Tales of Britain

By Jem Roberts

The finest, funniest stories of England, Scotland & Wales, refreshed for the 21st century. By Brother Bernard, as told to Jem Roberts.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

PUBLICATION DAY! The Journey Continues...

A very happy and auspicious FOLKLORE THURSDAY to you all!

We would say who needs a theme this week, when, after 15 years of very hard work, of dreaming and hoping, this week TALES OF BRITAIN FINALLY ARRIVED ON OUR DOORSTEP!? But thank you to Folklore Thursday for such a perfect theme, of TRAVEL AND JOURNEYS, as suggested by our recent article for the Folklore Thursday website

We have indeed travelled a very long and bumpy journey, but do not think that the arrival of these books in shops and on shelves all over the world is the END of it! This campaign marches on, our TALES OF BRITAIN LIVE shows will run forever, we hope (though currently struggling to find performing spaces in Wales and Scotland – GET IN TOUCH if you can help!), and we can bring our storytelling fun to you wherever you are, in the UK or elsewhere, as long as travel/accommodation is taken care of, we will do all we can to journey to your venue, festival, fete, school, or wherever!

But all that said, after 15 years of dreaming, of course it's a joy to hold these books in ourhands at last. These paperbacks are beautiful things, 365 pages of refreshed folktales from Land's End to John O'Groats, with little tourist guides for the location of every story. True, it may not yet have lavish illustrations and full-colour maps, but that's a dream for a future year – for now, it's enough to have fulfilled our mission, to fill this criminal, ridiculous gap in the world's bookshops and libraries with a book which doesn't just regurgitate the same old stories, but which brings them back to life for a new century. These tales are for sharing, and the books are packed with so much to share.

78 copies to sign and send on to pledgers – best get stuck into it, Brother Bernard!

You won't find TALES OF BRITAIN at the Tesco's checkouts, we're afraid, but besides buying online, you can go to your nearest bookshop now and ask about TALES OF BRITAIN! If it's a big chain like Waterstones or WH Smiths, they will need to order them in – in which case, PLEASE DO ASK! The more shops know about this release, the more will stock copies, because there really isn't anything else like this out there, and no self-respecting bookshop should be seen dead without an exhaustive collection of British folktales! Indie bookshops will hopefully have them in, and we have been BEGGING The Powers That Be Unbound to see the blatant logic for getting them in garden centres, tourist offices and travel shops – service stations and the like. This is where they will fly off the shelves, and deservedly so. Again, maybe ask for them in your nearest shop of that kind, and it may all snowball from there...!

We told the publisher it should be DEE DEE not just DEE! So sorry, Dee Dee!

There's so many people to thank for their belief and help to make this book a reality, but we don't want to end up sounding like Olivia Colman (we'd happily blow textual raspberries at the odd misanthrope, but let's not get too Father Ted), and your names are probably in the book either as pledgers or as specially thanked in the Acknowledgements.

Next, besides publicising the book – and BLIMEY Brother Bernard will be chatting to our lovely supporter Cerys Matthews on BBC 6Music this Sunday morning at 10AM, and then a long interview on FROME FM at 12 noon the same day! – we really must get on and organise an audio version. If anyone out there can help us organise a platform, if not a recording and the whole shebang, we think this could be an awesome pillar of the TALES OF BRITAIN campaign, well worth getting involved with.

And of course the live tours continue – sadly we have been terribly messed around by venues for the London launch which some of you have so kindly pledged for; it was to be on the 12th March, but we're waiting for the happy ending to emerge on that score. LONDONERS! Do you know of any free performing spaces in London, a nice friendly pub who'd be proud to host the launch of the first comprehensive British folktale collection in decades? Please get in touch, we'd love to get this wonderful show locked in for you all to enjoy. 

In the meantime, Sister Sal will be joining Brother Bernard to kick off THE BATH COMEDY FESTIVAL on Saturday 30th March, and books will be available on the day!

As for other pledges, it will be tricky to find a perfect time which suits everyone who pledged to come and hear the legend of Bladud retold in the real meadows where the story is based here in Bath, but if you email us hopefully we can find a way to make it work. And Bernard is already at work on a special folktale just for one lucky pledger! Besides signing copies like mad...

But for now – please just enjoy these very silly, anarchic, updated British folktales, and if you do, please do let the Internet know in the usual places, a good word on Amazon and/or Goodreads could mean more people get to have the pleasure of diving into our all-new national treasury, on your recommendation! SHARE AND ENJOY, and READ BRITANNIA!

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Comments

Janet Pretty
 Janet Pretty says:

Hi Jem, I assume you’ve contacted the EFDSS at Cecil Sharp House. My husband played there a few years ago and there were a number of rooms including a library. They also might be good for selling some copies around the festivals. Here is a link. https://www.cecilsharphouse.org/
They might help, you never know! Also have you thought about the National Trust, they were selling another of the books I backed, it was an almanac, but they do books and children’s events at their properties. Anyway, good luck and I look forward to getting my hands on my copy.

posted 1st March 2019

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