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Literary Review

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A welcome review by Piers Brendon. 

I'd take issue with the idea that ‘some kind of censorship apparently prevented’ my detailing the ‘precise nature of [G-A’s] paedophilia’. In fact there are no explicit details to be had; if there were I would not have shied away from including them. Gayer-Anderson wrote lyrically about the beauty of boys and young…

Thank you!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Many, many thanks to everyone who has so generously supported this book!  It couldn't, of course, have happened without you; it will a true pleasure to see it in print. I first read Pum's memoir some fifteen years ago and have been working on it, in between other books and projects, ever since. The editors are busy now and it is due for publication this Autumn.

THANK YOU again. I hope you all enjoy…

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interview

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

I've just done an interview on The Irish Pasha on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and it's here if you'd like to listen, about 32 mins in:

...just putting notes together for the talk at the Gayer-Anderson House in Lavenham, Suffolk, happening this Saturday 13th at 6pm. Numbers are limited so best to contact The Little Hall, Lavenham, if you'd like to come last…

Where and When

Monday, 11 May 2015

Hi, the talk on The Irish Pasha will be taking place at the Guild Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk [opposite the Little Hall, Gayer-Anderson's house and museum], on Saturday 13th June, 6.30-7.30pm. I hope to see you there!


You might like to listen to this interview about the book on Cambridge 105 [begins at c 17.20 mins in]


Invitation to a talk at The Little House, Lavenham

Monday, 4 May 2015

Hello All,

The event at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, on Gayer-Anderson's exceptional life and collection went so well that we're doing another, with new material, at his former home, The Little Hall in Lavenham, Suffolk, on Saturday 13th June - you're all invited! Details to follow.

In 1924, Pum bought and began the restoration of the fifteenth-century timber Great House, the adjoining…

Fitzwilliam Museum Event, 6-8pm, Wednesday 4th March

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Hello - here's a reminder and taster for the fast approaching talk at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Theo Gayer-Anderson will talk about his grandfather's route to the East and his house in Cairo looking over the Ibn Tulun Mosque, the Beit-al-Kretlyia, now the Gayer-Anderson Museum. I'll be reading from The Irish Pasha, focussing mainly on his collecting: a large proportion of the Egyptian…

Talk at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

You are invited to an illustrated talk on RG Gayer-Anderson, The Irish Pasha, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, on Wednesday 4th March, 6-8pm. Theo Gayer-Anderson will also be speaking and his sister, Chloe, has been a terrific supporter and organiser. Do come if you can, I'd be really pleased if you do! More details to follow....

Talatat block showing Akhenaten celebrating a jubilee festival…

A research trip to Cairo and Luxor

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I'm used to research, I love it, it's almost the best part of writing a book. It usually means spending days in the library, calling up rare books, exploring the stacks, sitting in the tearoom. There was some of this for The Irish Pasha - and then there was a trip to Egypt. I arrived in Cairo in February 2012, just a year after the Arab Spring, and it was pretty grim. 

Well, there were moments…

Escape to a secret life

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Hello all,

Here is a link to my piece on Pum G-A which ran in the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine last Saturday:

They mention the brilliant Unbound at the end of the article, too.

Enjoy the read! 


A new cache of letters has turned up!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

I'd thought that the first draft of The Irish Pasha was pretty much complete but this new material throws more light on Pum and those around him - it is astonishing, reading these exchanges between friends and family, and finding them all becoming increasingly substantial. As though we might know them. 

This is one of the episodes touched on in the letters:

Pum so badly wanted a son that he…

Happy families of boys

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

In 1895, when Pum was fourteen, Oscar Wilde spoke at his first trial of ‘the great affection of an elder for a younger man … such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect … it is in this century misunderstood’. By the early twentieth century, manliness had…

Psychic tomb-robbing

Friday, 28 February 2014

Many thanks to all who are pledging for The Irish Pasha - the book is already written and it's ready to go! (Once we've reached 100% that is.)

Here are four gobbets on Pum's collecting ...

From his early days as a collector Pum had experienced a ‘meant feeling’ about certain objects, one of inevitability and of wonder, accompanied by unusual happiness. He believed that on these occasions a telepathic…

Heavenly Cairo to Hellish Gallipoli

Thursday, 20 February 2014

In the summer of 1915 Pum was posted to Gallipoli, travelling on a small troop-transport so packed with men of a Lancashire Regiment that there was no room to sit down except for those who dangled their legs over the sides. They landed at Suvla Bay one grey dawn and were confronted by a low inhospitable beach hedged with sparse scrub and evergreen oak. Beyond that was a vast circle of shell-pitted…

First sight of the Gayer-Anderson Cat

Friday, 7 February 2014

Pum's greatest and most adored find, by far the most spectacular of his collecting career, was the acquisition of what is now known as the Gayer-Anderson Cat. One breakfast-time in October 1934, a villainous-looking ‘old friend’ of the tougher sort from Bakkara, salaamed his way into Pum’s Cairo flat and, with a great flourish of drama and mystery, produced a bundle wrapped in cloth. Instead of the…


Friday, 31 January 2014

This is decidedly nerve-wracking stuff! Almost like the feeling of coming in to land at Cairo at night in 2012, light-headed anticipation. As it turned out... but that will be for a later post, perhaps. For now, THANK YOU to all of you who have started off the pledging (just writing that makes me feel domestic...).

Publication date: TBC
107% funded
210 backers