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Keswick School English teacher and librarian, Helen Robinson, recently launched her second book at The New Bookshop, Cockermouth. Helen, who writes under her maiden name of Haraldsen, saw the first book in her ‘Amber’s Pony Tales’ series published in March this year by new Cockermouth-based publisher, Elterwater Press.
THE SECOND BEST PONY ~ THE BOOK REVIEW ~
Attendees enjoyed a free raffle and heard Helen read an extract from the book. Both books in the series are about Helen’s childhood ponies and feature a mixture of real events that actually took place, along with some dramatisation and completely fictional elements thrown in. The extract read at the launch was about a real event featuring a naughty pony, Helen’s mother and a patch of stinging nettles. There were a few chuckles during the reading.
A Q&A session followed the reading with Helen being asked a range of questions, such as:
Autumn Colours by William H Jones Autumn has arrived at...
PERCY HOUSE GALLERY 38-42 Market Place, Cockermouth
01900 829 667
Beautiful Cumbrian scenes by William H Jones form part of the latest display at Percy House.
Now, seven months later, the follow-up title, ‘The Second Best Pony’ is also out. Helen said at the launch: “It was always a dream to get a book published but I never dreamed I’d be standing in a book shop launching a book
“Do you have a favourite horse out of all the ones you’ve owned in your life?” “What’s your writing routine?
“Do you think you’ll ever write a book for adults?”
In addition to the book launch, Helen also delivered her first school author visit of the new academic year, launching the Book Week at Hunter Hall School in Penrith. They were the first school to read ‘The Second Best Pony.’ Deputy Headteacher, Kirsten Fletcher, said of the visit: “The kids loved having you visit and were buzzing about it all day.”
Helen’s books are available from The New Bookshop in Cockermouth, Bookends in Keswick, Rookin House near Keswick and Hills in Workington.
New works include Highland Cows by Ruby Keller (above), alongside his new limited-edition, hand- finished prints of Kingfishers and Barn Owls.
New acrylics by Venus Griffiths and Nick Shaw have just been delivered.
Lots of winter woollies arriving, hand-knitted hats, scarves and quirky tea cosies.
Also, exciting new hand-made pictures in fused glass. Lots of lovely gift ideas.
SPINAL THERAPY for humans and animals Also
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY Please call Tricia on:
016973 44088 INFO@COCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK
THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH HARP
Many people believe the harp to be a Celtic instrument and are unaware of its presence in England since the 10th century. Sarah Deere-Jones (pictured) illustrated her talk with images collected over many years, from carvings, manuscripts, stained glass and wall paintings. She accompanied her talk with music and songs from Medieval England.
There are illustrations of harps as long as 3,000 years ago in countries around the Mediterranean. Italian monks were the first harp teachers. The harp evolved from the lyre played by one hand and the zither played horizontally to vertical stringing by both hands. The earliest stone carving of a group of players dating from the 8th or 9th Century can be seen on the Masham Cross in Wensleydale. Harpists are known to have accompanied armies into battle. Every king would have his personal harper. It became usual for all high-born people to play the harp. Both Henry VIII and
Anne Boleyn were known to play this instrument. By the end of the 12th Century, the harp had become a secular instrument. They were used to accompany poems and storytelling. By the 14th Century, it had become the national instrument. Musical guilds were formed to protect standards. Itinerant musicians during the late 16th Century had incurred the anger of Elizabeth I for spreading scurrilous stories through song and were banned. The popularity of the harp eventually returned to the UK from Spain. The ability of harp music to soothe the senses is well-known and it is not surprising that it was seen as ‘the music of angels’.
The next Arts Society Cumbria lecture: ‘The History of Cartoons from Hoggarth to Private Eye’ 21st November, 2.00pm, Hundith Hill Hotel, Lorton Vale.
Arts Society Cumbria www.theartssocietycumbria.org.uk
ISSUE 436 | 24 OCTOBER 2019 | 14
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