How does a writer chiefly famed for regional novels of Birmingham, the Black Country and its green borderlands achieve popularity as far away as USA, Australia and South Africa? The Midland’s best known author had 30 novels published, and his other writings included short stories, poems, plays, music and articles for newspapers and magazines. In this exhaustive work (over eleven hundred entries), Dr Michael Hall has assembled details of the whole range of the author’s literary output. This volume includes a brief synopsis of each major work, with details of publishers, foreign translations, prefaces, serializations, adaptations for film, television, radio, talking books and the earliest known reviews. There are clues to the people Young admired: those whose writings he selected as definitive quotations; those to whom his books were dedicated: the former ranging from Aeschylus to Lewis Carroll, the latter from his student landlady to a brace of prime ministers. This informative, attractively presented work will be of interest to anyone fascinated by Midlands’ history or discovering Francis Brett Young and getting ‘hooked’.
£9.95p + £2.25 p & p
ISBN 1 898844 15 3
Jacques Leclaire, Emeritus Professor of English at Rouen University and Past President of the Francis Brett Young Society has edited this attractively-produced selection of 83 letters from the Midlands’ poet and novelist Francis Brett Young, serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps to his wife in Brixham. The letters begin with Young’s arrival in Cape Town in April 1916 and end on board ship during his homeward journey in February 1917. Illustrated with Young’s own snapshots and sketches, these are wide-embracing letters, ranging from war’s suffering and brutality to the niceties of officers’ social life in Durban and Nairobi. There are insights into the books that Young was writing during his war service and Leclaire quotes four of Young’s poems not readily available to the general reader. An introduction sets the scene and there is a useful glossary identifying people named in the text. Young always intended his letters for eventual publication, and those interested in his life or life in First World War Equatorial Africa are indebted to Jacques Leclaire for making them available ninety years after they were written.
£9.95p + £2.25 p & p
ISBN 1 898844 16 3
From“Tilton was always a sweet little village”to “the recently debauched village of Tilton” read what Francis Brett Young said about Quinton: its history; its geography; its surroundings; its name; its buildings; its people – where they lived, where they shopped, what they read, how they spent their leisure time.
Though not amongst the foremost of literary settings – not like the Yorkshire Moors of Emily Brontë, the London underworld of Charles Dickens, or even the Oxford of Colin Dexter, Quinton has been thoroughly explored by Young in seven of his novels.
· Read Young’s description of Quinton from rural village to Birmingham suburb between the early 1890s and 1939;
· Foreword by Professor Carl Chinn – “Young’s description was deeply informed;”
· 129 pages with over 80 illustrations (many never previously published) brought together for the first time;
· The book ends with a consideration of whether Young’s Quinton description is fiction or fact.
Published to mark the centenary of Quinton’s annexation to Birmingham, Tilton – Francis Brett Young’s Quintonis the fourth book about Quinton and third about Francis Brett Young by local historian and chairman of the Francis Brett Young Society Dr Michael Hall.
£7.50 + £1.00 p&p
World War I in the poetry and prose of Francis Brett Young introduced by Dr Michael Hall
• 20 prose pieces and 19 poems by Worcestershire writer Major Francis Brett Young
• Each with an introduction to set its historical and literary context by Chairman of the Francis Brett Young Society Dr Michael Hall
• 148 pages
• 100+ illustrations
• 56 pages in full colour
£12.99 plus £1.60 p&p
In 2012 the Society commissioned internationally acclaimed composer Andrew Downes to set Francis Brett Young’s Ballad of St Kenelm to music. The resulting composition for orchestra, soprano, narrator and 15 actors was premiered at Hagley Music Festival in April 2015. This was followed by repeat concerts in Winchcombe, Bewdley, Romsley and Stourbridge. A composite DVD of the first three concerts is available from the Society.
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