RAOC War Memorial at Deepcut

RAOC War Memorial at Deepcut
RAOC War Memorial at Deepcut

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Why I write

Families, family stories: we all have them. I found the story for my first two books in some albums in the loft. My latest book, Charlotte Brontë's Devotee really found me, since my name appeared on a family tree a Brontë follower was researching. He wanted to find out more about William Smith Williams, the Reader at publishers, Smith, Elder & Co. who recognised her genius. I am Smith Williams's great, great nephew.

My presence on that family tree started an itch, and I had to find out more. I read Brontë biographies, and found a good deal about the five years during which William and Charlotte corresponded, often frequently. I read her letters to him; sadly, for us, only one of his survives. 
I still had to find more: whence had he come and whither did he go. The result is my biography of him, Charlotte Brontë's Devotee, and this reveals a true 19th century 'Renaissance' man as passionate about art as he was about literature, as knowledgeable about science as he was about politics. 

I am now researching the lives of some of the key ‘soldiers who armed an army’, the army which, Max Hastings wrote, was so well equipped on D Day. 

 Geoffrey Palmer
Bob Hiam

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