Olla-Podrida: Julian Stockwin Newsletter, July 2012



July, 2012

[Olla-podrida: an affectionate 18th-century term for a colourful medley of items]


+ Out and About
Julian’s programme of talks and events is listed on the website

As part of Independent Booksellers Week in the UK, celebrating indies, Julian will be signing copies of his latest paperback, CONQUEST, at the Torbay Bookshop, 7 Torquay Road, Paignton, Devon TQ3 3DU, 10:30 am, Saturday June 30 [01803 522011]. Do pop in if you’re in the area! There’ll be free entry into a draw for a Stockwin goodie bag for each Kydd series book purchase on the day.

+ Publishing calendar for BETRAYAL
BETRAYAL, in hardback and ebook, will be published simultaneously in the UK, India and US in early October. It will be available in Australia and New Zealand on 30th October; Canada and South Africa in early November.

+ Praise in verse
We particularly enjoyed this entry for a recent contest for Father’s Day, inviting reasons why a son or daughter would like to win a copy of CONQUEST for their Dad:

“My dad thinks he’s in COMMAND
Who does he think he’s KYDDing
So MUTINY is bidding
Forgive this small INVASION
I’m TENACIOUS so I’ll say
Please send a CONQUEST copy
To make his Fathers Day”

…a copy of CONQUEST is already on its way!

+ Advance Reviewers wanted in the UK!
Hodder & Stoughton has kindly donated six advance proof copies of BETRAYAL for prizes in a draw. To enter, send your name and address to <admin@julianstockwin.com> by July 10 with “BETRAYAL proof copy” in the subject line.
Winners (drawn at random) will be contacted by email. This draw is restricted to addressees within the UK. Winners will be asked to submit a short review to an online bookseller.

+ Tall ship re-opens to the public
After her 13-month circumnavigation of Australia, the replica of Cook’s HM Bark “Endeavour” is now back at her home berth on Darling Harbour.

+ Why not Join The Kydd Club?
<http://www.julianstockwin.com/Kydd Club.htm> A nominal fee applies.

An exclusive Gold Kydd Club Cap (this is also available for purchase by Kydd Club members from the website) will be sent to the first Kydd Club Member out of the hat on July 20. There’s special offers during the year, and a Welcome Pack is posted out on joining.

South Africa, where CONQUEST is set, has a rich and varied food heritage with influences from Dutch, German and Indonesian, among other cuisines.

Kathy and Julian can attest to the modern-day delights of the Cape table!

It was the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), the great Dutch maritime and trading company, that gave the first impetus to food production at the Cape. In 1652 Commander Jan van Riebeeck was sent to the Cape to establish a re-victualling station for passing ships.

The local Hottentot people, the “strandlopers”, were hunter gatherers, looking to the veld and the ocean for their sustenance, but were of little help to the Dutch in supplying food. Van Riebeeck lost no time in laying out a vegetable garden. The site is preserved for posterity in the form of the Company Gardens, a delightful area in which to stroll in modern-day Cape Town.

Jan van Riebeeck produced the first recorded South African wine in 1659. French Huguenots arrived 20 years later and South African wines began to make their mark on the world. Constantia wine was a favourite at the Georgian court in England, and is mentioned by Jane Austen in her books.

The laying of the foundation stone of the Castle of Good Hope in 1666 was celebrated with quite humble fare – dried beans stewed with bacon and onions.

The importation of Malay slaves towards the end of the seventeenth century saw the introduction of spices of the east such as turmeric, cardomon and ginger into Cape dishes.

Food production at the Cape progressed and by the end of the eighteenth century Mary Ann Parker, wife of an English ship’s captain who called at the Cape in 1791 on a voyage around the world, was full of praise: “A meal in Cape Town is distinguished by substantial dishes, and what is most welcome to voyagers, plenty of vegetables which are as sweet as they can possibly be.”

Kydd and Renzi sample a number of local dishes during their time in the Cape, including:
Bredie. This is a spicy dish of stewed meat and vegetables.
Koeksister. A flavoursome syrup-coated small cake.
Umngqusho. Favoured by the Xhosa people and tribes, it is a savoury porridge. Nelson Mandela is said to be very fond of it.
Bobotie is possibly the most popular dish of Cape Malay origin. A baked egg and milk sauce, spiked with lemon or bay leaves, tops a pungent blend of curried mince, apricots, raisins, nuts and herbs.

Van der Hum is a famous Cape liqueur. This wonderfully aromatic drink is made with brandy, naarje (tangerine) peel, orange blossoms, rum, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Before it became commercially available, it was distilled in South Africa for centuries by housewives and is named after Admiral Van der Hum of the Dutch East India Company fleet who is said to have been “fond of it to the point of distraction.”

To go into the hat for a signed paperback of CONQUEST, and a Union Jack Tote, what famous geological feature is depicted on the cover of the book? We’ll also throw in a great little South African cookbook! No excuse not to sample some of the fare that tempted Kydd and Renzi…

Answers to <admin@julianstockwin.com> Please include your full postal address. Deadline: July 20

“Many people find it almost impossible to appreciate just how soldiers and sailors endured in the days before anaesthetics when battle-damaged limbs were amputated without any pain relief.

This month, 215 years ago, Horatio Nelson lost his arm after a desperate shore assault on the night of 24 July. He was struck by a musket ball; a tourniquet fashioned by his stepson probably saved his life. Nelson was rowed to HMS ‘Theseus’ where his right arm was amputated high up near the shoulder. It was unlikely that he was even given rum to dull the pain as alcohol was said to interfere with the clotting of the blood.

But Nelson’s agony did not end there. The wound took many months to heal as one of the ligatures used during the operation, which normally fell out after a few weeks, remained in the wound causing continuing infection and intense pain.

Nelson must have had a wry sense of humour. Once, in Great Yarmouth, the landlady of ‘The Wrestler’s Arms’ asked permission to rename her pub ‘The Nelson Arms’ in his honour. Nelson replied, ‘That would be absurd, seeing I have but one.’

Today, we may have effective anaesthesia and many other medicines that were not available in Nelson’s day but the men and women who defend our countries still suffer horrific injuries in the course of their duty and numbers of them face pain and disability for the rest of their lives.

I would argue that any nation has an absolute moral duty to care for these brave individuals when they return from combat, and certainly much is done on their behalf, but there is still a great need for additional support.

I salute the work of organisations like “Help for Heroes” and The British Legion in the UK and others around the world and urge you to donate what you can.”

One of the highlights of this year’s Diamond Jubilee tributes to the Queen was the 1000-strong flotilla on the Thames – tall ships, naval vessels, yachts, gondolas, narrow boats and just about every kind of vessel afloat.

Throughout history, British monarchs and their families have had strong ties to the maritime, male royalty often serving in the Royal Navy, the Senior Service, for a time.

George V, known as the Sailor Prince, entered the Royal Navy in 1877 and during an active career rose to the rank of vice admiral in 1903.

The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, is Lord High Admiral; he joined the Royal Navy in 1939 and attended Dartmouth college where as a cadet, Philip of Greece, he showed round the then 13 years old Princess Elizabeth. Philip saw active service in the Second World War in the Mediterranean, taking part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, and, with the British Pacific fleet, was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed. He returned to Britain in 1946 and served as a staff officer at Greenwich Naval College.

Prince Charles holds the rank of admiral (he commanded his own ship in 1976); Prince William is commodore-in-chief for Scotland and completed an attachment with the Royal Navy in 2008.

Kings and princes have not only served, but some have seen action. The queen’s father George VI fought during the Battle of Jutland. Prince Andrew flew naval aircraft during the Falklands War.

The Thames, Britain’s “Royal River”, has often seen Britain’s monarchs celebrating historic occasions with pageants and festivities on the water.

King Richard III may have been the first English monarch to go to his coronation by water, in 1483.

When Anne Boleyn’s coronation was held in 1533 it was preceded by a grand spectacle on the river. She was accompanied by more than 300 lavishly decorated vessels and the leading barge featured men dressed as monsters casting fire toward spectators on the banks of the river!

In 1660 King Charles II held a magnificent water pageant, a year after the restoration of the monarchy, which was described by the diarists Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. The king and queen journeyed downriver from Hampton Court to Whitehall. Evelyn wrote admiringly of “the innumerable boates and vessells dress’d and adorn’d with all imaginable pomp … the thrones, arches… stately barges… musiq and peals of ordnance both from ye vessels and the shore.”

“The Water Music” is a much-loved collection of orchestral movements, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. The concert was performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge near the royal barge, from which the King listened. George I was said to have enjoyed the music so much that he made the exhausted musicians play it three times over the course of the outing!

For centuries there was a proud tradition of Royal Yachts. As 83rd in a long line of Royal Yachts that stretches back to 1660 and the reign of Charles II, “Britannia” holds a special place in British maritime history. Commissioned for service in January 1954, “Britannia” sailed the oceans for over 43 years. She travelled a total of 1,087,623 nautical miles, calling at over 600 ports in 135 countries.

On 11 December 1997 “Britannia” was decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base in the presence of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and 12 senior members of the Royal Family. Some 2,200 Royal Yacht Officers and Yachtsmen, together with their families, came to witness the ceremony.

Four months later, the UK government announced that Edinburgh had been successful in its bid to become her new home. “Britannia” is now permanently moored in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith.

The most splendid vessel during the Queen’s recent Jubilee was without doubt “Gloriana”, the 94 foot long Royal row-barge. She was the only participating vessel to be specially commissioned for the event. Seventeen boat-builders worked on the craft after the keel was laid in November 2011. P & O Chairman Lord Sterling put ?500,000 toward the one million pound cost, private backers made up the balance.

“Gloriana” was rowed by 18 oarsmen, including Olympic gold medallists and servicemen who had been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fittingly, in a special message thanking the Royal Navy for all their efforts in making the Jubilee Thames pageant such a success, the Queen issued the royal command: “Splice the mainbrace!”

These words date back to the early days of sail when an extra ration of rum was issued to sailors who had completed a particularly difficult or arduous task – such as splicing the mainbrace.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope signalled:-
“I am delighted that her Majesty the Queen has recognised the Naval Service in this way – and am especially pleased with her direction to splice the mainbrace. Make it so – as and when considered appropriate.”

“Seafarers Voices” by Seaforth Publishing is a series of abridged first-hand maritime accounts spanning a period of 200 years, from the 1700s to the 1900s. The books are published in compact hardback format and will make a pleasing and enjoyable addition to any nautical library.

Two recent titles:-

“Captain’s Wife”
A Narrative of a Voyage in the Schooner Antarctic 1829, 1830, 131
by Abby Jane Morrell

Unusually, a woman’s view of the rough and male-oriented world of the South Pacific sealing trade.

“From Forecastle to Cabin”
by Captain Samuel Samuels

The author ran away to sea aged eleven. This autobiography describes how he forged a career in the harsh world of the merchant marine in the nineteenth century, rising from deck hand to skipper. In the 1850s, he commanded “Dreadnought”, a North Atlantic packet reckoned to be the fastest vessel on the New York-Liverpool service.

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