Papercuts and Curses

As part of the World of An Insignificant Woman project I collaborated with some of my other relatives, custodians of Marjory’s photo albums, to digitise the old images she kept.

Last year I uploaded a collection of Victorian portrait photographs to a set entitled ‘Harriet Bennett’s Photo Album‘. Swollen with the sharing spirit of the Internet, I gave the images a permissive Creative Commons Licience. My hope was that they might act as a prompt or support for other people’s creative projects.

The first instance of this hope being realised is ‘Papercuts and Curses‘ by Sam Meekings. It uses my scanned image of a young and now anonymous aquaintance of Harriet Bennett to illustrate a story about a young adventurer. Sam begins his story with a liberating broadside against an old writing cliche:

The standard advice to those thinking of becoming writers is to write what you know. The fact that this is clearly the most ridiculous and restrictive piece of advice imaginable does not seem to put people off from repeating it again and again. Edward Gregory Charles was determined to follow it to the letter: with the pragmatism typical of the late nineteenth century, he made it his mission to fill up his mind with experiences.

Read the entire piece on Medium (Twitter founder Evan Williams‘ new project).

As the first chapter of The World of An Insignificant Woman explains, Harriet Bennett turned her hand to poetry in her youth. And her daughter Marjory was obviously very enthusiastic about literature. Sam’s story, about travelling the world and finding you cannot express your experiences, would also have appealed: recall the later chapters of the book, where Ta writes about how Marjory would have loved to have gone on similar adventures! So I am quite sure that both women would have approved of this new use of their photo archive.

I would be delighted if other authors (on Medium or elsewhere) wrote stories based on other images in the Harriet Bennett collection.

(Cross-posted on my personal blog)


Women’s Library to Move to the LSE

Some good news: The Women’s Library, which holds the papers of Marjory Ingle and Catherine Thackray, as well as physical and electronic copies of The World of An Insignificant Woman, has found a new home at the London School of Economics.

The Womens Library collection will move to the Lionel Robbins Building in Central London next year.  (link)

Rate The Book!

Right then. This is a call out to all those who have bought the book; all those who are related to me; and all those who are related to Marjory Ingle  (I suspect the venn diagramme for those three constituencies overlaps a great deal).

The publishing project is over, and the promotional project is about to begin!

First, please re-visit the page for the book, log-in, and leave a rating (five stars, please).

Second, please visit the Amazon pages for the paperback and Kindle versions, and leave a high rating and a gushing review in those places too.

Done that?  Good.  Now you can go about your business.

Kindle Version in the Amazon Store

Kindle Store screen shot

As promised, the Kindle version of The World of an Insignificant Woman is now available from the Amazon Kindle store.

When I uploaded the file, the system insisted on a minimum price for the book.  Since profit is not a motive, I have set the lowest possible price, 77p (or 99¢ in the US store).  However, I know it is possible to set a zero price for Kindle editions if you wish, and I will attempt to make the price free as soon as I can.  Free electronic versions are available on this site, of course.

A Score In (Digital) Metre

Thomas Sharp

The author photograph for ‘A Score In Metre’ by Thomas Sharp

A pleasant surprise: A Score In Metre, a book of poems by Thomas Sharp, has been digitised by the Internet Archive Project.

The copy of the scanned book was provided by the University of California, and the actual scanning work involved was sponsored by Microsoft in 2010.  There are PDF, Kindle, EPUB and text versions available.

Vist the A Score In Metre page on the Internet Archive.

I came accross this page because I was doing a bit of online research to see whether it would be worth Sabrina Press re-publishing Tom’s poetry, as a companion to The World of an Insignificant Woman.  His other poetry book, New Poems, has an entry on the Google Books index, (as does A Score In Metre) but no digital copy is available.

From page 113 of A World of an Insignificant Woman:

After his first unfortunate experience with a printer, Tom was able, in the easier post-war climate, to find a new publisher for his small volume of poems A Score in Metre, which he dedicated to ‘my beloved critic on the hearth, MY WIFE, whose mordant criticism has confined this book within so narrow limits.’ This dedication was taken up by one reviewer who commented on her ‘ruthless blue-pencil’ adding ‘if every poet had possessed such a guardian angel – and followed her advice – how much suffering the world would have escaped.’

I’ve added this quote to the Open Library entry for the collection.

Kindle and ePUB Versions Now Available

I’ve had another attempt at creating ebook files for The World of an Insignificant Woman.  This time I used Calibre, an eBook management and conversion tool.  I ran my HTML through the programme and converted the book to .Mobi and .ePUB versions.

I will make these files available in the Lulu and Amazon stores in due course.

The HTML Document

Another electronic version is available: The HTML version.

I have very deliberately created this file shorn of any design information.  I think that anyone who needs this kind of file will want it ‘vanilla’, so-to-speak.

This is by far the smallest file size of any of the versions of the book:  It is only 632 Kb.  By contrast, the files used to produce the printed version of the book were 20.4 Mb in total – more than 32 times larger.