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A composite comic novel; thirteen interconnected stories that take place over forty years. Its setting is Blindefellows, a second rate public school in the West Country

A Blindefellows Chronicle is a comic novel, comprising thirteen interconnected stories that take place over forty years. Its setting is Blindefellows, a second rate public school in the West Country, founded as a charity school for poor, blind boys, but long since converted into an ‘elite’ educational institution for anyone who can pay.

The novel runs chronologically from 1974 to 2014. In the first story ‘The Fair Filles of France’ we see the arrival of Sedgewick who starts his first teaching job at Blindefellows after an unsuccessful stint in shoe sales. Japes, who has been at Blindefellows for a few years following a career in the Royal Engineers, senses the younger man’s inexperience and determines to help remedy it by taking him on the school’s annual World Wars trip to France. Once they arrive in Bayeux, it quickly becomes apparent that the trip is a means for Japes to cavort with one of his many girlfriends.

Throughout the novel, Japes, an older chap, regularly attempts to imbue the younger Sedgewick with his worldly experience and takes it upon himself to introduce Sedgewick to womankind as a means of giving the naïve fellow some sort of fulfilling experience in life. He’s repeatedly thwarted by the timorous Sedgewick, however, who throws his energies into his love of History as a means of sating his rather watery appetite. An unlikely hero through and through, Sedgewick repeatedly finds himself driven to save the day, such as in the next story, ‘The Guardians of The Flock’ where Sedgewick tries to diffuse a siege and is himself taken hostage.

In ‘Of Art and Cheese’, out of necessity, Sedgewick thrusts himself into the role of entrepreneur. Blindefellows’ loathsome Librarian, Francis Fairchild, proposes that the strapped for cash school do away with The Flock, the school’s mascot. Sedgewick comes up with a plan to make them pay their way by establishing a creamery which he will attempt to run, much to the ridicule of the others who hear he needs to read a book on dairy farming to learn how to milk a teat.

In the fourth story it is 1984, the year of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the school, and English master, Tony Tree, bombastic descendant of Beerbohm Tree, has penned ‘A Blindefellows Chronicle’, a multi-media extravaganza to mark the great day, with Sedgewick dubiously in charge on the technical front. Meanwhile, Japes, who has been given responsibility for the social side of the event to distract him from his mid-life crisis, gets entangled in twin flings with the caterer and decorator he has hired, whom he unsuccessfully tries to keep out of sight of one another.

Later, Sedgewick finds himself in a predicament after inadvertently sputtering what is taken to be a proposal by the school’s dowdy receptionist, Yvonne. Advised by Japes to wriggle out of it, Sedgewick tries to pluck up the courage to do the deed. Her ramshackle family farm and her frightening father urge him on until he is touched by the way Yvonne tends to an abused donkey. From that point, he finds himself unable to act on his cold feet and marriage is on the cards.

Other members of the school’s bachelor community feature in the form of Toby and Les, Japes’ colleagues in the Science department. In ‘The Man in the Brown Suit’, Japes and Toby attempt to cure Les, their lab technician, of his imaginary allergies with near disastrous consequences. ‘Toby and the Tree People’ is the story that follows, set in 1989, the year of the White Paper, ‘Roads for Prosperity’. Nature-loving Toby attempts to block the razing of a favourite patch of woodland by inhabiting a tree. The Tree People of the title are a gaggle of itinerant protesters who turn up to help him, but who prove exceedingly trying.

Bachelorettes are key elements too with the landmark arrival of the first female Head of Department half way through the novel in 1994 in “The Fraulein from Brazil”. Matron Ridgeway, Japes’ female equivalent in philandering, is the clear-headed Tiresias of the novel who has to go through her own baptism of fire in chapter two when she starts work at the male-dominated Blindefellows as the school nurse.

Auriel Roe is a British Art teacher and practicing artist who has spent most of her life working her way round the globe as she’s happier in a suq than in a supermarket. Being of a philanthropic ilk, Auriel is regularly approached for donations of her artwork for good causes. Among others, she has provided commissions for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Scottish Alzheimer’s Society and the 80th birthday portrait of Dame Jane Goodall. This she manages to fit in along with her regular diverse range of commissions which have included everything from a dog wearing a sweater with pompoms to a prize-winning Arab mare in the Middle East. Auriel is a Royal Academy shortlisted artist.

Last year, when Auriel started to write A Blindefellows Chronicle, she set out with the intention of paying homage to Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse who are among her favourite authors and whom she feels are a little overlooked in today’s fiction.

It was midday on the 31st August, and the new History teacher had arrived at Blindefellows, former charity school for poor blind boys, now a second division private school for anyone who could pay. Twenty-six year old Charles Sedgewick gingerly carried one little cardboard box at a time into his assigned rooms in Loaghtan Wing, nervously avoiding the oddly prominent incisors of a flock of a few dozen minature black sheep that jostled around him. They'd been there for generations, deployed by the school's founder to crop the grass of the grounds, and were now trotting alongside him, baaing for a possible treat. Sedgewick, who sported tortoiseshell-rimmed glasses and unkempt wavy black hair, had selected a casual outfit suitable for heavy lifting on his arrival - Bermuda shorts, buckled sandals and an orange tee shirt he’d grown out of which rode up as he carried the boxes, revealing the loose musculature of his midriff.

The Deputy Head, Reverend Beaulieu Hareton and William Japes, the Physics master, watched from one of the Neo-Gothic leaded-glass windows of the Oak Room as Sedgewick, assisted by a middle-aged couple, the female of whom kept referring to him as "Charl", omitting the es, ponderously unpacked a purple Austin Allegro Estate.

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Sent to Press!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Unnamed

A Blindefellows Chronicle has been sent to press!  Digital editions will be in your mailboxes imminently and paperback editions available from Waterstones, Amazon, etc. in approximately two weeks.  Thank you for your patience...  the meticulous editors at Unbound have made this fairly polished novel into a highly polished creature and I'm delighted with it along with the excellent cover by the renowned…

Why I love PG Wodehouse

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Hello Supporters!  The end is nigh and fingers crossed by August A Blindefellows Chronicle will be in your fine hands.  The editors at Unbound have been splendid with their amazing attention to detail - surely that should be a dash there and not a comma? etc. etc. - how right they were!  I feel that, as a new author, I've had a writing course with all the tweaks they've suggested.  

Just today…

Interview out today!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Dear Patrons, 

A Blindefellows Chronicle is currently having its final creases ironed out then it's into the the type setting phase which pretty much locks it in place.  Hoping it will be out before the end of May!  The editors at Unbound have suggested some excellent little tweaks and I think it's looking wonderful.  Please see the link below to my interview, out today, conducted in usual exuberance…

getting there!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A very nice little tweet from my editor Jamie Groves who is now giving the manuscript a final check through... 'A Blindefellows Chronicle by @auriel_roe (@unbounders) - definitely one to watch. Hilarious, heart-rending, a joy to read.'   Cover design is underway so fingers crossed for a late Spring release!  

A year and a half ago I had this strange little thought... what if an older man, rather…

My First Fiver!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

I've just realized something - this week someone bought my book I earned my first ever fiver as a writer! Earlier this week, I reached the publisher's funding target which covers their costs and thereafter I will receive 50% from book sales, so thank you Derek Wilson, I don't know you personally, but this is a landmark fiver. 

Of course, like most writers, I burn the midnight oil writing, doing…

and the winner is...

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

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Rufus T Flycatcher, pictured, has stepped in to nudge my three month grovelling fest toward its happy completion; (Rufus is a fan of just about everything I do). Art teacher by day, writer of begging letters by night, but worth it in the end because I wrote the book I always wanted to read and now it's going to be read by lots of people and I hope it'll make them as happy as it makes me. I'm 99.95…

Latest Goodreads Top Review!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

'This was a very fine read that follows a few friends through the years, beginning and remaining mostly at the Blindefellows school and ending on a very personal note at the end.

It's rather charming, through and through. :)

I frankly found the characters a hoot and the evolving nature of the private school, its history and how it changes through the years, a character in itself. It was great…

Another great Goodreads review from top ten reviewer

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Just 9 days left!  Please pre-order and help waft my book into publication! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1776703213?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 'Quite delightful, cleverly written, and just plain fun. :)' 

Almost there!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Ten days left! Three-quarters of the way there! Any last minute flutters greatly appreciated! @unbound

Misadventures in Publishing

Saturday, 22 October 2016

"Everyone’s got a novel inside them”, so the saying goes. “And to bring it to market is a misery”, so should it conclude. In my befuddled attempts to reveal to the world my “baby”, as the more cuddly variety of literary agent will refer to your book, I have sometimes found myself wishing it had never been born. 

The summer before last, a peculiar notion burst into my mind… “What if a man in his…

5 star review for A Blindefellows Chronicle from a top Goodreads reviewer

Monday, 12 September 2016

5 star review for A Blindefellows Chronicle from a top Goodreads reviewer (her average review is 3.75)

'Many novels out there follow a pattern. The same style of illustrations, the same stories... but this one, soon to be released from Unbound Publishing, is nothing short of spectacular. At times hilarious, at other times very profound, A Blindefellows Chronicle is a collection of stories taking…

5 star review for A Blindefellows Chronicle

Sunday, 11 September 2016

5 star review for A Blindefellows Chronicle from a top Goodreads reviewer (her average review is 3.75)

Many novels out there follow a pattern. The same style of illustrations, the same stories... but this one, soon to be released from Unbound Publishing, is nothing short of spectacular. At times hilarious, at other times very profound,A Blindefellows Chronicle is a collection of stories taking…

Today's fine morsel...

Thursday, 8 September 2016

'Sedgewick brought them all back around eight and, having checked everyone in for the evening, stretched out, still dressed, on his bed. Several hours later, he awoke in the dead of night and had to recall his whereabouts in the darkness for a moment or two, going over his last known movements in a hurried whisper, before he remembered where he was. He stumbled about and groped for the light switch…

A Blindefellows Chronicle...reviews are coming in!

Friday, 2 September 2016

So pleased to have some great feedback on my novel from director Brian Trenchard-Smith, renowned for being Quentin Tarantino's favourite director! 'Auriel, Yes, amusing, very Waugh, very Woodhouse, and somewhat reminiscent of my old school, Wellington, albeit at a later period than my tenure. Well done.'   More soon from a top ten reviewer on Goodreads who is reading my book at the moment...

A Blindefellows Chronicle

Friday, 19 August 2016

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Welcome to my shed!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Thank you for your interest in my new book, A Blindefellows Chronicle, and welcome to my shed.  (If you look closely, you'll see a fine aviary of budgerigars to the rear, slightly obscured by those soiled garden implements.)  Sheds are good places for writers to be alone, largely due to them not being large enough for two people.  A favourite writer of mine, George Bernard Shaw, had a writing shed…

Sarah Lennox-Hilton
Sarah Lennox-Hilton asked:

How do I simply buy a copy of the book?

Auriel Roe
Auriel Roe replied:

Hi Sarah, Glad you got the hang of it and thank you so much for your support :)

Richard Appleton
Richard Appleton asked:

Please remember me when you are nudging JK Rowling out of the best sellers list!

Auriel Roe
Auriel Roe replied:

oh very soon indeed, Richard! :)

Brian Trenchard-Smith
Brian Trenchard-Smith asked:

A Blindefellows Chronicle is a must read for everyone who ever went to a English Public School. Very Wodehouse, very Waugh, full of nuances I can recall from my schooldays, and laugh out loud moments I wish I had experienced. May the saga continue!

Auriel Roe
Auriel Roe replied:

Thanks so much, Brian!

Gary Cook
Gary Cook asked:

Haha looks very promising! I can think of a teacher or two who were stranger than fiction!!

Auriel Roe
Auriel Roe replied:

Indeed!

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