|StreetBooks stand at the Book Fair|
Frank Egerton set up the Streetbooks stall very attractively, with the two novels currently on sale sharing the space. An informative piece - a kind of expansion of the blurb - was easy to read and made it possible for people to know more about what they were getting.
I'd printed a free sheet of three Edward Thomas poems - Adlestrop inevitably, which most people knew, The Owl and Thaw. It's reproduced below. And of course we had Marc's May Hill picture too.
Most sales were to people I knew as they had used the opportunity to buy a copy, very kindly, but there were half-a-dozen or so to people I didn't know and that was particularly gratifying.
The fair itself was almost entirely book-related with local publishers chiefly selling non-fiction works, some local, some not. David Fickling was selling their fairly new children's comic Phoenix - I bought one for the grandchildren; interesting to see what they make of it. Korky Paul was there too.
I spoke to someone who had self-published, using a professional type-setter but doing everything else herself. We were both aware that fiction by an unknown author is more difficult to sell than non-fiction, and that endorsements will be very important.
I like Edna Longley's comment on our old friend Adlestrop:
''The double off-rhyme 'mistier'/'Gloucestershire' , the repeated 'farther' and 'shire', make the poem's echoes linger beyond its last words."
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.º
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.