My passion for beautiful books come from my Dad. He read to me every night until I was about 14 I think – though I’m sure I kept quiet about it at school! Even when I’d finished being read to, I’d listen to my little sister’s stories. Her tastes were different; one of her favourites was ‘Minow on the Say’ – Phillipa Pearce. And the Little House books. I was more for Tolkein and Alan Garner. We both loved Moonfleet and Sherlock Holemes.
I love reading to my children, and Becky loves to read to hers. Hattie and I read all the Little House books. I cried when I read her Moonfleet, and completely lost my cool when I read ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’! The twins have begun their Harry Potter phase. Hattie has never grown out of hers….
What I started my Lost Houses project my Dad was in the middle of writing this wonderful book: Mr Blackwood’s Fabularium. He took time away from writing that to help me put together my Lost Houses Book. We had a wonderful time researching it together.
Now Dad’s book is out!
The structure is based on the Caterbury Tales, but instead it’s a group of travellers heading to the Great Exhibition in 1851, and sharing their tales to while away the time on their train journey.
Ever the little girl wanting a story, Dad recorded the tales for me and I’ve been listening to them in the studio. This is one of my favourites:
The Baliff’s Tale of the Jackdaws’ Wedding
It’s tale of a a jackdaw named Mr Cornelius, trying to keep up with the demands of the Lady Cornelia.
“In the meantime the latter had plenty of demands of her own. She must have a set of apostle spoons and a silver sugar caster; she simply had to have a Japanses fan; she insisted on a pair of brass nutcrackers, a soup ladle, a pearl-handled paper knife. As time went by, her demands became not only shinier, but heavier. Why she needed a paperweight – or a bust of Prince Albert or a Doulton Creamer – he never discovered, but it was clear that she would not take no for an answer.”
The book is illustrated by Talya Baldwin
Mr Blackwoods Fabularium is £8.99. Available from his website
It is also available to buy and download via Amazon