Bright Particular Stars: A Gallery of Glorious British EccentricsHardback
- Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS
- Format: Hardback | 368 pages
- Dimensions: 164mm x 236mm x 40mm | 680g
- Publication date: 1 May 2011
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1848872488
- ISBN 13: 9781848872486
- Edition statement: New.
- Sales rank: 716,533
In Bright Particular Stars, David McKie examines the impact of twenty-six remarkable visionaries on twenty-six unremarkable British locations. From Broadway in the Cotswolds, where the Victorian bibliomaniac Sir Thomas Phillipps nurtured dreams of possessing every book in the world, to Kilwinning in Scotland, where in 1839 the Earl of Eglinton mounted a tournament that was Renaissance in its extravagance and disastrous in its execution, he has created a vivid patchwork of arresting narratives that together illuminate some of the most secret - but most extraordinary - byways of our national and local history. Some figures, including Mary Macarthur, who helped the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath win the right to a fair wage in 1910, were good to the point of saintliness; others mixed the admirable with the morally dubious: the composer Peter Warlock rented a cottage in the Kentish village of Eynsford where he composed a gentle song cycle, but set net curtains twitching by his hard drinking and naked motorbike riding. In Bright Particular Stars quiet, unassuming streetscapes are transformed in to beguiling, eccentric and uproarious sites of action which - through the eyes of David McKie - are once more filled with the great triumphs and failures of the visionaries that have each, in their own way, helped shape our island's rich and chequered history.
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David McKie was deputy editor of the Guardian from 1975 to 1984 and wrote both its 'Smallweed' and 'Elsewhere' columns. His books include Jabez - shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award and the Saga Award for Wit - Great British Bus Journeys and McKie's Gazetteer.