Paris; 1830. Nineteen—year-old Alexis Soyer rescues fellow chefs from the revolutionary mob. At twenty, in England, his fame burgeons and gourmets compete to employ him. Much of his own time is spent in the slums organising and funding soup kitchens. Described as a ‘broth of a boy’ and a definite Anglophile, his health was later ruined as a result of his work in the Crimean War. Florence Nightingale revolutionised the nursing, Alexis revolutionised the catering.
His marriage disproves the view that he was a show-off. Emma Jones RA, never suffered fools gladly; she loved Alexis devotedly until her tragic death. A fellow artist, she shared the intense excitement of creation, via canvas or cuisine. To her, he was no poseur. To Florence Nightingale his death was a great disaster.
Now he is almost forgotten.

Available to borrow from all libraries and in large print, ISBN 0-7090-2406-1  Coming soon to Kindle

Especial Amigo.

The story of Chapuys, brought vividly to life. Coming soon to Kindle.

“Charles rarely congratulated himself. In his experience, almost everything was problematic; problems caused difficulties, difficulties caused crises; crises caused at least emergencies and at worst disaster. God be praised, he had so far managed to avoid the latter. He was surely the greatest ruler in the world: Charles the fifth of Spain, Holy Roman Emperor, master of a large proportion of Europe, and lands from the recently discovered far west to the furthest east; still in his twenties, still with a lurking suspicion that the cloister would have suited him far better than a throne. Even so, his was the greatest secular throne on earth; it was his beyond doubt, and there were, in spite of many difficulties, moments to be savoured.”

Curious Sussex

Sussex is a county of vivid contrasts from the towering Downs to the breathtaking coast. In this eclectic, entertaining study Mary Delorme presents a personal exploration of the oddities and curiosities she has discovered.
Blue Dick and Dowsing; Green Ginger, and the Bishop’s Brolly; the Tenth of November Snowdrop, and the Denture in the woods; the Chichester Moon and the push-it-yourself celebration hearse. . . every lover of Sussex knows intriguing and curious aspects of this fascinating county.
Sussex has had innumerable devotees through the centuries: those who left their mark, like Mad Jack (Hippopotamus) Fuller; those almost forgotten, like the scientist who experimented in all weathers on the Downs’ summit, studying the mysterious sheep ponds.
In a text admirably complemented by over sixty photographs the author has gathered together the ancient and modern, the tragic and comic; all of them, Sussex curiosities.

New photographs, digitally remastered, the definitive story of Sussex will return.. (Available from all libraries) ISBN 0-7090-2970-5

Curious Wiltshire

Wiltshire is renowned for its chalk downs, it’s beautiful manor houses and charming villages. Familiar, too, are the white horses carved into the hillsides. Less well-known but once vital to the sheep economy of the downs are dew ponds, the construction of which was a highly skilled task performed by itinerant teams of specialists.
The clear rivers which flow between the folds of the downs once fed an intricate system of water meadows maintained by men known as drowners, aristocrats of the agricultural workforce. Another forgotten craft is that of the sarsen stone worker who broke and shaped the great boulders which are scattered here and there upon the downs and from which Avebury and much of Stonehenge is built.
Tithe barns, like those at Tisbury and Bradford on Avon (and another which was hijacked to Glamorgan by an American millionaire) were built to store the church’s share of the produce of this rich farming county. In contrast, windowless cells, or blind houses, remain in many of Wiltshire’s towns and villages as reminders of a harsher past.
Mary Delorme digs deeply to tell the story behind these fascinating features of Curious Wiltshire: these Water Meadows, White Horses, Sarsen Stones, Dew Ponds, Tithe Barns and Blind Houses.

Currently in it’s 7 th print run and available new from Amazon