Friday, 17 June 2011

Child Ballads. A second edition after 130 years.

In July this year the final volume will be released of the Loomis House Press second edition of Francis James Child's collection 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads'

The English and Scottish Popular Ballads was first published in ten volumes by Francis James Child between the years 1882 and 1898. The first edition, published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company was later re-printed by them in five volumes, each containing two of the original volumes.

Francis J Child was an acedemic at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and prolific in his work. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads was his greatest and most enduring work; the one by which his name is remembered today.

Since then it has only been available in facsimile editions, the most popular of which is the Dover edition. For a long time the Dover edition was unavailable, leading to sky-high second hand prices for tatty paper back copies.

Revered by lovers of poetry, songs, ballads, antiquity and folklore worldwide 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads' is one of the most sought after poetry collections.

Dover have since re-printed their facsimile edition, but until recently the first edition has been the only edition available.

Mark Heiman and Laura Saxton Heiman of Loomis House Press have changed all that.

Years' of work have gone into the production of a new edition, newly typeset and containing Francis Child's own corrections in five volumes as well as tunes from Child's own sources.

Volumes 1 - 4 have already been published and volume 5 will be available in July, completing the set.

I would like to congratulate Mark and Laura of Loomis House Press for their diligent work and celebrate the completion of this important new publication.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Quote of the week - Lessons learned

For today's quote of the week I've taken one of my favourite stanzas from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

About 152 years ago, eight hundred years after it was written, Edward Fitzgerald, author and poet, published the first edition of his translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. In all he published five editions of his translations and with each edition the wording of some stanzas changed.

He must have been particularly happy with his translation of this stanza, as he never changed the words.

This is, for good reason, one of the most famous stanzas from this epic poem. The wisdom of the words and the wordcraft of the translation combine to make it profound and memorable.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

I was reminded of this while editing Bolter Baron. My female MC finds solace in the words of Omar Khayam at a troubled moment.

She imagines that some would interpret his words as acceptance of defeat, but that isn't the message.

It is about the future, not the past. If we wallow in the mire of how we arrived here then we focus on recrimination and redress. If we plan for the future with the secure knowledge of the lessons we have learned, we can make a better life. That's what he said with those beautiful, eloquent words.

Image, Edmund Dulac Art Images. If you like this image please take a look at his website here

Friday, 10 June 2011

Book Blurb Friday...

Book blurb Friday is hosted by the fabulous Lisa Ricard Claro over at Writing In The Buff. Please do visit her excellent blog. In Lisa's words:

A "blurb" is the story summary on the back of a book (usually 150 words or less) written to entice you to read the book. Think of your visits to a bookstore or library. A book's front cover may catch your eye, but if the blurb doesn't interest you the book goes back on the shelf; if it resonates with you, you bring the book home.

The goal of this meme is to:

Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book.

This week's book blurb is for this cover photo:

So without further ado, here it is:

Hipsin's Little Trip

Little! Yeah. Hipsin's mother had always told him he was little, but this was ridiculous.

Ok, together with Dedatur he'd stolen a shuttle to escape the Droundari prisoner transport spaceship. So - no penal colony on Sweldova 9. No lifetime of sweat and toil, but this?

In the name of Wiren! That... thing was clearly a discarded refreshment container, but their shuttle could fly into the opening and they could spend two days exploring. They called me little! They had no idea.

Now they'd have to find a way to survive. Without enough fuel to get away this was their home, like it or not.

What did we do? We armed our weapons and went looking for the inhabitants. They'd be the biggest threat, so we should meet them face to face.

That was our biggest mistake...

Word count 137 excluding the title.

Please check out the other entries for the book blurb. There is a linky to them all here.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Back from travels and tagged

I've been absent from blogland recently as I've been travelling on family matters. I'm back now and raring to go. First and formost I'd like to thank three people who have tagged me. Dorothy Evans tagged me a little while ago (sorry I took so long!), and also Denise of L'Aussie Writing and Nancy Williams at N R Williams, Fantasy Author.

The way the tags work vary a little, so I'm making a kind of hybrid of them here:

1. Do you think you're hot?

The windows in my workshop make it rather like a greenhouse and even in hazy sun it gets extremely hot - so, yes.

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper you're using at the moment.

I'm working on edits for Bolter Baron at the moment, so this is difinitely on my mind. I'm also looking for a final title for the book. Bolter Baron is my working title.

3. When was the last time you ate chicken meat?

Almost every day - I love it. It tastes like chicken.

4. The song you listened to recently.

5. What were you thinking as you were doing this?

I was hoping to goodness I wouldn't have to re-write this post from scratch when my browser locked up. Sigh of relief!

6. Do you have nicknames? What are they?

I had some hilarious nicknames at school (oh, so long ago). Sometimes I was called Bison, sometimes Tibbles (a play on TB). Now I must be quite boring as people just call me Tony, although sometimes I get called Tony Maloney.

Now comes the fun bit - passing on the tag and acknowledging my wonderful followers. I've seen a lot of these tags around lately, so rather than naming specific people to pass it on to I shall do it slightly differently.

I have lots of wonderful people who follow my blog, and I'd like to acknowledge them all. I'd like to pass this on to any of my followers who hasn't been tagged. If that is you, then you may consider yourself 'it'.