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The Road to Apple Dumpling Bridge

by K L Knowles

book social history film studies publishers It's 1939. The woodland creatures of Gosport are enjoying their annual fete at Fort Rowner, with dancing, cake-baking, and a dazzling air display by the Red Sparrows. But war will soon shatter their joy. Admiral Gizor, the evil grey squirrel that rules Portsmouth, dreams of a 'pedigree' society and invades Gosport in order to exterminate its red squirrels. Gosport is alluring for another reason too: Gizor has long suspected that an ancient holy relic - an acorn carved by Hudsonicus, the animal god - is hidden there. With that in his grasp, he could rule the world. Agatha Mumby, a feisty red squirrel, joins a small band of resistance fighters. With her comrades - a moody mole, a dopey white rabbit and an eager-to-please seagull - she sets out on a perilous journey that will take her into the heart of enemy territory. Armed only with a riddle given to her by a friendly squirrel monk, can she crack the code in time? In this gripping novel, K L Knowles draws you into a world where the landscape is so familiar - from the Alver Valley and Priddy's Hard to Portsmouth Dockyard and Portchester Castle - but is not the world you know.

Paperback, 338 pages, £9.99
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Read an extract from The Road to Apple Dumpling Bridge in Issue 13 of Inside Story

Felix Wild
A Foundling on Board HMS Warrior

by Peter Broadbent

book social history film studies publishers Gosport, 1860. Felix Wild has lived on the streets and on his wits for all his young life. He's been a mudlark at The Hard, eaten tallow when there was nothing else to be had, picked oakum in Forton Gaol, and acquired a skill for 'tup-tup-tupping' from the women of Haslar. He has no family, no idea of how old he might be, and has never heard of Christmas. But he has one remarkable talent: he can make a perfect drawing, from memory, of anything that he has seen. Saved from a further spell in prison by the wealthy William Kettle, Felix joins the Kettle household in East London and is employed to make drawings of the building of a magnificent new iron-clad vessel, HMS Warrior. His eagerness to learn new things knows no bounds: from working out how to use a knife and fork, and reading a dictionary from cover to cover, to being given the 'tipsy key' for the chronometers during his first voyage on board Warrior as she conducts sea-trials. While the men he meets are in awe of his drawing skills, the young women are absorbed in rather less cerebral matters, namely the fit of his fashionably tight 'gas-pipe' trousers and his distinctive looks - one eye is blue, the other green. Felix Wild is a captivating novel that has all the affectionate humour and vivid sense of place that has made Peter Broadbent's naval memoirs so popular.

Hardback, 342 pages, cover price £18, our price £15
ISBN 978-1-911105-21-3

Paperback, 342 pages, £10.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-22-0

Felix Wild and the Blockade Runners

by Peter Broadbent

book social history film studies publishers Felix Wild is approaching his seventeenth birthday, if the horse doctor who originally estimated his age by examining his teeth is correct. He still has the remarkable ability to memorise and draw anything he has seen, but is now looking for a fresh challenge. Studying navigation appeals to him but fate - in the shape of Admiral Millinhall-Slice - intervenes, and he is whisked away from the comfortable home of Mr and Mrs Kettle on a dangerous mission into the heart of the American Civil War aboard a blockade-runner. In this witty and engaging novel, Peter Broadbent creates characters worthy of Charles Dickens, including Pearly Yardstick, a carriage driver who - to the astonishment of the Kettle household - is not only a woman but one with 'the backside of an Epsom Derby winner'; Captain Achilles De'Kedge, whose walking stick was fashioned from the timbers of HMS Pickle, the ship that brought home the news of Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar; and Doshie Dibbler, a mere thirty-three inches tall, but a perfect example of miniature womanhood.

Paperback, 338 pages, £10.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-37-4

Black Antigone

Sophocles' Tragedy Meets the Heartbeat of Africa
by George Porter

book social history film studies publishers Black Antigone is a provocative and fresh interpretation by George Porter of Sophocles' tragedy, based on the belief that the potent rhythms of the African people were much more a part of ancient Greece than has ever been suggested - especially by the Victorian classics professors on whose translations of Antigone many generations have relied. In the play Black Antigone, these African 'roots' are most evident in the controversial treatment of the Chorus, which beats with the rhythmic heart of Africa, reminding us not only that this was supposed to be a Dionysian revel, but that it was Africa that gave us the rhythms of reggae, rhythm-and-blues, and rock. Literary critic Terry Eagleton has described Black Antigone as "remarkably inventive" and Ruth Little of the Young Vic Theatre Company called it "rigorous and muscular". In addition to the play itself, the book includes a critical introduction and a bibliography.

Accompanying the book is an audio CD which brings to life the music and rhythms that George Porter envisages for the Chorus. It can be used for study purposes or in a theatre to complement or replace live musicians.

Paperback and CD, 63 pages, £10.99
ISBN 978-1-909-183-23-0
Special discounts for multiple-copy purchases by theatre groups: see Terms page

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Felix Wild and the Great Tea Race

by Peter Broadbent

book social history film studies publishers Captain Achilles De'Kedge, veteran of the Royal Navy and mentor of young Felix Wild, has died. His wooden foot - an object strangely coveted by his friend Mrs Sparrow - takes pride of place next to his coffin at the funeral. But the Captain has left something else behind, in addition to a plethora of illegitimate offspring spread throughout the world: a bequest that will set up Felix for life. Before he can barely take in what this will mean for his future, Felix receives an offer from the Admiralty: to travel to China on a clipper in the Great Tea Race of 1866 and to make drawings of what he sees. The voyage takes him first from Portsmouth to Capetown on board a steamship full of female convicts (a source of fascination to the red-blooded nineteen-year-old) before he transfers to the clipper Attitude for the onward voyage. Along the way he learns what 'owt' means in Yorkshire dialect, why the vessel's captain keeps two cockroaches in his beard, why 'voracious' is a good description of the captain's wife Juggy, and how to fool people into thinking he speaks an obscure foreign language. This third and final volume of the seafaring adventures of Felix Wild is a gripping read, with all the pace, wit and colour that readers have come to expect from Peter Broadbent.

Paperback, 328 pages, £10.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-47-3

Sebastian - A Travelling Bear

by Alan Field

book social history film studies publishers When Sebastian says he wants to travel, the other toys suggest a trip to the North Pole or the Equator. But Sebastian is just a teddy-bear: how could he possibly go around the world on his own? Fate steps in, and soon he is on an adventure that takes him first to Paris and then on a train bound for Russia. Along the way, he has his portrait painted, joins a circus, becomes a magician's assistant, and is mistaken for the Abominable Snowman.

Paperback, 118 pages, £5.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-11-4
Read an extract from Sebastian - A Travelling Bear in Issue 9 of Inside Story

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My Wight Little Isle

Very Much a Novel
by Peter Broadbent

book social history film studies publishers It's 2008 and Jeremy Stubbles (or 'Stubbsy' as he's better known) is due to turn 30. Born and bred in Cowes, Isle of Wight, he lives a bachelor existence in his Art Deco flat overlooking the Solent. He is the proud owner of a floor-shaking Wurlitzer Bubbler jukebox, a retro king-sized water-bed, last season's Musto jacket and a Ford Scorpio that is lovingly valeted as soon as the suggestion of a speck of dust mars its finish. Despite these enviable assets, he never seems to quite succeed in enticing eligible young women back to his flat to admire the view from the bedroom. Maybe it's the eccentric behaviour of Nobby and Bobby, his African grey parrots? Or Angela, his cleaner, who feels that having a tidy fridge would do wonders for Stubbsy's love-life? But Stubbsy's life is about to change when the delectable Judith Onions arrives on the scene. In this comic novel, Peter Broadbent perfectly captures the spirit of life on the Island - from the realities of the Isle of Wight Festival, Cowes Week and the Brambles Bank cricket match, to the fantasies of the arm-wrestling championship, the 'Thong in Cheek' underwear boutique, and skinny-dipping in the Medina.

Paperback, 370 pages, £8.99
ISBN 978-1-909183-47-6
Read an extract of My Wight Little Isle in Issue No. 5 of Inside Story

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The Legend of John Macnab

by James Christie

book social history film studies publishers John Sandiman is a librarian at a run-down Glasgow college full of feckless students and overseen by hopeless jobsworths. Fed up with his job, still mourning the cowardly way that Jessica, his ex-girlfriend, dumped him and bemoaning the apathy of the Scots, Sandiman dreams of the time when Caledonia was led by kings. So when Natalie, his colleague and drinking buddy, mentions something called The Book of Deer, he takes no notice. After all, there's little a librarian can do to change the world. Or is there? What Sandiman did not anticipate was that a fictional character from Scotland's past would come vibrantly to life, hurling him into a quest to face his own past and change his country's future. Spanning two millennia from the sea kingdom of Dalriada to the Scottish referendum of 1997, The Legend of John Macnab takes readers behind events they thought they knew and brings them face-to-face with a forgotten icon more splendid than the Stone of Destiny.

Paperback, 250 pages, £9.99
ISBN 978-1-909183-96-4
Read an extract from The Legend of John Macnab in Issue 8 of Inside Story

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An Incident on the Gosport Ferry

by David Gary

book social history film studies publishers It all started, weeks ago, when the vicar's cheap sherry - liberally dispensed after the service - went to their heads. Their little group discovered they were angry and frustrated about so many aspects of their everyday lives as pensioners. What they needed was an outlet for all these frustrations before they boiled over. As they gazed at the Gosport Ferry, plying back and forth across the harbour, the idea came to them for a protest that would really make people sit up and take notice. Hardy was happy to take the lead: it was just what he needed to show Joyce, his domineering wife, that he wasn't ready to be written off just yet. But even simple plans have a way of tying themselves up in knots...

Paperback, 239 pages, £9.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-58-9

A Good Year for the Roses

by Amanda J Field

book social history film studies publishers Derek doesn't have much going for him. He only puts up with the long hours minding his brother's strawberry stall because at night he can become a different person, calling himself 'Hank', donning a Stetson and fronting a country-and-western band. He's modelled his voice on that of his idol, the Nashville star George Jones, and fantasises that one day he might fly to the US to see him sing at the Grand Ole Opry. But with a council house, four kids and no money it's an impossible dream. Taking a break one hot summer's day in the forest opposite the strawberry stall Derek overhears something that will put him in grave danger. Something that will bind him to a man he has never even met.

Paperback, 222 pages, £9.99
ISBN 978-1-911105-55-8

Never Let Her Slip Away

by Kay Christopher

book social history film studies publishers It's 1980. Barbara Blaize lives a comfortable but conventional existence, married to Andrew - an architect - who enjoys having a stay-at-home wife. But she feels there is something missing: a life of her own, where she can be more than just a wife, a sister or a daughter. When she enrols on an antiques course and meets professional dealer Ian Avery, she sees new opportunities unfolding. But on that course she meets someone else who will change her life forever. Her natural kindness and good manners mean that she inadvertently encourages social misfit Gilbert Smart. The repercussions will be devastating.

Paperback, 256 pages, £9.99
ISBN 978-1909183-97-1
Read an extract from Never Let Her Slip Away in Issue 8 of Inside Story
Download a reading-group guide to this book in PDF format

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