Anne Brontë

British novelist and poet Anne Brontë was born 17 January 1820. The daughter of a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of England, Anne Brontë was the youngest member of the Brontë literary family and lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors. For a couple of years she went to a boarding school. At the age of 19 she left Haworth and worked as a governess between 1839 and 1845. After leaving her teaching position, she fulfilled her literary ambitions. She wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Anne’s life was cut short when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 29.Mainly because the re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was prevented by Charlotte Brontë after Anne’s death on 28 May 1849, she is less known than her sisters Charlotte, author of four novels including Jane Eyre, and Emily, author of Wuthering Heights. However her novels, like those of her sisters, have become classics of English literature.

Agnes Grey is the debut novel of English author Anne Brontë, and is largely based on Anne Brontë’s own experiences as a governess for five years. Like her sister Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre. It follows Agnes Grey, the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. As a governess, she works in several bourgeois families including the Bloomfields and the Murrays The novel addresses what the precarious position of governess entailed and the trouble that affects a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. The novel also deals with issues of oppression and abuse of women and governesses, isolation, ideas of empathy and the fair treatment of animals. After her father’s death Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself. By the end of the novel they have three children, Edward, Agnes and Mary.

 

Anne Brontë’s second and final novel was The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels and was an instant phenomenal success. The novel is framed as a letter from Gilbert Markham to his friend and brother-in-law about the events leading to his meeting his wife. It concerns A mysterious young widow named Mrs. Helen Graham who arrives at, an Elizabethan mansion named Wildfell Hall, which has been empty for many years, with her young son and servant. She lives there under an assumed name, Helen Graham in strict seclusion, and becomes a source of curiosity for the small community, gradually the reticent Mrs Graham and her young son Arthur are drawn into the social circles of the village. Initially, Gilbert Markham casually courts Eliza Millward, despite his mother’s belief that he can do better. His interest in Eliza wanes as he comes to know Mrs. Graham. In retribution, Eliza spreads (and perhaps creates) scandalous rumours about Helen.

Predictably Helen finds herself the victim of local slander soon afterwards. Refusing to believe anything scandalous about her, Gilbert Markham, a young farmer, discovers her dark secrets about her marriage to Arthur Huntingdon a handsome, witty chap who is also spoilt, selfish, and self-indulgent, whom she marries blinded by love and resolves to reform with gentle persuasion and good example. Upon the birth of their child, Huntingdon becomes increasingly jealous of their son (also called Arthur) and his claims on Helen’s attentions and affections. Meanwhile Huntingdon’s dissolute friends lead him astray by frequently engage in drunken revels at the family’s home, Grassdale, oppressing those of finer character. Both men and women are portrayed as degraded, The novel deals with her husband’s physical and moral decline through alcohol and the world of debauchery and cruelty. Not surprisingly Helen decides she’s had enough and flee’s with her son, eventually arriving at Wildfell Hall….

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The Limehouse Golem

Having enjoyed films like Crimson Peak, Suspicions of Mister Whicher, Ruby in the Smoke and Woman in Black, I would like to watch The Limehouse Golem. This film is a an adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s macabre and atmospheric 1994 horror/murder mystery novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, it stars Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, and Douglas Booth. It takes place in the community of Limehouse in Victorian London during A series of murders which has shaken Victorian London to the point where people believe that only a legendary creature from dark times – the mythical so-called Golem, could be responsible.

Music-hall star Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke) is subsequently accused of poisoning her husband John on the same night as the last Golem murders. However assigned Inspector John Kildare (Nighy) discovers evidence linking John Cree to the Golem murders, and finds himself determined to crack both cases before Elizabeth is hanged for her accused crime.

He discovers a diary of the Golem’s crimes, written by the Golem himself in a book on the art of murder, kept in the reading room of the library, Kildare suspects that the Golem must be one of the four men in the library on the date of the last entry; The only men who were in the library turn out to be Dan Leno, Karl Marx, George Gissing and John Cree. So Kildare investigates further and learns how Elizabeth went from being the daughter of an unmarried mother sewing sail-cloths at the docks to becoming a music-hall star. Kildare eventually discovers a handwritten copy of a play written by John Cree before his death on the day that Elizabeth is to be hanged, this reveals some surprising things about both John and Elizabeth Cree which shock him to the core and could point to the real killer

Lewis Carroll

Author, mathematician, Logician, Anglican Deacon and Photographer Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) sadly died 14 January 1897. He was born 27 January 1832, and is best remembered for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky”. From a young age, Dodgson wrote poetry and short stories, which he contributed to the family magazine Mischmasch and also sent them to various magazines. Between 1854 and 1856, his work appeared in The Comic Times and The Train, the Whitby Gazette and the Oxford Critic. Most of this output was humorous, sometimes satirical, he also wrote puppet plays Such as La Guida di Bragia.

In 1856 he published A romantic poem called “Solitude” in The Train as “Lewis Carroll”. This pseudonym was a play on his real name; Lewis was the anglicised form of Ludovicus, which was the Latin for Lutwidge, and Carroll an Irish surname similar to the Latin name Carolus, from which comes the name Charles. In 1856, a new dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him his young family, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson’s life and, over the following years, greatly influence his writing career. Dodgson became close friends with Liddell’s wife, Lorina, and their children, particularly the three sisters: Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. He was for many years widely assumed to have derived his own “Alice” from Alice Liddell. This was given some apparent substance by the fact the acrostic poem at the end of Through the Looking Glass spells out her name and also that there are many superficial references to her hidden in the text of both books. It has been noted that Dodgson himself repeatedly denied in later life that his “little heroine” was based on any real child, and frequently dedicated his works to girls of his acquaintance, adding their names in acrostic poems at the beginning of the text. Gertrude Chataway’s name appears in this form at the beginning of The Hunting of the Snark and it is not suggested that this means any of the characters in the narrative are based on her.

Carroll’s friendship with the Liddell family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s and he took the children on rowing trips accompanied by an adult friend.to nearby Nuneham Courtenay or Godstow.it was on one such expedition, on 4 July 1862, that Dodgson invented the outline for Alice in Wonderland after Alice Liddell persuaded him to write it down, Dodgson presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in November 1864 Before this, the family of friend and mentor George MacDonald read Dodgson’s incomplete manuscript, and the enthusiasm of the MacDonald children encouraged Dodgson to seek publication. In 1863, he had taken the unfinished manuscript to Macmillan the publisher, who liked it immediately. After the possible alternative titles Alice Among the Fairies and Alice’s Golden Hour were rejected, the work was finally published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen-name, which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier. The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel; Dodgson evidently thought that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist.

The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson’s life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego “Lewis Carroll” soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention. Indeed, according to one popular story, Queen Victoria herself enjoyed Alice In Wonderland so much that she suggested he dedicate his next book to her, and was accordingly presented with his next work, a scholarly mathematical volume entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. Dodgson himself vehemently denied this story, commenting “…It is utterly false in every particular: nothing even resembling it has occurred”; and it is unlikely for other reasons: as T.B. Strong comments in aTimes article, “It would have been clean contrary to all his practice to identify [the] author of Alice with the author of his mathematical works”. He also began earning quite substantial sums of money but continued with his seemingly disliked post at Christ Church. Late in 1871, a sequel – Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – was published. It is somewhat darker and the mood possibly reflects the changes in Dodgson’s life. His father had recently died (1868), plunging him into a depression that lasted some years. In 1876, Dodgson produced his last great work, The Hunting of the Snark, a fantastical “nonsense” poem, exploring the adventures of a bizarre crew of tradesmen, and one beaver, who set off to find the eponymous creature. The painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti reputedly became convinced the poem was about him. In 1895, Carroll published a two-volume tale of the eponymous fairy siblings. Carroll entwines two plots, set in two alternate worlds, one the fairytale kingdom of Elfland, the other a realm called Outland, which satirizes English society, and more specifically, the world of academia.

In 1856, Dodgson took up photography, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later his Oxford friend Reginald Southey and soon became a well-known gentleman-photographer. Dodgson also made many studies of men, women, male children and landscapes; his subjects also include skeletons, dolls, dogs, statues and paintings, and trees. His pictures of children were taken with a parent in attendance and many of the pictures were taken in the Liddell garden, because natural sunlight was required for good exposures, Unfortunately this led to great controversy and unsavory rumors concerning his relationship with Alice and Lorina Liddell and he parted company with them under dubious circumstances. He found photography to be a useful entrée into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday, Lord Salisbury, andAlfred, Lord Tennyson. Dodgson abruptly ceased photography in 1880. Over 24 years, he had completely mastered the medium, set up his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad, and created around 3,000 images. Fewer than 1,000 have survived time and deliberate destruction. He reported that he stopped taking photographs because keeping his studio working was difficult (he used the wet collodion process) and commercial photographers (who used the dry-plate process) took pictures more quickly.

Dodgson also worked in mathematics, in the fields of geometry, linear and matrix algebra,mathematical logic and recreational mathematics, producing nearly a dozen books under his real name. Dodgson also developed new ideas in linear algebra (e.g. the first printed proof of the Kronecker-Capelli theorem),probability, and the study of elections (e.g.,Dodgson’s method) and committees; some of this work was not published until well after his death. He worked as the Mathematical Lecturer at Christ Church, an occupation that gave him some financial security. His mathematical work attracted renewed interest in the late 20th century. Martin Gardner’s book on logic machines and diagrams, and William Warren Bartley’s posthumous publication of the second part of Carroll’s symbolic logic book have sparked a reevaluation of Carroll’s contributions to symbolic logic. Robbins’ and Rumsey’s investigation of Dodgson condensation, a method of evaluating determinants, led them to the Alternating Sign Matrix conjecture, now a theorem. The discovery in the 1990s of additional ciphers that Carroll had constructed, in addition to his “Memoria Technica”, showed that he had employed sophisticated mathematical ideas to their creation

Dodgson invented many things including the Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case in 1889. This was a cloth-backed folder with twelve slots, two marked for inserting the then most commonly used penny stamp, and one each for the other current denominations to one shilling. The folder was then put into a slip case decorated with a picture of Alice on the front and the Cheshire Cat on the back. All could be conveniently carried in a pocket or purse. When issued it also included a copy of Carroll’s pamphletted lecture, Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing. Another invention is a writing tablet called the nyctograph for use at night that allowed for note-taking in the dark; thus eliminating the trouble of getting out of bed and striking a light when one wakes with an idea. The device consisted of a gridded card with sixteen squares and system of symbols representing an alphabet of Dodgson’s design, using letter shapes similar to the Graffiti writing system on a Palm device.

Among the games he devised outside of logic there are a number of word games, including an early version of Scrabble, “doublet” a form of brain-teaser which involves changing one word into another by altering one letter at a time, each successive change always resulting in a genuine word. For instance, CAT is transformed into DOG by the following steps: CAT, COT, DOT, DOG. Other items he invented include a rule for finding the day of the week for any date; a means for justifying right margins on a typewriter; a steering device for a velociam (a type of tricycle); new systems of parliamentary representation; more nearly fair elimination rules for tennis tournaments; a new sort of postal money order; rules for reckoning postage; rules for a win in betting; rules for dividing a number by various divisors; a cardboard scale for the college common room he worked in later in life, which, held next to a glass, ensured the right amount of liqueur for the price paid; a double-sided adhesive strip for things like the fastening of envelopes or mounting things in books; a device for helping a bedridden invalid to read from a book placed sideways; and at least two ciphers for cryptography.

Dodgson continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. The two volumes of his last novel, Sylvie and Bruno, were published in 1889 and 1893. He also travelled to Russia in 1867 as an ecclesiastical together with the Reverend Henry Liddon. He recounts the travel in his “Russian Journal”, published in 1935. On his way to Russia and back he also saw different cities in Belgium, Germany, the partitioned Poland, and France. He died at his sisters’ home, “The Chestnuts” in Guildford, of pneumonia following influenza, two weeks before turning 66. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

I have recently downloaded The White Tiger for Kindle. The White Tiger is the blackly humourous debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize. The novel concerns a chap named Balram Halwai who writes to the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao explaining how he, used his intelligence (and some decidedly dubious actions) in order to escape a life of drudgery and Poverty and become a successful businessman, and entrepreneur.

Halwai starts off in the rural village of Laxmangarh, where he lived with his grandmother, parents, brother and extended family who control what he does while society dictates how he acts. Despite being smart he is forced to leave school in order to help pay for his cousin’s dowry and begins to work in a teashop with his brother in Dhanbad. While working there he begins to learn about India’s government and economy from the customers’ conversations. Balram describes himself as a bad servant but a good listener and decides to become a driver.

After learning how to drive, Balram finds a job driving Ashok, the son of one of Laxmangarh’s landlords. He takes over the job of the main driver. He stops sending money back to his family and disrespects his grandmother during a trip back to his village. Balram moves to New Delhi with Ashok and his wife Pinky Madam. In Delhi, Balram witnesses extensive corruption, especially in the government and sees the contrast between the poor and the wealthy.

One night Pinky Madam takes the wheel from Balram, while drunk, which ends in tragedy so Ashok’s family puts pressure on Balram to confess that he had been driving. Ashok becomes increasingly involved in bribing government officials for the benefit of the family coal business. Balram and Ashok both find themselves trapped in the metaphorical Rooster Coop, however Balram wants nothing to do with all this corruption and decides to take drastic action in order to escape New Delhi before moving to Bangalore, where he bribes the police in order to help start his own taxi business and off a family whose son one of his taxi drivers hit and killed. Balram also begins to suspect that his own family may have been killed by Ashok’s relatives, however Balram rationalizes his dubious activities saying it was worth it in the end.

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It concerns the accidental release of a strain of influenza modified for biological warfare from a top-secret government laboratory in rural California. A guard escapes the lab and begins traveling across the country to his family home in East Texas, unintentionally spreading the virus along the way. he crashes his car into a gas station in the town of Arnette, where Stu Redman (Gary Sinise) and some friends have gathered. As the man lays dying, he warns Redman that he had been pursued by a “Dark Man.” The next day, the U.S. military arrives to quarantine the town.

The townspeople are taken to a CDC facility in Vermont. All but Stu succumb to the superflu, which kills 99.4% of the world’s population in two weeks. The scattered survivors include would-be rock star Larry Underwood (Adam Storke); deaf mute Nick Andros (Rob Lowe); Frannie Goldsmith (Molly Ringwald); her teenaged neighbor Harold Lauder (Corin Nemec); imprisoned criminal Lloyd Henreid (Miguel Ferrer); and “Trashcan Man” (Matt Frewer), a mentally ill arsonist and scavenger.The survivors soon begin having visions, either from kindly Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee) or from the demonic Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). The two sets of survivors travel to either Nebraska to meet Abagail, or to Las Vegas to join Flagg.

Lloyd is freed from prison by Flagg, Trashcan Man, a pyromaniac, destroys fuel tanks across the Midwest. Larry escapes New York City with a mysterious woman named Nadine Cross (Laura San Giacomo). However she leaves Larry to join Flagg. After escaping the CDC facility. The survivors Stu Frannie, Harold, and Glen Bateman (Ray Walston are also joined by various other immune survivors. As the group travels toward Nebraska, Harold, Stu and Frannie fall out. Meanwhile, Nick makes his way across the Midwest, eventually meeting Tom Cullen (Bill Fagerbakke), a mentally challenged man. The two men also encounter Julie Lawry (Shawnee Smith), before reaching Abagail’s farm in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. Abagail warns that a great conflict is imminent and they must all travel on to Boulder, Colorado. There, the survivors form a new community called the Boulder Free Zone, where they begin restoring civilization.

Meanwhile Flagg sets up an autocratic regime in Las Vegas, with the intent of defeating the Boulder survivors using salvaged nuclear weapons and Harold join forces with Flagg. Three Boulder survivors decide to infiltrate Las Vegas: Tom, Dayna Jurgens (Kellie Overbey), and Judge Farris (Ossie Davis). Meanwhile Harold and Nadine plant a bomb in Frannie and Stu’s home, planning to detonate it during a meeting of the Free Zone council. Luckily Abagail warns the council members and most of them escape the explosion, but Nick is killed. Abagail tells Stu, Larry, Glen, Frannie and fellow council member Ralph Brentner that they must travel to Las Vegas. Meanwhile Flagg captures Nadine. Upon returning to Las Vegas, Flagg also finds Dayna and Farris and Tom leaves Las Vegas. Elsewhere Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph leave Boulder to confront Flagg, Lloyd, Trashcan Man and his followers in Las Vegas.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I have recently downloaded the epic fantasy novel The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks on Kindle. It takes place 2000 years after the “Great Wars”: a nuclear holocaust that wiped out most human life on Earth and rearranged the planet’s geography. Only traces of technological artifacts have been found; most advanced technology has been lost, but magic has been rediscovered. During this time, Mankind mutated into several distinct races: Men, Dwarves, Gnomes Elves and Trolls, all named after creatures from “age-old” myths.

A thousand years before The Sword of Shannara, an Elf named Galaphile gathers all of the people who still had some knowledge of the old world to Paranor to try to bring peace and order to all of the races. They name themselves the First Druid Council. However Brona, a rogue Druid, and his followers leave, taking the Ildatch with them; this magical tome controls their minds. 250 years later, Brona begins the First War of the Races when he convinces all Men to attack the other races. He almost succeeds in seizing rule of the Four Lands, However he is defeated and The Druids divide the Four Lands among the races. Two and a half centuries after the First War of the Races, Brona returns as the Warlock Lord, now with Skull Bearers as his servants. Chronicled in the prequel novel First King of Shannara, the Second War of the Races begins with the destruction of the Druid Order. A lone Druid, Bremen, forges a magical talisman to destroy the Warlock Lord; it is given to the Elven King, Jerle Shannara. As it takes the form of a blade, the talisman is named the Sword of Shannara. The Warlock Lord is banished and his army is defeated by the combined armies of the Elves and Dwarves.

Five centuries later, the Ohmsford family of Shady Vale in the Southland takes in the half-Elven child Shea. He takes the name Ohmsford and is raised as a brother to the family’s son Flick. Then the last Druid Allanon arrives in Shady Vale warning the Ohmsford brothers that the Warlock Lord has returned to the Skull Kingdom in the Northland and is coming for Shea, who, As the last descendant of Jerle Shannara, is the only one capable of wielding the Sword of Shannara against the Warlock Lord. Allanon leaves Shea three Blue Elfstones for protection and tells Shea to flee at the sign of the Skull. A few weeks later, a creature bearing a symbol of a skull shows up: a Skull Bearer, one of the Warlock Lord’s “winged black destroyers” searching for Shea. So The brothers flee with the Skull Bearer on their heels. They take refuge in the nearby city of Leah where they find Shea’s friend Menion, the son of the city’s lord. Menion decides to accompany the two, and he travels with them to Culhaven, to meet with Allanon. While at Culhaven, they are joined by a prince of Callahorn, Balinor Buckhannah, two elven brothers, Durin and Dayel Elessedil, and the dwarf Hendel.

The party sets out for Paranor. But along the way, Shea becomes separated from the group. Allanon spurs the group to continue to Paranor where they confront the minions of the Warlock Lord and find that the Sword of Shannara has already been removed. The party then learns of the Warlock Lord’s invasion of the Southland. Meanwhile Flick infiltrates the enemy camp in the Southland attempting to rescues the captive Elven King, Eventine Elessedil; at the same time, in Kern, Menion saves a woman named Shirl Ravenlock and they evacuate Kern before the Northland army attacks. Balinor returns to Tyrsis But is imprisoned by his insane brother Palance Buckhannah, who has taken control of Callahorn’s rule. His advisor, Stenmin, has driven Palance insane with drugs, making him his pawn. With help from Menion, Balinor attempts to escape to confront both Palance and Stenmin. Callahorn’s reformed Border Legion under the command of Balinor, marches out of Tyrsis and engages the Northland army at the Mermiddon River, killing many Northlanders before being forced to pull back; the Border Legion retreats to Tyrsis and make preparations for defense. During the siege of Tyrsis, Hendel and Menion confront Stenmin and his supporters.

Meanwhile In the Northland Shea is captured by Gnomes, but is rescued by the one-handed thief Panamon Creel and his mute Troll companion Keltset Mallicor Journeying to the Northland, they reach the Skull Kingdom and discover that Gnome deserter Orl Fane has the Sword of Shannara and has taken it to the Skull Kingdom. Infiltrating the Warlock Lord’s fortress in the Skull Mountain, Shea eventually finds the sword of Shannara and The Warlock Lord confronts Shea in a thrilling battle at the Skull Mountain which will decide the fate of the Four Lands

Michael Bond (Paddington Bear)

Most famous for writing the “Paddington Bear” stories, the English author Michael Bond CBE  was born 13 January 1926 In Newbury and raised in Reading, Berkshire, where his visits to Reading Station to watch the Cornish Riviera Express go steaming through started a love of trains. He was educated at Presentation College, in Reading, Berkshire. He left education aged fourteen, despite his parents’ wishes for him to go to university.

During World War II he worked in a solicitor’s office for a year and then as an engineer’s assistant for the BBC. In February 1943, Michael Bond survived an air raid in Reading. The building in which he was working collapsed under him, killing 41 people and injuring many more. Shortly afterwards he volunteered for aircrew service in the Royal Air Force as a 17-year-old but he was discharged after suffering from acute air sickness. He then served in the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army until 1947.

Bond began writing in 1945 while stationed with the army in Cairo, and sold his first short story to the magazine London Opinion. In 1958, after producing a number of plays and short stories and while working as a BBC television cameraman (where he worked on Blue Peter for a time), his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published. This was the start of Bond’s series of books recounting the tales of Paddington Bear, a bear from “darkest Peru”, whose Aunt Lucy sends him to the United Kingdom, carrying a jar of marmalade. In the first book the Brown family find the bear at Paddington Station, and adopt him, naming the bear after the railway station. By 1965, Bond was able to give up his BBC job to work full-time as a writer. Paddington’s adventures have sold over 35 million books, have been published in nearly twenty countries, in over forty languages, and have inspired pop bands, race horses, plays, hot air balloons, a movie and television series. Bond stated in 2007 that he did not plan to continue the adventures of Paddington Bear in further volumes, However, in April 2014 a new book Love From Paddington, was published. A film, Paddington (2014), based on the books, was also made, in which Bond had a credited cameo as the Kindly Gentleman.

Bond also wrote another series of children’s books, the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, named after the Bond family’s pet, as well as the animated BBC television series The Herbs (1968). Bond also wrote culinary mystery stories for adults, featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites. Bond also wrote a Reflection on the Passing of the Years shortly after his 90th birthday. The piece was read by David Attenborough, who also turned 90 in 2016, at the national service of thanksgiving to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday at St Paul’s Cathedral in June 2016.

More than 35 million Paddington books have sold around the world and the characters have also featured in film and on television. Bond was made a CBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours. His first book was published in 1958, and his last in 2015, a span of nearly 60 years. In 1997 Bondwas made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature in 1997, and Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours. On 6 July 2007 the University of Reading awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Sadly Michael Bond died 27 June 2017 however his Paddington Bear books remains popular.