Dido and the Elephant & Castle — Calmgrove

In Joan Aiken’s The Cuckoo Tree we saw Dido Twite in the West Sussex town of Petworth coming to terms with plaguy coves and being aided by kind well-wishers. Dido now has to find a way to circumvent more shenanigans to ensure that the urgent naval dispatch she has been guarding for Captain Hughes gets […]

via Dido and the Elephant & Castle — Calmgrove


Dido in Petworth — Calmgrove

The latest in a series of posts exploring the background to Joan Aiken’s The Cuckoo Tree, set in an alternative history in which Hanoverian kings never reigned in Britain, despite attempts to usurp the Stuart throne We last saw Dido Twite flitting between Tegleaze Manor and Dogkennel Cottages in an effort to ensure Captain Hughes’ […]

via Dido in Petworth — Calmgrove

Tegleaze — Calmgrove

Those who’ve been following my vademecum as I explore Joan Aiken’s The Cuckoo Tree will realise that, unlike some of the other Wolves Chronicles, the author has based many of her fictional places on ones still existing in our world. For example, the Dolphin Inn in Chichester, where Dido hired a carriage for the wounded […]

via Tegleaze — Calmgrove

What next

I’ve retired from teaching again – this time from supply work rather than a permanent post. It was all just too “Groundhog Day” for my liking (been there, done that, have the tee-shirt). Hopefully, while job hunting, I’ll be able to begin regular posting again and reboot the music and iBook work.


Operating in the dark — Calmgrove

Ursula Le Guin: The Tombs of Atuan (1971) in The Earthsea Quartet 1993 Penguin Sequels are notoriously hard things to pull off; many authors struggle. Does one offer a second helping of the same ingredients on the grounds that readers seem to like more of the same, with just a few details changed for the […]

via Operating in the dark — Calmgrove

Joan Aiken’s school-days. — Joan Aiken

This is Joan’s idyllic picture of a swimming afternoon at the river with school friends; her (rather stylish!) signature is on the left. In the 1930’s Joan went to a small girls’ school in Oxford which had many eccentricities. One was that their pioneering art teacher Marion Richardson preferred the girls to write with dip […]

via Joan Aiken’s school-days. — Joan Aiken