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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britainís less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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Beryl Bainbridge

In a literary world populated with increasingly media savvy author-entrepreneurs Beryl Bainbridge was a throwback. She was the writer as eccentric, living largely on cigarettes and takeaways in a house whose hall was dominated by a stuffed buffalo. The writer as unworldly, sticking for many years with a publisher as non-commercial as herself. But also the writer as craftswoman, revising copy time and again, seeking the right rhythm. Every obituary of her will mention the fact that she didnít win The Booker Prize, as if that Ďfailureí somehow made her career incomplete. So she was never the writer as star, at least in the eyes of those who worship at the Booker altar. But leaving a huge body of pacy, quirky, dense and poetic novels she was the writer as writer, and so was a hero.

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Brit Quote:
Boldness is a mask for fear, however great. - John Dryden
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On this day:
Accord of Winchester - 1072, Evacuation of Dunkirk begins - 1940, Britainís Worst Road Accident - 1975
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