Denny Bradbury speaks about fiction and looks at her own writing. She explains why she writes and her inspiration.
Harper Lee has hardly talked to the media since her novel made her famous 50 years ago.
Reports suggest she’s agreed to help write the book.
According to Penguin, the biography will explain why Harper Lee never wrote a second book.
His early life read like some sort of legend. Bullied as a child and tormented by his colleagues at Eton you can tell where his authoritative tone as a writer came from. It probably explains his gothic tendencies and cause for his atheist views on what would have been a religious time. The myth of Shelley doesn’t stop there. He enrolled at Oxford University, a true privilege even today. Yet it’s said that he only attended one lecture…Ever. Instead he spent 16 hours a day reading. A true literary alternative rebel. His first book was Zastrozzi in 1810, a gothic novel where by he used the villain as a device to vent his views on religion. This wasn’t going to be the last time he did such a thing, a year later he published a pamphlet called The Necessity of Atheism which cost him his place in Oxford along with fellow poet Thomas Jefferson Hogg.
In 2008, it was finally acknowledged that Percy Shelley was the co-author of one of the most famous horror gothic novels all time. Frankenstein, which his wife Mary Shelley has held the title for. The thing about Shelley is that in many ways, he is an unsung hero to English literature. Having claimed to influence a host of writers including Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx and William Butler Yeats to name a few. With Thomas Hardy being a hero Denny Bradbury, its safe to say that so too is Percy Shelley.
Shelly indulged in sophisticated language techniques, such as internal rhymes. An internal rhyme involves having two rhyming words on the same line. For example, in Shelley’s The Cloud:
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
The Lake was a mirror. Dusk was drawing nigh. Light streaks of pale white and pink lifted the light blue of the sky
A simple but rather effective take upon a language which is like a flower, as it grows and later blooms.
The Kingdom of Wessex existed in South West England from the 6th century to the 10th century. It was established by the Saxons. The name Wessex derives from West Saxons.
Geographically in today’s county boundaries, Wessex would cover Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire, parts of Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Berkshire. Although it’s specific boundaries are still debated.
Historically, it was very important to the Saxons, along with its capital Winchester. They both feature in a new book from Denny Bradbury, Borvo, out this June. It’s set in the time of King Alfred the Great, whose statue is found Wessex, in the Broadway in Winchester. Borvo tells the story of a pagan boy who comes to the aid of King Alfred in the ninth century.
King Alfred the Great ruled over Wessex from 871 to 899. His title ‘The Great’ comes from his defence of Wessex and surrounding Kingdoms against the Vikings.
The golden dragon is regarded as the symbol of Wessex, with claims the West Saxons raised a golden dragon during the battle of Burford in the year 752.
Wessex still exists in some forms today, although it’s no longer considered a geographical location. Wessex Stadium is home to Weymouth Football Club, Wessex Water is the name of water company that serves most of the South West region.
Thomas Hardy revived Wessex in many of his novels written between 1872 and 1895, including Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He divides Wessex into regions, Lower Wessex, South Wessex and more. They each represent a contemporary county, for example Mid Wessex is thought to represent Wiltshire.
Hardy’s use of Wessex as a fictitious place in his novels is credited with the interest in Wessex as a geographical location today. There is even a political party dedicated to securing self-government for Wessex. They have had little success in general elections, but they do have representatives at parish levels.
Denny Bradbury sets her new novel Borvo in Wessex for its rich history and importance in the South West of England.