Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

books of the month
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

Bright Particular Stars A Gallery of Glorious British Eccentrics by David McKie
  

Lovereading view...

Sue Baker's view...

There are any number of books celebrating British eccentrics but David McKie, by taking a geographical view and avoiding some of the over familiar has created something fresh and very interesting. He has winkled out some true stars and while they may not all merit a full-blown biography they certainly deserve their five minutes in the spotlight. Some chapters I particularly enjoyed are G F Muntz and the creation of the “Victorian beard” phenomenon, Sir Thomas Phillipps the mad book collector and the cult of the Jezreels who bought religious fervour to Gillingham in Kent.

Like for Like Reading
In Search of the English Eccentric, Harry Hemming
Brilliant Britain, a Celebration of its Unique Traditions and Eccentricities, Jane Peyton

Synopsis

Bright Particular Stars A Gallery of Glorious British Eccentrics by David McKie

In Bright Particular Stars, David McKie examines the impact of twenty-six remarkable visionaries on twenty-six unremarkable British locations. From Broadway in the Cotswolds, where the Victorian bibliomaniac Sir Thomas Phillipps nurtured dreams of possessing every book in the world, to Kilwinning in Scotland, where in 1839 the Earl of Eglinton mounted a tournament that was Renaissance in its extravagance and disastrous in its execution, he has created a vivid patchwork of arresting narratives that together illuminate some of the most secret - but most extraordinary - byways of our national and local history. Some figures, including Mary Macarthur, who helped the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath win the right to a fair wage in 1910, were good to the point of saintliness; others mixed the admirable with the morally dubious: the composer Peter Warlock rented a cottage in the Kentish village of Eynsford where he composed a gentle song cycle, but set net curtains twitching by his hard drinking and naked motorbike riding. In Bright Particular Stars quiet, unassuming streetscapes are transformed in to beguiling, eccentric and uproarious sites of action which - through the eyes of David McKie - are once more filled with the great triumphs and failures of the visionaries that have each, in their own way, helped shape our island's rich and chequered history.

About the Author

David McKie was deputy editor of the Guardian from 1975 to 1984 and wrote both its 'Smallweed' and 'Elsewhere' columns. His books include Jabez - shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award and the Saga Award for Wit - Great British Bus Journeys and McKie's Gazetteer.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st February 2011

Author

David McKie

More books by David McKie
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Hardback
368 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781848872486

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools