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Juliet Blaxland

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first registered 11.08.11

last online 92 days ago

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about me

Architect, cartoonist/illustrator, racing fan, army wife (Life Guards/Household Cavalry).

Author and illustrator of a series of ten 'Speedy books' for the Retired Greyhound Trust (100,000+ sold so far).

'Life in a Listed Building' photomontage series won prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (originally published as regular cartoon slot 'Oculus' in the Prince of Wales's architecture magazine).

I don't believe Authonomy is a very likely place to find a publisher, so, while I might do something about that elsewhere, I am here for fun and/or education, not the ED. I'm a spasmodic participant, prone to long absences, and I don't respond to blatant spam. I will happily try to comment constructively on your book if you ask me to, but please don't expect blind praise. I'd rather ignore than insult. I am wary of fantasy, sci-fi or anything billed as 'inspirational'. Backing Policy: what I like, for as long as I like... very rarely, from day 1 to ED.

BOOKS, complete mss available:
Fox Pop London (urban foxy farce)
Crumbling Country (rural memoir)
A Genius in Arcadia (architecture)
The Easternmost House (nature)

"I loved your books. I'm mad about Speedy." Jilly Cooper

Please feel free to contact me for any interesting 'real life' reason...
email: julietblaxland@btinternet.com
Twitter: @JulietBlaxland

[Autho high: TSR 1 and Fox Pop 99... Jun/Jul,/Aug 2012]

favourite books

In the library, alongside the taxidermy:
Tatty old orange-and-white Penguin paperbacks
P. G. Wodehouse... complete works
Francesco da Mosto... ditto (Venice, food, etc.)
Giles Worsley... ditto (C18th stables etc.)
A Reed Shaken by the Wind - Gavin Maxwell
Ring of Bright Water - Gavin Maxwell
The Places In Between - Rory Stewart
Seven Pillars of Wisdom - T. E. Lawrence
The Physiology of Taste - J-A. Brillat-Savarin
Venice is a Fish - Tziano Scarpa
Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
Summer in February - Jonathan Smith... *FILM* out now

[We have no digital photos, so pic is of Audrey H. reading]

my websites

http://www.julietblaxland.co.uk     http://www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk

HarperCollins is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

my books

A Genius in Arcadia

Juliet Blaxland

The Wizard of Durham and the Shugborough Code: an architectural whodunnit mystery tour, exploring idyllic follies, a Menagerie and a Hermit's Cell, looking for clues.


D OUOSVAVV M

The Shugborough Code is a cryptic inscription on the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough Hall; a Holy Grail-hunter's dream. One day, an article appeared in The Daily Telegraph: 'It has confounded some of the finest minds of the last 150 years, and proved irresistible to hundreds of conspiracy theorists...' But it was the accompanying photograph of the Shepherd's Monument which had the effect of an instant architectural madeleine, prompting a nostalgic search for a tatty old blue-bound manuscript...

The story which follows is an introduction to an unsung national treasure. The chief protagonist, our hero, is Thomas Wright, a most endearing character: astronomer to the aristocracy; architect of castles for cows; eccentric landscape designer; artful code-setting suspect; a genius in Arcadia...

'I have recently met with much pleasure in the acquaintance of Mr. Wright, a great mathematician and a very ingenious and good-natured Man. I have been at his House, which is the strangest-looking place I ever beheld, and appears very much like the Abode of a Wizard.' (1738)

This is part of a mission to popularise 'The Wizard of Durham' and his extraordinary architecture; to 'save from oblivion' Wright's memory, as his devoted friends wished to do.

 

Fox Pop London

Juliet Blaxland

London is overrun with foxes, just as the President is due on a State Visit...


"Unspeakable, Uneatable, Unmissable!" ******

London's fox population has finally reached crisis point, affecting trade and tourism, and disrupting the lives of millions. To cap it all, the President is due to arrive on a State Visit next week. It's time to launch Operation FOX POP LONDON and call in The F.A.F.

The Foxpert Action Force, led by Lily Todhunter, a vet, can expect spirited opposition from the SCRUFFs, led by Dan Bunting, an 'animal rights parkour artist' who speaks his own purdy precast parly. But there is a more sinister threat lurking, in the form of Sir Simon de Vile, mock-smiley boss of LyCo, and of Vulpes, Vulpes & Wolfe (and subsidiary bad company).

"There was something of the dainty doily about Sir Slimy de Vile..."

Global diplomacy and human health is at stake. Can the disparate fox-interested tribes unite against the interfering interlopers, to pull off a super-humane feat of fox-vanishing in time for the State Visit?
Will the fastidious President be impressed?

Or will it all descend into a typically British foxy fiasco?

Goodies, baddies, a villain, a car chase, children, animals, love...
FOX POP LONDON ticks every fox!


'Filmic Fiction' [not a screenplay]
A Squealing Comedy, 2012

 

The Easternmost House: A Year....

Juliet Blaxland

Utopian cliff-top dispatches from a windblown coastal cottage, conjuring a magical landscape of light and sky and water, and the wild creatures that share it.


Being the first to see the sun each day invests this place with a primitive spirit of optimism

This little book may bore you to tears or send you into a hypnotic trance with its unavoidable soundtrack of crashing waves. The 'characters' may be wild animals or birds and the 'plot' may be a sandstorm or a shipwreck, but all of it is true and real.

Life here is brightened and disrupted by nature and the outdoors, but it is not the neatly visited outdoors of rucksacks and rambling and the nature-spotter's notebook. This is the lived-in outdoors of the everyday, of the firewood forager, the improviser, the poet-adventurer.

This is essentially a book of solace and escape: from modernity, from urban life, from the tyranny of office walls and hours, and even from the mass of humanity itself. I wish you could come and stay in this bright landscape of land and sea and sky, but you can always visit the Easternmost House vicariously instead, cleverly avoiding the untidy inconveniences and creature discomforts inherent in a life lived so closely connected to the natural world. There is no better place than this.

 

Crumbling Country

Juliet Blaxland

The cliff is crumbling; society is crumbling; England is crumbling; but can old-fashioned values triumph against a tide of modernity during one sunny Suffolk summer?


This is the England of sunlit uplands and daisies on lawns, of Ladybird Books and P.G. Wodehouse, of plimsolls and wooden tennis rackets, where village cricket still happens and blue wheelie-bins overflow bounteously on a hot summer's day...

There is a recycling crisis in the outbuildings, and the local dearth of a crucial ingredient for making elderflower cordial is a bit of a trial. An unidentified livestock-worrying creature may be on the prowl in this gentle landscape, and some prize-winning free-range pigs need to be rounded up and rescued off the beach. An artistic crop circle is slain by the roar of big yellow combines, making clouds of harvest dust in the great drought. The church is empty, hunting has been banned and inventive fund-raising ideas are running dry. To cap it all, people no longer seem able to write proper thank-you letters.

The country is clearly going to the dogs; but a stiff upper lip and the solid old-fashioned values of rural England will surely prevail over the transient irritations of modern life...



Cold Comfort Farm hides Straw Dogs in the woodshed.
[Complete manuscript available]

 

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leave me a message

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latest

FrancesK wrote 17 hours ago

Hey Juliet! How near are you to Sotterly? I am having a book event th....

Branestawm's cat wrote 92 days ago

Hello, Juliet. Haven't seen you for ages. Mind you, I haven't been he....

tgreen wrote 92 days ago

Many thanks for the backing. Foxes ahoy....

Debbie R wrote 92 days ago

Hi Juliet Good to see you back on the site. A belated happy new yea....

tgreen wrote 101 days ago

Hello a marvellous book.....as a fellow fox lover I'd love your th....

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my comments

latest

I wrote 302 days ago

The Legendary Delights is a lovely idea, although it relies enormously on the success of the illustrations, so can't be fully appreciated here. I need to give it a fair crack of the whip reading-wise before commenting sensibly, but my first thought is that it desperately needs the word 'food' somew... view book

I wrote 302 days ago

Sell the Pig is an excellent title. The average good-life-abroad addict should be attracted to the book by the title alone, but even the most avid fan of the genre may sometimes become weary of the same well-worn path: the magic money that allows the spontaneous buying of crumbling farmhouses; the ... view book

I wrote 422 days ago

Zamorna has been on my absolutely-must-read list ever since I first spotted the name 'Vermilion' in it, ages ago. Vermilion, by Norah G. Shaw (1935), about a baby dragon called Spooflunks among many other things, is quite the best book in the world, ever, but that's another story... I'll be back ... view book

I wrote 422 days ago

Mrs Windsor's Island deserves high praise for the idea, short pitch and cover design alone. It is written in a quite appealingly laid-back style, given that is also has a bit of 'an agenda', and I can imagine it selling in large numbers if actively and cleverly marketed to a sympathetic target audi... view book

I wrote 422 days ago

Th Rothko Room is competent, confident and gently funny, with a cleverly spun-out ...yarn, caper, adventure... that sort of word for 'story and.or plot. I'm afraid I never really care too much what actually happens next, preferring to be immersed in a parallel little world, so the success of a book... view book

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