The News

Kari Herbert at Edinburgh International Book Festival

You'll have to hurry if you want to see Kari Herbert speaking at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival. Tickets for her Sunday 11 August event - Pioneering Women to the Fore - are selling out fast! Billed as 'a celebration of great women', Kari will be speaking about her book Heart of the Hero: The Women Who Inspired the Great Polar Explorers.

She will be joined by dance critic Judith Mackrell, whose book Flappers features those glamorised, mythologised and demonised women of the 1920s. With the discussion chaired by Claire Armitstead, the literary editor of The Guardian, it is sure to be a lively event with compelling insights into some of history's most engaging women.

The event takes place at the Festival's Peppers Theatre between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Sunday 11 August. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the EIBF website.

New memoir reveals startling impact of cancer on carers

Cellmates: Our lessons in cancer, life, love and loss by Rose T Clark is the astonishing true account of John and Rose’s gruelling experience of cancer, the eventual death of one, the grief and recovery of the other. It is published by Saraband on August 1, 2013.

The real-time pace of the book powers the reader along the couple’s rollercoaster of despair and hope during their struggle with John’s cancer, and shows unequivocally what they had to endure – both John, as sufferer, and Rose, as partner and carer.

Author Rose T Clark said: “During the last years of John’s life I wrote as a way to cope; deeply private, uncensored words not meant to be read. When John found the diary entries and letters, he asked me to promise I would share our story – what we had learned emotionally and practically, and the hope we found even in the darkest of times.

“If Cellmates helps even one person to deal with the challenges of cancer and caring for someone with it, then this book is worth writing. I also hope to raise awareness of the critical importance of support organisations such as Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Marie Curie Cancer Care.”

Prominent cancer specialists have praised Cellmates for the help it could give to cancer sufferers and their families. Dr Elspeth Salter, a Clinical Psychologist with Maggie’s, urges all health professionals involved in cancer care to read it, so vividly does it describe what matters most to patients and their loved ones.

Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s, said: “Rose’s book is breathtakingly honest but also sad, touching, funny, inspiring and, perhaps most importantly, filled with love. It shows that there is a way forward after losing someone you love to cancer.”

For every copy of Cellmates sold, 10p will be donated to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and 10p to Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

Your Country Needs YOU: the poster that never was

Saraband will soon be releasing a new book that explodes the popular myths surrounding the famous World War I recruitment poster featuring Lord Kitchener with pointing finger, exhorting you to 'do your bit'.

Your Country Needs You by James Taylor argues that although the Lord Kitchener image is much loved and indisputably a design classic, an official recruitment poster of the image never even existed!

'Just like many other people, I’m fascinated by the simple striking image of Lord Kitchener,' says Taylor. 'With his steely stare, accusing finger and the memorable slogan "Your Country Needs YOU", it is a poster that we all feel we know so well. It’s widely believed to have been the most popular design of World War I and one that was instrumental in recruiting millions of men for active service. 

'However, the truth is: that simply wasn’t the case. It’s an urban myth.

'Government records and photos from the time reveal the quite shocking fact that "Your Country Needs YOU" is, in fact, an imagined poster. Although there were more than 200 wartime posters produced by official and private organisations, there is no evidence of the existence of a poster featuring a finger-pointing Lord Kitchener with mass appeal.'

In his book, which is also a celebration of stunning WWI propaganda posters, Taylor asserts that the Kitchener image started life as the cover of the popular magazine ‘London Opinion’ on 5 September 1914 – and that a belief in the influence of a poster bearing the same image has come about only because the notion has been incorrectly reinforced by eminent historians and newspaper accounts over the last century. Also, the original artwork for the magazine was acquired by the Imperial War Museum in 1917 and was mistakenly catalogued as part of the poster collection, hence contributing towards the ensuing confusion.

'This new research flies in the face of the popular and academic thinking about the poster,” says Taylor. “The finger-pointing Lord Kitchener design is so simple and yet so striking, especially when combined with a slogan that’s easy to remember. It is the adaptability of the design and slogan that has ensured its long-term popularity.'

Your Country Needs You by James Taylor is published on 29 August 2013. It tells the true story behind the poster, and celebrates its designer Alfred Leete and his fellow artists of the period. The book contains over 100 full colour reproductions of propaganda posters.

Diary Date:

Your Country Needs You is being launched at the National Army Museum in London on September 7, 2013. The museum will be hosting a special event celebrating British war posters from the English Civil War to the present day. For more details, see or call 020 7881 6000. 

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