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CONTRASTS 21c (September 2018)
When the author, Bill Caplan, and his wife traveled to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to visit and learn about the ethnic settlements in the mountain highlands and river deltas, no book was intended. They sought only to meet people and explore their environs. What transpired instead was an eye-opening experience about human adaptability, the incredible contrasts between rural and city life still present in this 21st century, a reflection on life's values. They returned with more than 10,000 photographs and a lot to ponder. Contrasts 21c is a photo essay about people and places in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia that hopes to bring attention to the cultural diversity of this region and its challenges. The warmth of the people they met, their adaptability and spirit are what inspired this book.
THE RYE HOUSE - AN INVESTIGATIVE HISTORY (September 2018)
With nearly 600 years of history, involving plots, intrigue and paranormal activity, it is surprising that no one has ever before written the definitive history of the Rye House in Hertfordshire. The Rye House – An Investigative History aims to do just that. Through meticulous research, Phil Holland has written this fascinating account, taking the reader from the House’s fifteenth-century origins, through to Tudor times when Catherine Parr spent part of her childhood there; to the Rye House Plot of 1683 – a plan to assassinate King Charles II and the Duke of York; to the widely reported paranormal activity and apparitions; and finally to the present day. The Gatehouse is all that now remains of the fifteenth-century brick-built fortified manor. It is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument and as such is protected by law. The Moated Enclosure is considered to be one of the finest examples of the period in Hertfordshire.
It is hoped that this book will enthuse people about the Gatehouse and the history of the Rye House, and that they in turn will come to treasure the building and recognise its importance as a piece of our country’s history.
Read some reviews of Elvis Style at the following links: Library Review Elvis Blog - MSN - Fashion Fladen Denmark - Man London - Paste Magazine - Square Mile - Islington Gazette - The Greaser and the Doll - The King's World - Tennessee Rose - The Chic Geek - Denim - New Musical Express - Elvis Information Network - Elvis Fan Club Magazine - It's All Style to Me - Hungry Caramella - Elvis News
Read the FT's new review of Matt Nixon's Pariahs here.
Robert France's wonderful book 'Along the Way' has received another glowing review. This one is from the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
This is a magnificent thought provoking work, one that succeeds in weaving a historical and contemporary literature review into a travelogue, coupled with an evocative photographic record of the journey. The reader is challenged to reflect on the depth and meaning of the ‘Camino’ against the expertise or ‘Camino Cultural Capital’ of the author.
Robert France completes an exhaustive literature review of previous studies and commentaries on the ‘Camino’, past and present, and continuously emphasises how this publication is unique in approach, beginning with the route chosen to complete, the time of year to do it and how the book is written using a thematic approach. The attention paid to architectural detail, coupled with a photographic record, produces something of ‘distinct scholarship’. The keenness of the author’s observation and the images he uses to convey this are reminiscent of the approach taken by Christopher Alexander - the respected American thinker and architect in his book A Pattern Language. The style of writing is a constant weaving of knowledge, facts, personal thoughts, emotions and criticism into a pattern of themes such as adventure, joy, contact and contemplation. The book skilfully combines profound observations with personal reflection so that the author’s journey goes beyond the spiritual and physical. The author quotes Walter Starkie on how a pilgrim tries to collect his memories as a ‘backward journey through time and a forward journey through space’.
The reader is constantly aware of Robert France’s ‘Camino / Cultural Capital’ be it in Architecture, Landscape, Literature, Art, Food, Film, Music or Electronic Games. The details of observations given, often crafted into stories, engage all the senses, which provokes a transcendental reflection or meditation on the places and artefacts and how they came to be. This inspires interest and curiosity to follow the route. Occasionally, the critique by the author borders on cynicism leaving the reader disillusioned as to what would satisfy him. Yet, eventually Robert France allows himself to express emotions such as the ‘most moving experiences of the entire pilgrimage and one of the most spiritual moments I have ever felt inside a church’. Frankly, he admits he prayed for the first time in years. This allows for a wider audience to participate in what is powerful about the ‘Camino’ and in particular this book. Robert France’s dedication and determination is never-ending, evidenced in particular, when four years after the pilgrimage he engaged in the ‘Portal of Glory’ ritual with a replica of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. ‘The long pilgrimage of places and pages is over.’
By: Frances McGettigan. Lecturer in Tourism, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Ireland.
© International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage ISSN 2009-7379
Volume 4(1) 2016, Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijrtp/