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Next book

The reason for the 3-week gap in posts is due to my starting a new full-time job. I've still tweaks to make to my PhD but it's basically there. So the other week I said to myself, I'm not going to try too hard to think about what I should write next - I'll see what rakes root. And I've been brought back to my Mum's book. When I think of the last version of it - for which I was granted an Arts Council award - I cringe. I tried to fictionalise it because I coldnt cope with the truth of her life. But yesterday I was reading the current issue of the Times Lit Supp and it featured a review of a book on the Catholic martyr, Margaret Clitherow, who was crushed to death in the sixteenth century. When she died her hand was cut off and kept as a relic (as you do) and is still housed at a convent in York. The reason that this review struck a chord and reinforced the feeling that I should attempt my Mum's book again is because my Mum once went to visit that hand, whilst she was a teenager at a convent in Liverpool - visits to see ancient withered hands must have been the Convent's idea of Alton Towers! Clitherow's hand was just one of a morbid collection of memories that haunted Mum throughout her life.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

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