Yesterday I travelled down to visit Caroline Kington at the home she shared with Miles in Limpley Stoke. Together we spent some hours going through the many folders of letters that she has collated, picking out those we felt would be perfect for inclusion in My Mother, the Bearded Lady.
We have decided on grouping the letters by theme, rather than chronologically, as this is intended to be a selection of his correspondence rather than a complete and exhaustive compilation, and this allows us to delve more deeply into certain areas, such as his time at Punch or his many humorous 'Thank You' letters to the great and the good. This is not intended as a biography told through letters, but a celebration of a great humorist's personal writing, most of which is previously unseen by anyone other than the original recipients.
We were 'aided' in our work by Albion, Albie to his friends, a young sprocker spaniel who, while I was there, managed to consume one shoe (pictured above), three twigs, two logs, that day's postal delivery and a yellow folder from which we had to rescue some of Miles' letters. Despite this 'help' we did manage to get our initial selection made, a longlist of sorts, which we will spend the next few weeks fine tuning and editing.
Before I left, Caroline showed me one of the stunning signed prints that Arnold Roth has kindly donated to the project. This cartoon of Miles is available in a limited edition of 20 copies, 4 of which have already been snapped up. If you wanted to pledge for one then do be our guest, or if you wanted to upgrade your current pledge that is also something you can do from your account page, or the Unbound support team can help you out if required.
Anyway, Caroline and I wanted to let you know that we are making good progress and will report back soon with more news.
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