I am pleased my talk at the inaugural Jersey Festival of Words was so well received. I also enjoyed my interview on BBC Radio Jersey today with Sarah Bailey discussing Jersey: The Hidden Histories. This Saturday 17 October 2015, a book signing will be taking place from 11am to 2pm at Waterstone’s on Queen Street, St Helier. This venue is particularly evocative as this is just a short walk from Royal Square, where the Battle of Jersey unfolded in 1781. The cover of Jersey: The Hidden Histories is of course a detail from Copley’s masterful and compelling painting of this event.
Let me set the scene as de Rullecourt’s armies make silent landfall in that bitter winter of 1781…
“Midnight has come and St Helier lies dumbstruck under the heart-stopping spell of a freezing January night. The foul breath of the Jersey winter congeals on the lintels of a hundred homes, its raw bite insinuating itself deep into the wood, the harbinger of a cold and bitter morning. The embers of their dying fires throw a smoky orange pall over the deserted streets where the good townsfolk of St Helier simper fitfully in their flea-ridden beds. The skies high above them blaze fiercely with the icy blue stars of winter…”
(From Jersey: The Hidden Histories (c) Paul Darroch 2015. Available at Amazon UK and booksellers in Jersey, Channel Islands)