Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A new book!

Not a new episode I'm afraid - but I can announce a new project from Radio Tilling; a new book!
Some time ago, I found a 'lost' short story by E.F.Benson entitled "The Renewal" - I checked with a number of experts in the field, and consulted my personal collection (as well as those online) and could not find it included in any of the many and various collections that have appeared in the years since Fred died.
The story originally appeared in The Cosmopolitan Magazine in November 1894 and I found it purely by chance during one of my occasional searches on eBay for Benson material.
Benson is now (in the UK at least, and quite probably elsewhere as well) out of copyright, it being 70 years since his death in 1940, and so I thought it the perfect time to make the story available in printed form once more.  To make the book (more a booklet to be honest) more interesting, I have also included another story that I found on eBay, though subsequent research reveals it to have been included in a small press Benson collection some years ago - a collection that is, as far as I am aware, no longer in print.  This story, also from 1894, is entitled "The Return of The Probationer" and originally appeared in the July 1894 issue of The English Illustrated Magazine.
Both stories, along with the original illustrations and copies of the respective magazine covers and a copy of the rejection letter sent by the editor of The Windsor Magazine (as featured in the introduction to Jack Adrian's excellent volume of Fred's ghost stories "Collected Spook Stories Vol 4 - The Face" published by Ash Tree Press in 2003), have been collected into a single 46 page booklet (along with one of my own original stories, set in Tilling and entitled "A Locket Full of Woe" - it's a slightly revised version of the story I have on my personal website) and is now available on the EFBenson.co.uk Cafe Press store priced at US$8 or £6 (plus postage and packaging)

Please do consider making a purchase - profits go towards keeping the EFBenson.co.uk website and the Radio Tilling podcast going in these somewhat difficult times.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Mapp, Lucia and Mr Logie Baird's Invention

Episode 04 of Radio Tilling has now been uploaded to the podcast servers and should be available shortly - if you can see it in the list on the left, you can download it!  It should already be on iTunes and will work it's way onto other podcast servers as soon as possible!

My grateful thanks to Alistair Kerr for the interview - I hope you all enjoy it!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Just a little bit longer...

...and Episode 4 will be 'on the air' so to speak/type!
To whet your interest,  the LWT/Channel 4 TV adaptations of Fred's Lucia series, "Mapp and Lucia", was first broadcast in 1985 and so, as it is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year, I thought it might not be a bad idea to take a look at it on the podcast. As a result, I recorded a very chatty conversation with Alistair Kerr, an old friend from the Tilling Society days, and creator of the "Tilling on TV" website.
This I am editing at the moment (I've taken a short break to write this!) and it should be online by the end of this week!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Coming Soon...

Yes, Patient Radio Tilling listeners, there IS a new episode coming soon!  Episode 4 was recorded today and I will be editing it over the next couple of days so that it can be uploaded sometime next week.
It was an enjoyable conversation, and a great pportunity to catch up with an old friend, and hopefully you'll be able to hear the results shortly!

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Future of "Major Benjy"

I received an email from Guy Fraser-Sampson this weekend - listeners to the podcast will remember him from episode 2 as the author of the new, official, Tilling novel "Major Benjy".  Guy has a blog on which he posted an answer to the question I asked in the podcast - will there be a sequel to "Major Benjy"?
You can read his answer here but, to summarise, it all depends on how well "Major Benjy" sells.
Now, I enjoyed the book, (having purchased two copies from Amazon, one for myself and one as a present for a friend!) and included links to it on this blog (to both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com - if you haven't already got a copy, click on one of the links to order one now!) even though there were one or two shortcomings - I felt that the first new official Tilling novel since Tom Holt's books appears in the 1980's deserved support and encouragement.
Alas, sales have not been as brisk as might have been hoped, and although Guy is keen to write the next one, "Lucia on Holiday", unless the sales pick up to an extent that it is worth the publisher investing in printing a new book, it may not see the light of day.
So, if you haven't already purchased it, please think about doing so.  If you don't want to purchase online, consider asking your local bookshop to order in a copy for you.  If, in this difficult financial times, you cannot afford to buy the book, why not ask your local library if they have it and, if they do not, ask if they might get a copy!
If you DO already have the book, have you any friends who might be interested in the adventures of Lucia, Mapp, Georgie, Major Benjy, Diva, The Padre, Wee Wifie, Quaint Irene and The Wyses?

Let us get together to encourage the latest revival of Fred's work - especially now, in the last year of UK Copyright applying to the Benson Collection!

Sunday, 17 January 2010


Happy New Year to all who read this blog, listen to the occasional podcasts or (even) do both!
I have some ideas that, if I get the time, I will probably convert into more episodes of Radio Tilling this year (including the long pondered audio tour of 'Tilling' aka Rye!), but if there is something Benson related that YOU would like to see covered, please do get in touch!  I would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who would like to come onto the podcast to discuss a particular topic, or who has an insight into some aspect of the Benson world that might be of interest to listeners!
If you are planning a performance of one of the plays based on Benson's works, or if you are attending a Gathering of Bensonites, please let me know - I'd like to make this podcast a bit more regular, but to do that I need editorial contributions from you!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Benson Window Appeal

Episode 03 of Radio Tilling will shortly be posted online (watch the RSS feed on the side or check out iTunes or other podcast services soon!) and in it I take a look at the Benson Windows in St. Mary's Church, Rye and at the fundraising effors currently being made to save them from weather damage!
In the episode I mention some links and forms which you can use if you would like to help with the appeal; the E.F.Benson Society link mentioned is here; the Friends of St. Mary's form can be downloaded here (requires Adobe Acrobat) .
Please do consider contributing to this exceedingly good cause - hopefully the windows can be save for future generations, and you will be, in some way, imitating Lucia or, as Mrs Mapp-Flint nicknamed her, "Lady Bountiful"!