#BlogTour #GuestPost ~ A Ragbag of Riches by James Chilton @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000

A Ragbag of Riches: An assortment of wordy delights

This collection of quips and quotes creates a book for the bower, the bedside, the bath and for browsing; a book at arm’s length from the deck chair, for the tedium of travel but above all for pleasure.

It is a haphazard collection: the Ragbag covering the rougher, even vulgar (but nevertheless witty) entries of graffiti, newspaper headlines and bumper stickers, the Riches being the poetry, prayers and prose of fine minds that inspire by their beauty, sincerity and sublime use of words. At the lower end, I love the astringency and ability of the authors to poke fun with the sharpness of a red-hot needle. At the top end, silver words and profound wisdom sometimes lead me to tears.

So I invite you to wallow or skip lightly. I hope there is something in this salmagundi to make you smile or catch the affections of your heart; to mingle quiet music with amiable irreverence.

Purchase from  Amazon UK

About the Author

A grandfather of nine and a father of four, James Chilton lives with his wife and two labradors in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He holds diplomas in Architectural History from Oxford University, in Design and in Plantsmanship from The English Gardening School and a certificate in the Decorative Arts from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perennially busy, James draws, sculpts, designs gardens and jewellery and is a member of Bart’s Choir. He also a member of the International Dendrology Society and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society and in Oxford. His first book, The Last Blue Mountain, was published in 2015.

How I put together the compilation

There comes a time when collections, whatever they are, become unmanageable unless you take control of them and this point was reached a couple of years ago when the box, full of loose scraps of paper, a few note books and randomly stuffed envelopes became full to overflowing. Another box or a larger one could have been fatal to good order and the moment was seized by taking the box on a walking holiday in Slovenia. Each evening, helped with a large roll of sellotape, I reviewed this collection, discarding those items that I felt had become too familiar or which time had superseded the interest or humour and then I made an initial grouping sticking the entries together so that they became long lines of motley scribbles, torn pages, postcards and anything that could be employed at the time to remember something that I felt worth adding to the envelopes. Too many sections and some would be too thin, too few and there would not be the separation to ease the reader’s selection. As it turned out, Miscellaneous was the longest section and it could have been much longer were it not for some dubious entries elsewhere. It took a week and then an accomplished typist called Lindsay Johnstone in my home town of Chipping Norton, made an initial typed list.

I regard previous common place books as being rather dry with simple lists of quotations. Part of the fun in compiling these entries was to add a few details of the author – dates, profession and anything of interest in their lives. This was not to overwhelm the quote but to add a little spice; immigrants who had changed their names, others who had had remarkable lives. For instance, James Mason (who made 127 films) had a first class degree in architecture from Cambridge; Spike Milligan held an Irish passport, could speak Gaelic, was educated in Rangoon and wrote a seven volume autobiography. If there was something obscure or even ridiculous, that was a candidate for inclusion – such as unbelievable names of American baseball players or the list of names from which Snow White’s dwarfs were chosen. For further fun, I sent an initial draft to the brilliant cartoonist Kathryn Lamb and asked her illustrate fifty entries of her choosing.

There is nothing original in these entries. It is plagiarism on a considerable scale and as I say in the introduction, the choice is partisan and subjective. Such a miscellany might be regarded as being too personal, even arrogant but so is an autobiography. These inclusions are a declaration of the author’s interests. My interests are many; there is almost nothing that I am not interested in – a product of an education and upbringing that encouraged and had time for exploration down the alleyways of life and literature. I sometimes wish that I knew more about less. This random nature has given this collection its overall lack of discrimination. A friend who looked at an early copy, suggested that an index would be useful but apart from the difficulty of compiling an index – should it be by subject or author and in any case there are too many attributions to ‘anon’. An index would then place the book on the reference shelf where it definitely does not belong. There are many specialised quotation books, such as those aimed at literacy, humour, grave stones, music etc (and many have indexes) but A Ragbag of Riches is essentially for enjoyment. A book for the beach, the bedside, for browsing and long journeys. I hope that there is something on every page to raise a smile, to catch the heart, possibly to question, to slip into those categories of ‘well, I never!’ or ‘ I never knew that’. All in all, it is a salmagundi whose stew mixes quotations, literature, serene prose, graffiti, the absurd, the wise and all the ingredients of life.

Advertising Spaces Available on the Blog! #Authors #Bloggers #Publishers #Editors #ProofReaders #Designers etc. Full details Here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *