A Walking Autobiography

OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK AND AS A KINDLE EBOOK – MY WALKING AUTOBIOGRAPHY

In a series of solitary journeys on foot the writer and novelist John Bainbridge explores the ethos of rambling and hiking in rural England and Scotland.

On his journey he seeks out the remaining wild places and ancient trackways, meeting vagabonds and outdoors folk along the way and follows in the footsteps of writers, poets and early travellers.

This is a book for everyone who loves the British countryside and walking its long-established footpaths and bridleways. And for the armchair traveller…Wayfarer’s Dole takes its title from an ancient tradition – In medieval times pilgrims travelling the road through Winchester to Canterbury would halt at the St Cross Hospital, a place of rest and refuge for those on holy journeys, and demand the Wayfarer’s Dole – small portions of ale and bread to ease the hunger and thirst incurred on their travels.

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The Compleat Trespasser

THE COMPLEAT TRESPASSER
Journeys into the Heart of Forbidden Britain
by
John Bainbridge

WALK MAGAZINE SAID OF THE COMPLEAT TRESPASSER:
“On a vagabonding tour through Britain’s most delightful countryside and forbidden tracts, Bainbridge charts the history of access and assesses the present state of the law. Villainous landowners feature; so do the likes of GHB Ward and CEM Joad, calling at rallies for access to mountain and moor. Gamekeepers, spring-guns and mass trespasses also get a look-in. Redolent of country air, with nature and archaeology dealt with in graphic style, the book evokes the age of campaigns before words like ‘stakeholder’ and ‘partnership’ were hatched out. The author lends his support to the England Coast Path campaign and calls for the Scottish access model to be extended throughout Britain. It’s thought-provoking stuff and well worth a read.”The_Compleat_Trespas_Cover_for_Kindle

In 1932, five ramblers in England were imprisoned for daring to walk in their own countryside. The Mass Trespass on to Kinder Scout, which led to their arrests, has since become an iconic symbol of the campaign for the freedom to roam in the British countryside.

The Compleat Trespasser – Journeys Into The Heart Of Forbidden Britain, written by outdoor journalist John Bainbridge, looks at just why the British were – and still are – denied responsible access to much of their own land. This book examines how events throughout history led to the countryside being the preserve of the few rather than the many.

It examines the landscapes to which access is still denied, from stretches of moorland and downland to many of our beautiful forests and woodlands. It poses the question: should we walk and trespass through these areas regardless of restrictions?

An inveterate trespasser, John Bainbridge gives an account of some of his own journeys into Britain’s forbidden lands, as he walks in the steps of poachers, literary figures and pioneer ramblers. The book concludes with a helpful chapter of “Notes for Prospective Trespassers”, giving a practical feel to this handbook on the art of trespass. At a time when government is putting our civil liberties at threat, destroying the beauties of our countryside, and your right to access it, this book is a most useful read.

Available in paperback and eBook on Kindle: Just click on the link to order or to start reading for free:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Compleat-Trespasser-John-Bainbridge-ebook/dp/B00CCQYAMO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1428044393&sr=1-1&keywords=compleat+trespasser

Why Indie-Writers Need Reviews…

A big thank you to everyone who’s bought or borrowed one of our books – writing can be a lonely business and it really helps to get feedback from readers. Now that so many books are bought online it really is important that readers who buy books from the big sites, such as Amazon, Kobo etc. leave reviews if they’ve enjoyed the book.

As Indie Authors, we especially appreciate your support. If you’ve enjoyed our books please leave a quick review. You don’t need to say much – just a line or two helps.

It’s a numbers game with these online booksellers – the more reviews you get the more they promote the books.

Thank you again to all our readers – and please do tell your friends about our books.

You can see a full list of our books at https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B001K8BTHO?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1552209743&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true&sr=1-1

Writing a Victorian Thriller

A few years ago I wrote the first story of a Victorian vigilante called William Quest, a gentleman adventurer with a swordstick who seeks to right wrongs and even up the injustices of society. That book was called The Shadow of William Quest. There have been two sequels so far – Deadly Quest and Dark Shadow. There’ll be a further William Quest adventure later in the year.

The whole project arose from my interest in the Victorian underworld.

I’d always wanted to write a novel that is part detective story, part thriller, and which hearkens back to the traditions of the Victorian Penny Dreadful tales and the Newgate Novel.

Many a Victorian writer wrote these popular tales, which were the staple fiction diet of the newly-literate classes in 19th century England. I’ve read a lot of them over the years. The best ones are fast-moving, often sinister and have lots of action. They are occasionally subversive, pricking at the mores of the day with often undiluted social criticisms.

Most of the writers are forgotten these days, but some went on to great heights. Even Charles Dickens used elements of the Newgate novel and the Penny Dreadful in Oliver Twist.

The first novel was set in London and Norfolk.  Deadly Quest is set entirely in London, mostly down by the River Thames. I tried to capture a real feeling of London in 1854. Fortunately, I’ve spent years studying Victorian social history – I did it as a minor subject in my university degree. I’ve devoted a lot of time since to an expanded study of the Victorian underworld, particularly as regards London. Dark Shadow moves away from London, taking Quest to the ancient city of York, which certainly had its dark side in Victorian times.

I’ve walked the streets and alleys used by my characters, by day and night. London has changed a great deal in 160 years, of course. York less so. Much of the London Victorian cityscape has been bombed or swept away by  developers. The London that is in my imagination is more real to me now than the modern city. There are traces of Quest’s London still to be seen, but they get fewer year by year…

Deadly Quest has scenes in a notorious rookery of the time called Jacob’s Island. A district of appalling poverty in Victorian times, Charles Dickens visited it with a police guard. It features in the climax of Oliver Twist. It was already partially demolished by the 1850s. The area was bombed by the Luftwaffe in the London Blitz. Redevelopment accounted for much of the rest. Today that once dreadful slum is a development of luxury flats. You can still visit Jacob’s Island, but it takes quite a leap of imagination to get back to Victorian times.

One problem I encountered in the sequels was that I revealed virtually the whole of Mr Quest’s back story in the first novel, explaining why he decided to take the law into his own hands, fighting for truth and justice and so on. In the new book we start with a completely clean slate.

In Dark Shadow, Quest is even working with the police, though he pursues the mystery in his own individual way. And at the end it becomes clear that Quest hasn’t sold out his own vigilante values.

It’s my intention to do a whole series of William Quest novels, though the original conception of a Victorian avenger has changed since the first book. The outsider now finds himself working on both sides of the law. This wasn’t unusual in Penny Dreadful novels of the Victorian Age, where the author often found his or her villain transformed into the hero.

With the creation of e-book and Indie-Publishing, writers are finding lots of new readers – a very similar situation to that experienced by Victorian Penny Dreadful writers. This new audience has appeared, eager for books. It seems to me that we should study the methods of the writers of Penny Dreadfuls and Pulp Fiction to cater for this expanding market.

They found a popularity after all, and created their own genres.

All of the William Quest books – and our other titles – are now available in paperback and as eBooks On Kindle. Click on the link below to order to see the John Bainbridge author page. 

And do please tell your friends and fellow readers about our books.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B001K8BTHO?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1552209743&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true&sr=1-1