Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Wren-like Note: launch imminent

An update: A Wren-like Note, my biography of Maxwell Gray, is now finished and uploaded to the publisher, and I'm expecting a proof copy at the beginning of December. All being well, the book will go live then.

Just so you know what the deal is: this is a very geeky biography of a little-known author whose biographical details are sparse. Her own stated opinion was "There is so little to tell about me ... so little that can be told", so this is not a book packed solid with non-stop life story. Whole swathes of her life, especially in her younger days, are a virtually closed book. Nevertheless, her works are intensely autobiographical in their recycling of what she knew, and places she had visited. To me, they abound with fascinating regional, cultural and geographical detail: Isle of Wight locations and dialect, the dangerous technicalities of driving a heavy-horse wagon, the Indian Rebellion, the sighting of Donati's comet, the culture of Menton (a French winter resort) in the Edwardian era, and much more, often with crystal-clear authorial asides. A Wren-like Note is a book with the mindset of JSBlog: to digress into anything about Maxwell Gray - life, works, and contemporary reviews - that seems pertinent and interesting.

Meanwhile, A Wren-like Note ( is the support site for the book. But it's turning out to be a little bit more: a website and weblog to celebrate Maxwell Gray, and provide a central focus for finding her works online.

- Ray

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