Available now from Bear Alley Books
A week on from the release of Countdown to TV Action and I've started receiving some very positive comments. It's quite a big book, so I'm expecting comments to keep trickling in over the next few weeks as people grab an hour or two to sit down with it. But it's nice to get some early, upbeat feedback after spending so long putting it together.
A quick word on comments for anyone new to Bear Alley: you have to be signed into Google if you want to write a comment. There's a good reason for this: a blog that has lasted so long (nearly eight years) and posts so frequently (I try to have something new for you every day) attracts a lot of spam. I get a copy of all messages posted to Bear Alley and a couple of years ago, when twenty plus spam messages poured in from the site every time I checked my e-mail, I had to switch the settings. I still get spam, but the levels are manageable and I don't have to spend too much time each day ferreting them out of the 3,000+ posts here on BA. If you aren't signed up for one or other of Google's many services you can still drop me a line directly.
I'll be announcing the next title from Bear Alley Books shortly. It will be a comic strip and I'm in the process of sorting out a contract for it.
Brett's background as revealed during his lifetime was of a member of an upper-middle class family who could trace their roots back to—and beyond—the days of William the Conqueror. However, rather than being an officer in the British Army and veteran of the Peninsular War and Waterloo, Brett's father was actually a cart driver, coal merchant and greengrocer in Clerkenwell. Brett began his career in publishing as an engraver and eventually turned to publishing in partnership with printer Joseph Hardiman and writer/editor William Emmett. Their first effort was dragged through the courts, charged with plagiarism. The partnership dissolved and Brett subsequently became involved with the Newsagents' Publishing Company, who published some wild penny dreadfuls, including the notorious The Wild Boys of London.
Striking out on his own following the collapse of the NPC, Brett continued to publish Boys of England and Young Men of Great Britain for decades– the latter running between 1868 and 1889 (1,117 issues) and the former from 1866 to 1899 (1,702 issues). Around these, Brett published countless other shorter-lived magazines and books. He died a very rich man in 1895.
Brett's business was by then on the decline and Kirkpatrick charts the rise and fall of a number of later limited companies set up by Brett's two sons. Personally, I found the whole thing fascinating and I can't wait for part two to appear in the next issue.
For more information on how to get hold of your copy click here. It's very reasonably priced at £7.00 for a 72 page magazine-format booklet.
Random scans: four from Consul Books from the 1960s. I have no idea who the artists for these were, but I like them