary and vanished people. With the help of African guides and the memories of elderly expats, she finds a revelation of the state of modern Africa that makes the gilded era of the Happy Valley set seem even more fantastic. After her talk, Juliet will be signing copies of her book. Refreshments will be provided.
Juliet herself was born and raised in Kenya and educated at St Andrew's University and the London School of Journalism. She lives on Lord Delamere's ranch beside Lake Elmenteita in Kenya's Rift Valley.
We are very fortunate that, by kind invitation, the event will take place at the Unicorn Equestrian Centre in Netherswell, only a few minutes' drive from the Borzoi. The post code for your sat nav is GL54 1JZ. There will be a small charge of £5.00 for this event - tickets are available from the Borzoi. We expect that there will be considerable interest in this event, so if you plan to come, please purchase or reserve your tickets in advance.
INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS WEEK 29TH JUNE TO 6TH JULY 2013
Come and join in the fun during a big week for us! There will be a Literary Quiz for all the family - the last section is definitely for younger readers! The winner will receive a £25.00 book token, so don't forget to pick up a copy from us. We will have a "Where's Wally" competition that will take you all over Stow, with lots of prizes to tempt you. We will also have various special offers in the shop, including a buy one get one free promotion on selected Penguins and Puffins. And the prize-winning novelist (Bel Canto, State of Wonder) turned independent bookseller, Ann Patchett, has written an inspiring essay The Bookshop Strikes Back, which we will be selling.
OUT AND ABOUT IN JUNE 2013
We are really excited to have been asked to supply the books at two local events this month. On Monday 17th June, the Lunch Club at the Three Ways House Hotel (home of the world-famous Pudding Club) in Mickleton, near Chipping Campden, will be holding its monthly luncheon, and the guest speaker will be Diana Alexander talking about her recent book The Other Mitford: Pamela's Story. In the same week, we will be at Burnt Norton, also near Chipping Campden, for performances of As You Like It to promote Caroline Sandon's new book Burnt Norton. These events are really positive for us as, following on from the success of the Chipping Campden Literature Festival, they will take us into a new catchment area and make us known to new people.
NEW EVENTS IN JUNE 2013
We have just finalised two events in the shop during June.
First, on Wednesday 12th June at 4.00pm, the author Victoria Huxley, who lives in Adlestrop, will talk about Jane Austen's links with the village and with Stoneleigh Abbey. The Abbey was the ancestral home of the Leigh family and Jane's mother was a Leigh. She visited her Leigh cousins at Adlestrop several times and kept in touch with events there by letter. After her talk, Victoria will take questions and sign copies of her book. Tea and cakes will be served.
Next, on Saturday 15th June at 6.00pm, we will welcome another author, Lucy Moore, who wrote the bestselling Maharanis. She will talk about her biography, the first for over thirty years, of one of the 20th century's greatest dancers. Nijinsky transformed the world of ballet, blazing a trail as the first male star of the modern era. But scandal and tragedy eventually took their toll. Lucy will also take questions after her talk and sign copies of her book. Refreshments will be provided.
LOOKING BACK IN 2013.....
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL
This was the first time we had supplied books for a literature festival. We supported 13 events over 5 days, with 21 speakers at 6 different venues, and more books than I care to remember! The weather was kind, which was a blessing, and most of the events were very well attended. Logistically, it was quite challenging at times, particularly on 1st May when we had to fill two cars with all the books for the morning and afternoon talks as there wasn't enough time between the two to return to our storage unit to unload the morning's books and replace them with the afternoon's books! All of the talks were interesting in their own way, although the highlight for me and, I suspect, for many other people was the opening talk by the Shakespeare scholar, jonathan Bate, on, who else, Shakespeare. He was quite fascinating and riveting, never condescending or overwhelming, always fluent and alive, and he held a packed hall in the palm of his hand. I realised just how little I know about the Bard, so Jonathan's books "The Genius of Shakespeare" and "Soul of the Age" are essential reading. Other events that stand out include John Mullan entertaining us all with a "quiz" on the minutiae of Jane Austen's novels; George Monbiot's passionate advocacy of the restoration of damaged ecosystems and the rewilding of the land, the sea and human life (we still have signed copies of his book "Feral"); Rick Stroud describing how the Camouflage Unit bamboozled Rommel in the Western Desert with an army made of nothing but string, straw and bits of wood; Val Bourne giving vital tips on how to make the most of your garden; and Neville Jason reading from "A la Recherche du Temps Perdu" in the most mellifluous and seductive voice you could imagine. Sales of books were not as good as we had hoped - some events exceeded our expectations, but one or two were particularly disappointing. We cannot compete with the discounts offered by online sellers, that is now a fact of life and we have to accept it, but it is sad, and sometimes embarrassing, when even the presence of the author to sign a book does not outweigh the attraction of a discount elsewhere. Despite that reservation, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience - and we must have done something right because we have been asked back for next year! We also hope that we achieved some good publicity for the Borzoi and made ourselves known to people who, by some misfortune, did not know that we existed! Vicky Bennett, Mary Gray and their team worked incredibly hard to put together a varied and interesting programme and to keep all the speakers and supporters happy - and they do it, not for profit, but for the good of the local community.
REBECCA TOPE'S VISIT ON SATURDAY 30TH MARCH
We had a very enjoyable morning with Rebecca Tope, who came to sign copies of her latest books, Shadow in the Cotswolds (hardback) and Malice in the Cotswolds (paperback). A good crowd of supporters turned out, including one man who came all the way from Rye in East Sussex. Now that's loyalty for you!
FORGING AHEAD IN 2013.....
The distinguished horticulturist has written a number of books about gardens and gardening. Her latest, A Green and Pleasant Land: How England's Gardeners Fought the Second World War, will be published on 7th March, price £20.00. It tells the evocative and inspiring story of how the British Government encouraged and cajoled people to contribute to the war effort by producing their own fruit and vegetables under the "Dig for Victory" slogan. As part of Mel Tanner's programme of Garden Lectures at the Coach House, Ursula will be giving a talk entitled "A Short History of the English Garden" on Tuesday 16th April. We will be there with her latest book and a selection of her previous titles related to her talk. For more information about the Garden Lectures, please contact Mel Tanner on 01285 850256 or by email at email@example.com, or visit her website www.thecoachhousegarden.co.uk.
CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL
It is full steam ahead for the Chipping Campden Literature Festival 2013, which runs from Tuesday 30th April to Sunday 5th May. It will be the first time we have been involved with a festival and we are very much looking forward to the challenge. We will be supplying the books for a number of the events and selling tickets at the Borzoi. The full programme is now available - we have copies and it can also be downloaded at www.campdenlitfest.co.uk. The Festival has an extensive distribution list, but if you know of anywhere that would like to stock the programme, please let us know and we will sort it out.
We are thrilled that Brough Scott has kindly agreed to sign copies of his new biography of Henry Cecil. Once again, we will be teaming up with Haynes, Hanson & Clark, the wine merchants in Stow (and London and elsewhere!) for a joint event, the signing and a wine tasting, on Friday 3rd May between 6.30 and 8.30pm. This event will be strictly by invitation only, so if you are not on our or Haynes Hanson's mailing lists, please contact us if you would like to receive a formal invitation after Easter.
For a thrilling adventure story of Africa spanning sixty years and three generations in the tradition of Wilbur Smith, look no further than Wings of the Morning by local author Julian Beale. Julian will be signing copies on Tuesday 14th May from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Collect (and pay!) for your book at the Borzoi and then head along to The Coffee House to meet Julian, enjoy some refreshments and get your book signed. You will also be supporting two very worthy charities, ZANE Zimbabwe A National Emergency and Orbis: Saving Sight Worldwide.
On Saturday 25th May during the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, Diz White will be in the shop to sign copies of her Cotswolds Memoir, her story of being drawn back to Britain from America, discovering the Cotswolds and buying a 17th century cottage. Diz is a great raconteur and both she and her book will have you in stitches! The book is also a readable mini-history and tour of the Cotswolds, with something for both residents and visitors alike. Come and meet her between 11.00am and 1.00pm.
COUNTRY LIFE ARTICLE
THE BORZOI BOOKSHOP AND THE CHIPPING CAMPDEN LITERATURE FESTIVAL
We are thrilled to have been appointed the official book supplier for the 2013 Festival, which runs from Tuesday 30th April to Sunday 5th May. We will be helping with enquiries about festival books, running a bookstall during festival events and acting as an additional box office. The programme already looks very exciting, with speakers and participants including Joanna Trollope, Paula Byrne, Jonathan Bate, Rick Stroud, Selina Hastings, Edward Skidelsky, George Mombiot, Peter J Conradi, Helen Dunmore, Val Bourne (a good friend of the Borzoi) and Neville Jason. There will be sessions on Jane Austen and Nancy Mitford, a morning at Kiftsgate Court Gardens with Val Bourne, and readings from and about Marcel Proust by Neville Jason, the voice of Proust for a generation through his recording of Remembrance of Things Past for the Naxos CD label. Further information will be posted here as and when it becomes available. The Festival's own website is: www.campdenlitfest.co.uk.
PERSEPHONE'S VISIT, FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER 2012
It was a great pleasure to welcome back Nicola Beauman at the end of a week in which, with her husband Chris, she had toured bookshops and bookgroups in Herefordshire and the Cotswolds in a (rented) 1957 Morris Traveller. An almost full house awaited her and she talked about her travels, the latest titles from Persephone and her plans for 2013, most exciting of which will be the publication of a previously unpublished novel by Elisabeth de Waal, grandmother of Edmund de Waal of The Hare with Amber Eyes fame. There was an animated discussion on tracing long-forgotten novels and deciding whether they were suitable for republication. The afternoon appeared to be enjoyed by everyone and the Persephone Short Stories and Diary were particularly popular - as were the cucumber sandwiches and scones!
PAST AND FUTURE EVENTS
Having enjoyed very happy and successful events during the last few weeks with Duff Hart-Davis at Batsford (what a venue!), Adrian Fort at the shop and Tom Knight and Sybil Ruscoe at the Golden Ball Inn in Lower Swell at the launch of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Official Commemorative Book, and looking forward with great anticipation to Nicola Beauman's return visit next Friday in celebration of Persephone Books' 100th title, don't think that we are sitting on our laurels and coasting towards Christmas! Far from it.
On Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November, we will be having our usual stall at the Chastleton Gift Fair. This is a really friendly and intimate event, with its eclectic mix of tempting gifts for sale, great for doing some Christmas shopping. The fair is open to the public on the Saturday, but the Friday evening preview is by invitation only. If you would like a ticket for this, please let us know. The charities supported by this year's fair are the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance; Chastleton House; and Lusi Village, Kenya.
Saturday 8th December is going to be a big day for Stow as the Spirit of Stow takes place. There will be all-day festivities, late night shopping and an evening auction. Adam Henson will be here with his rare breeds, Giffords Circus will be providing street entertainment, there will be special offers in the shops, pubs and tea rooms, and there will be a hog roast and roasted chestnuts. There will be a Christmas Tree Festival in St Edward's Church and Father Christmas will be in his Grotto in the Church Rooms. So all in all, it is going to be a fun day for all the family. The Borzoi will be fully entering into the spirit of the occasion, our focus being on children. We will be offering 10% off children's books, we will have Lucy the face painter, and we will be giving out red balloons and encouraging children to draw a borzoi dog on them. In the evening, probably between about 5.00 and 7.00pm, the Bookshop Band will be providing its own inimitable form of entertainment with, as its name would imply, songs about books, outside the shop if the weather permits - and inside if it doesn't! In the meantime, make a note in your diaries and come and support Stow on its big day of fun and festivities.
Sunday 23rd December. Haven't started your Christmas shopping? Panic setting in? Can't be bothered to drive to Cheltenham? Fear not, the Borzoi is coming to your rescue! Not only will be opening on that day, from about 11.00am to 4.00pm, but we will be providing a FREE gift-wrapping service and offering FREE refreshments and mince pies! So, panic over, and let the festivities begin in style and comfort at the Borzoi. And don't forget, we don't just stock an amazing array of books, from fiction, biographies and history to glossy photographic, art and interiors titles for the coffee-table, but also really stylish diaries, some great calendars - and even games!
STOP PRESS!!! - ADDITIONAL AUTUMN EVENT - NEXT WEEK!!!
Adrian Fort, the acclaimed author of Archibald Wavell: The Life and Times of an Imperial Servant and Prof: The Life and Times of Frederick Lindemann, has kindly agreed to visit the Borzoi on Wednesday 17th October to sign copies of his new biography, Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor. This event will coincide with the book being read on Radio 4 as Book of the Week, so there will be lots of interest in this page-turning story of Britain's first female MP, a wealthy American with forthright views who was a member of the "Cliveden Set". This is one of the really important titles coming out in the lead-up to Christmas, so here is an ideal opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping and solve the problem of what to get for family and friends. Adrian will be with us from 12.15pm, so please make every effort to support us and him. Spread the word, tell all your friends, and let's make this an event with a real buzz about it. It would be really helpful if you could let us know whether you will be attending. If you can't, but would still like a copy (or copies!), we would be delighted to ask Adrian to sign and personalise one or more for you, to be collected later.
AUTUMN EVENTS 2012
As at 6th August, our programme consists of three events. The first will take place on Friday 28th September when Duff Hart-Davis, who kindly joined us at Eyford Park last year to sign copies of Among the Deer: In the Woods and On the Hill - A Stalker Looks Back, will be back with us to sign his new book, Man of War: The Secret Life of Captain Alan Hillgarth, Officer, Adventurer, Agent. This is the true story of one of the key players in the "Operation Mincemeat" deception plan, who was also a spy, gold-hunter, naval officer adventurer and Churchill's advisor. The event will also be our first joint venture, with Haynes, Hanson and Clark, the wine merchants in Sheep Street. The signing will be combined with their major pre-Christmas wine tasting and will take place at Batsford House, near Moreton-in-Marsh, between 6.00 and 8.30pm. This event is by invitation only, so If you would like to attend or need more information, please contact us as soon as possible.
The second event will take place in mid-October, probably at the Golden Ball pub in Lower Swell. We were thrilled to be asked by the publisher, John Wiley, to be involved in the local launch of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Official Commemorative Book by two of our customers, Tom Knight and Sybil Ruscoe. This will be a glorious keepsake of the London 2012 Games, full of unforgettable images and fascinating statistics, and in view of the exhilarating success so far of Team GB and the fantastic reception accorded the Torch Relay throughout the country, this will be the souvenir that you will want to own and keep. Further details of the event will be posted her as soon as they are known.
Finally, on Friday 9th November, we will be welcoming back Nicola Beauman from Persephone Books as part of the celebrations of their 100th book. That week in November, a 1957 Morris Traveller, filled with Persephone books, will be touring the Midlands and the West Country, and on the Friday afternoon we will be giving another tea party. We will have their two new Autumn titles, Patience (1953) by John Coates (No 99) and The Persephone Book of Short Stories (No 100), as well as the Persephone Diary for 2013 containing all 100 end-papers. Nicola is due to arrive at about 4.00pm. If you wish to come to this event, please would you let us know as we have only limited space and already we are fast filling up!
We are investigating the possibility of other signings or events, so watch this space for more news.
On Tuesday 12th June, the Borzoi will be taking a stand at a major charity fayre, A Day with a Difference, being organised by Henney Kenny Herbert and Cathy Twiston-Davies. It is being held at Frogmore Farm, near Moreton-in-Marsh, and is in aid of Kate's Home Nursing and the Injured Jockeys Fund. We are thrilled that Prue Leith has very kindly agreed to support us at this event by signing copies of her new autobiography, Relish: My Life on a Plate. Prue will be with us from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The event itself opens at 10.00am and closes at 4.30pm. The entrance fee is £10 and lunch will be available for £5. We are promised a delightfully unusual shopping experience, with Burford Brown chickens, geese, ducks, cashmere, painted furniture, books (that's us!), designer hats, tablecloths, cakes, gypsy caravans, Selina Watson, chicken houses, pottery, bronzes, hide footstools - and plenty more! Brough Scott will be the guest speaker at 2.00pm.
Whilst on the subject of Prue Leith, we would like to plug an event in aid of a charity in which Prue is involved, Children of Colombia. The charity is presenting an evening with another bestselling author, Susan Lewis, at St Edward's Hall in the Square, Stow, on Friday 6th July 2012, with doors opening at 7.00pm in time for a 7.30pm start. Susan's latest book, "No Child of Mine", is due out the day before and she will be signing copies. Her previous books include "Vengeance", "One day at a time" and "No Turning Back". Tickets at £10.00 each, which include tea, coffee or a glass of wine, will be available on the door or in advance from 07969 431462 or www.childrenofcolombia.net.
COFFEE AND CRIME WITH REBECCA TOPE
As part of the Stow Festival of Writing 2012 over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, the bestselling local author Rebecca Tope will be talking about and signing copies of her hugely popular Cotswold mystery series at Huffkins Tea Rooms in the Square, Stow, on Sunday 3rd June from 2.30 to 3.30pm. So if you can tear yourself away from watching the River Thames Pageant, come and join us upstairs at Huffkins.
A HORSE IN THE BATHROOM BY DEREK J TAYLOR
We are thrilled that local author Derek Taylor has asked us to help with the promotion of his new book A Horse in the Bathroom: How an Old Stable Became our Dream Village Home. Derek will be reading from his book and signing copies at Digbeths Restaurant in Digbeth Street (between Fox Cottage Antiques and The Royalist Hotel) on Wednesday 16th May at 6.00pm. As one can tell from the title, the book is not entirely serious; indeed as Peter Sissons says, "As a former ITN correspondent, Derek Taylor has a fine eye for people and places. Now he has written a hugely entertaining book, packed with all the funny little details that will keep you smiling". In a nutshell, the book tells of all the pitfalls experienced by Derek and his partner Maggie as they set about converting an old Cotswold stables in Stow into their dream home. Along the way, Derek takes a quirky look at what makes villages work, or not, in the 21st century. The evening promises to be fun and light-hearted, and both the book, and a complementary glass of wine, are guaranteed to keep you smiling. We hope to see you there! If you can't make it on the 16th, you will have a second chance to meet Derek on Saturday 19th May when he will be installed in the Borzoi between 10.00am and 1.00pm to sign more copies of his book. For more information about Derek and his book, have a look at his website, www.derekjtaylorbooks.com.
Post-events report. Huge thanks to Derek Taylor for letting us bask in his glory at his book launch and signings. There was a large turnout of friends and locals at Digbeths and Derek read from his book and talked generally about his "Grand Design". Sue was a most welcoming hostess and plied us with drinks and canapes. Saturday morning at the Borzoi was a little quieter, but at least this allowed Derek to have proper conversations with those who came to buy his book. We look forward to his next book, which looks at the British obsession with our heritage, with preserving stately homes and old buildings, and traipsing round them. It promises to be another fascinating read.
REPORT ON OUR FIRST TWO EVENTS OF 2012
Our first two events of this year could not have been more different. On the evening of 24th February in the Masonic Hall next door, Chris Wildblood held a large gathering enthralled as he talked about and showed amazing slides of the wild and beautiful landscape of Namibia and the dazzling wildlife and natural phenomena that occupy it. Many of those attending had already visited the country and so were able to chat knowledgeably with Chris during his presentation, while others went away planning a trip as soon as possible! Chris' book, "The Realm of the Desert Elephant", magnificently encapsulates all that he talked about, and signed copies of it are still available from us.
Our second event was of great personal significance to the Borzoi. It marked the completion of the renovation and redecoration of the exterior and the interior of the shop. The new layout inside means that we can move some of the displays to create an open area suitable for small events, which was perfect for our tea party to celebrate our stocking for the first time a wide range of titles from Persephone Books. The shop had never looked more inviting, with fresh spring flowers, tables covered in our trademark red table cloths, and plates of delicious sandwiches and home-made cakes.
More than 30 people (all women except for one man!) took their seats and were served tea before Nicola Beauman, the founder of Persephone, gave a fascinating and informative talk on the company she had founded and the authors and books it promotes. The event was deemed a great success by all who attended, and hopefully the format will be repeated in the not too distant future.
Our second event of 2012 will take place on Thursday 22nd March from 4.00pm onwards in the Borzoi when we will be having a tea party to celebrate our stocking a selection of titles published by Persephone Books. Persephone reprints neglected classics by 20th century (mostly women) writers. The books are beautifully produced with a clear typeface, distinctive dove-grey jackets and "fabric" endpaper and bookmark. Their Classics range have pictures on the front. The books are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written, and most are ideal presents or a good choice for reading groups. We are delighted that Nicola Beauman, the founder of Persephone Books and a distinguished author in her own right, will be joining us to talk about the company's ethos and its books. So please come and join us for tea, cake and sandwiches so that we can launch this exciting venture in appropriate style! It would be really helpful if you could RSVP.
THE REALM OF THE DESERT ELEPHANT - CHRIS WILDBLOOD
Our first event of 2012 will take place on Friday 24th February when we will be welcoming the acclaimed wildlife photographer Chris Wildblood. He will be talking about his stunning new book, The Realm of the Desert Elephant, a magical photographic journey through Namibia's harsh and unforgiving lands. It captures not only the elusive desert elephants in their natural habitat, but also explores the ancient lands of Kaokoland and Damaraland with their huge diversity of amazing wildlife. All the photographs, including aerial, were taken by Chris himself specifically for this book, and they superbly illustrate the vast variety of the landscapes and wildlife of the area. It promises to be an absolutely fascinating evening, so reserve your tickets now! The venue is the Masonic Hall in Stow, which is right next door to tthe Borzoi, and the talk begins at 6.30pm. Tickets are £7.50 each and will only be available in advance from us and not on the door. The ticket price includes not only wine and eats, but also £5.00 off the cost of the book (normally £35.00 rrp) on the night only. We are hugely grateful to The Ultimate Travel Company for their support and sponsorship of this event.
BROUGH SCOTT AND "WARRIOR"
After the disappointment felt by everyone over the cancellation of our last event, the Borzoi bounced back last night (Thursday 10th November) with a hugely successful talk and signing by Brough Scott. Almost 100 people packed into Naunton Downs Golf Club to be entertained by Brough with stories set around, rather than taken directly from, his grandfather's book, including the horrors of the Western Front and the trenches, the unshakeable bond between man and horse during the war, and the importance to Munnings' career of the painting of General Seely and Warrior on the jacket of the book. When Warrior died, he became the first horse to have his own obituary in The Times. After his talk and taking questions from the floor, Brough spent a further half-hour signing books and chatting with all those who so appreciated his visit. The general concensus was that the book made an excellent Christmas present for horsey family and friends! Our thanks go to the catering staff at the Golf Club, to Annie from Moreton-in-Marsh for lending a projector and screen, to Liz Ampairee from the publisher Racing Post/Raceform for her support and unfailing enthusiasm, to all those who braved a foggy night to attend the event - and above all to Brough for selflessly supporting an independent bookstore and providing such a memorable and entertaining presentation.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------CANCELLATION OF FIONA MacCARTHY EVENT
We were terribly disappointed that the talk by Fiona MacCarthy on Edward Burne-Jones scheduled for Friday 28th October had to be cancelled. We were let down by the publisher on the supply of her book and sadly we did not receive as much support for and interest in the event as we had expected despite extensive advertising and promotion. We extend our sincere apologies both to Dr MacCarthy for letting her down and messing up her schedule and also to those who were due to attend the talk for the disappointment they would have felt.
INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS DIRECTORY
The Borzoi has an entry in the new Independent Bookshops Directory produced by The Guardian newspaper. This is what they say:
Tucked down a small one-way street near the church, the Borzoi Bookshop is housed in a beautiful Grade-II listed, 16th-century building. Despite the Cotswold stone, Dickensian shopfront and flagstone floors, the books spilling out from every corner will bring you right back to the present. More than 15,000 titles focus particularly on history, poetry and children's books. This cosy space is perfect for quiet browsing but also accommodates frequent events. Coming up this autumn are talks on everything from gardening to the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, with Fiona MacCarthy also presenting her new biography of Edward Burne-Jones.
Some dramatic verisimilitude there, but what do you think? What do you consider are our strengths and weaknesses. Do you like the layout and presentation of the shop? We'd love to hear from you - postive and negative comments welcomed!
SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER
We have just spent a really delightful morning with Pam Ayres, who was as amusing and charming as one would expect. She attracted a goodly number of fans, some of whom had come from neighbouring counties to chat to her, be photographed with her and have her books personally dedicated. Memories of time spent in Singapore and New Zealand were recalled and favourite poems were quoted. There were also three press photographers, so look out for us in the local newspapers. The time flew by, and Pam and her supportive and patient husband Dudley were off to Stroud for another signing in the afternoon. Huge thanks to both of them for supporting us as an independent bookshop and giving us a much-needed boost in challenging times. No time to rest on our laurels, however - we have Fiona MacCarthy coming on Friday (sadly this has now been cancelled) followed by Brough Scott in early November! See below for further details of these two events.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------EVENTS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2011
We are organising three really exciting events during October and November.
On Saturday 22nd October, Pam Ayres, the much-loved poet, songwriter and radio and TV presenter, will be coming to the Borzoi to sign her new memoir, The Necessary Aptitude. Pam does not normally do book signings, so this is really quite a coup for the Borzoi. We are thrilled that she has been able to fit us into her busy schedule. The signing will start at 11.00am and last about an hour, and we hope that there will be a really good turnout for this popular and funny lady. We will also have copies of The Necessary Aptitude on CD and Pam Ayres: The Works: The Classic Collection available on the day.
Six days later, on Friday 28th October, we will be welcoming the acclaimed author and cultural historican, Fiona MacCarthy, who will talk about and sign her new book, The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination. Fiona has previously written about C R Ashbee (of Chipping Campden fame), Eric Gill, William Morris, Stanley Spencer and Lord Byron, and she is also the author of The Last Curtsey, about the end of the debutante era, which has been very popular with our customers. The venue for this event is the Methodist Church in Stow, which is opposite the area of greensward where Sheep Street and Digbeth Street meet. The talk will start at 7.00pm and the cost of tickets is £5.00 each, to include soft drinks and nibbles. Sadly, this event has now been cancelled.
Finally, we will be heading over to Naunton Downs Golf Club on Thursday 10th November to listen to Brough Scott, the popular horse racing journalist, radio and TV presenter and former jockey. Brough is the grandson and biographer of the Great War soldier "Galloper Jack" Seely, and he will be talking about and signing the new edition of his grandfather's book, Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse. The book will include the original illustrations which Sir Alfred Munnings drew especially for Jack Seely both during the war and at home afterwards. This reissue is particularly timely because of the huge interest in the forthcoming film directed by Steven Spielberg of the bestselling children's story War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, which has been a massive success on stage in London and on Broadway for the National Theatre. Our event will start at 7.00pm and the cost of tickets is £6.00 each, to include wine and eats.
We are expecting huge interest in all three events. For Pam Ayres, we will not be surprised if there is a queue down the street! For Fiona MacCarthy and Brough Scott, we would advise you to reserve your tickets in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information.
EVENTS ROUND-UP: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
We held three, very contrasting events in the late summer and early autumn.
The phrase "It's a small world" could have been invented for the first of the three, held on Wednesday 10th August at the King's Head in Bledington. The Hon Margaret Rhodes, a niece of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and a first cousin of The Queen, who had come to sign her memoir "The Final Curtsey", was reunited with Mrs Susan Gibbs, who had previously come to Stow in May to sign her memoir "Call of the Litany Bird" (see below) and who had stayed with Mrs Rhodes when she and her husband returned from Africa. They were able to catch up on all their news in between Mrs Rhodes greeting the steady flow of visitors who had come to see her and have her book signed for them. A lovely, relaxed morning, with Mrs Rhodes charming and accommodating - and not phased at all by having to drive straight back to Windsor after the event. Our thanks go to Lady Farnham for acting as intermediary between Mrs Rhodes and the Borzoi, and to Archie and Nikki Orr-Ewing and their staff for very kindly letting us use their premises and putting up with our invasion!
On Wednesday 28th September, we decamped to Adlestrop Village Hall for a talk by Val Bourne, the award-winning garden writer, photographer and lecturer. On a glorious Indian summer evening and to a packed hall, she spoke about her life and introduced her new books, "Colour in the Garden", and three "Ten-Minute Gardener" diaries for those short on time covering Flower-Growing, Fruit-Growing and Vegetable-Growing. Having taken questions from the floor, Val made a spectacular descent from the stage when she missed her footing and arrived on the floor rather quicker than she expected! To the relief of everyone, not least herself, no damage was done and she immediately recovered her sang froid and set about signing her books. I can't talk for others, but I certainly learnt a lot from Val's talk and in particular from her book on Flower-Growing.
A few days later, in yet another venue, the Masonic Hall next to the Borzoi, we welcomed Jim Wilson, the author of a gripping true story of a Nazi spy in London during the 1930s, "Nazi Princess: Hitler, Lord Rothermere and Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe". We were treated to a fascinating tale of cunning, duplicity, nepotism, power and money, from which my conclusion was "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose". Those who attended were held spellbound as the saga unfolded, wondering how many other similar characters and situations have still to be revealed from the annals of history. Those who didn't missed a real treat. Our thanks go to Jim and his wife for coming all the way from Norwich just for our event, but also our apologies for a disappointing turn-out.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------REPORT ON OUR MAY EVENTS
We have had two very successful and enjoyable events during the last few days. At Eyford, we welcomed Duff Hart-Davis and Jilly Cooper, who signed copies of their latest books. They were both on good form and chatted happily and tirelessly with those who came to see them. The sun shone (most of the time), the wind blew and the setting was idyllic. We enjoyed good business throughout the day and the most popular books, apart from those of our guests, were Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden, The World of the Lurcher and The English Country House (thanks partly to Eyford House appearing on the jacket!). Thousands of people enjoyed a splendid day out and hopefully lots of money was raised for two very worthy causes.
Last night, Susan Gibbs gave a very moving talk about the trials and tribulations of living in Rhodesia during UDI. It is a country, indeed a continent, very dear to the hearts of many people living in the Stow area, and so not surprisingly over 40 people packed into the meeting room at the Talbot. It was indeed a case of standing room only! It was also not surprising that after the talk so many people wanted to buy Susan's book, their appetite whetted for the whole story. There was also the opportunity for the exchange of personal experiences with Susan. The evening was deemed a great success by all concerned, and we hope that it will be the first of many such events in the coming months. Our thanks go not only to Susan and Tim Gibbs, but also to the publishers Arthur and Rachel Cunynghame of Loose Chippings Books in Chipping Campden.
Finally, huge thanks to all of you who supported us at these events, and indeed who support us at the shop. Without you there would be no us!
Some more information on the events we have planned for May.
We have taken a stand at the Country House Plant Sale at Eyford House, near Stow, on Sunday 22nd May, running from 10.00am to 4.00pm. This promises to be a huge event - almost 5,000 people attended the last such event locally a few years ago. Eyford House itself has been in the news recently as the winner of England's Favourite House in the Country Life competition. It is, of course, not just a plant sale - there will be a tented shopping emporium with fashion, home and garden trade stands (and us!), local food and wine, a military band and a lovely private garden to visit. The whole event is in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund and the Countryside Alliance.
We are thrilled to have the support of two famous local authors. Duff Hart-Davis, the distinguished biographer, naturalist and journalist, will be signing copies of his latest two books, Among the Deer: In the Woods and On the Hill: A Stalker Looks Back and The War That Never Was: The True Story of the Men who Fought Britain's Most Secret Battle, between 10.00-11.00am and 2.00-3.00pm. The prices of the books are £25.00 and £14.99 respectively.
Jilly Cooper, the journalist, writer and media superstar, will be signing the paperback of her latest blockbuster, Jump!. We have yet to agree at what time Jilly will sign her book, but it is likely to be between the two slots allocated to Duff Hart-Davis. We will update this page as soon as we know the exact times.
In addition to plentiful supplies of these books, we will have a wide-ranging selection of the latest titles. Hopefully, there will be something to tempt you! This will be a really exciting - and busy! - day for the Borzoi, and we do hope that you will be able to come along and support us and the authors as well as a very worthy cause.
A few days later, on Thursday 26th May, we will be welcoming Susan Gibbs, the daughter-in-law of the last Governor-General of Rhodesia, who will be talking about her experiences of living through the atrocities as Rhodesia became Zimbabwe and about bringing up a family on a farm amidst the chaos. Her talk coincides with the publication of her book, Call of the Litany Bird: Surviving the Zimbabwe Bush War, copies of which she will sign at the event. This will take place in the first-floor meeting room at the Talbot in the Square, Stow, starting at 6.30pm. We will be making a small charge of £5.00 for this event, but this will include tea or coffee beforehand. Tickets are available now from us or on the door on the day. Anthea has thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, so it should be a really interesting and moving talk. If you can come and support us and Susan, that would be wonderful. We hope that it will be the first of other similar events that we would like to hold in the coming months. Incidentally, the book is published by Loose Chippings, an independent publisher based in Chipping Campden, which has a small but select number of titles to its credit, including one on the Guild of Handicraft and the Hart family of silversmiths. We are really pleased to be supporting this local publisher.
We had a very happy and successful morning with Adam Henson at the White Hart Inn on Tuesday 12th April. More than 100 people came and Adam chatted with them all, signed his new book for them and had his photograph taken with his many fans. He was just as he is on television, friendly, relaxed and down-to-earth. The Echo and the Journal sent photographers and the venue was ideal, and although we didn't sample the food, it looked delicious as the waiter passed through with breakfast for the guests. A donation was subsequently made to Useful Vision, the charity set up by Adam's sister to help blind and partially-sighted children and their families in the North East of England get the most out of life.
------------------THE DOWAGER DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE
We had a very enjoyable and successful morning with the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire at the Swan Inn, Swinbrook, on Friday 17th September 2010. We decamped to the garden in the warm autumn sunshine and Her Grace signed her memoirs and chatted with her many fans for an hour and a half. The Duchess also gave an interview, which you can see below.