Thursday, 18 August 2016

Writing - Learning from the past

I may actually have been guilty in the past of denying the value of history as a source of learning - but then I got older!

Image result for Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

The wonderful team at the most underrated cathedral in the land have come up with one of their 'show and tell' ideas on the development of medicine based upon their collection of books dating back to the sixteenth century.

Show and Tell - Marvellous Medicine

3 September is all about marvellous medicine! A chance to explore developments in medicine from the 16th century onwards through our collection of early printed books, including the first published tract on love sickness! 

Of course you are. The mention of love sickness tweaked your curiosity gland. That is from one of the books in the Refectory Library at the cathedral by Harvey entitled 'De Motu Cordis' and can be viewed at the cost of £5 on the given date.

Image result for de motu Cordis

The point is William Harvey (1578 - 1657) wrote down his thoughts and ideas five hundred or so years ago and because he did we can read them and understand the state of thinking about the human body at that time. Scientists, doctors and researchers are currently doing the same record keeping exercise so that in the future people can learn from their advances and mistakes.

They know that there has to be records. It is my belief that electronic records are a risk. There will always be a need for written permanent records because when the lights go out, as I'm sure they will eventually, all electronic versions will be lost.

A good point to introduce my dystopian novel, Cessation, which looks into a possible future without electricity.


The story is a speculative journey into a possible future that may lie ahead of us all. There is evidence that such a future may not be impossible. We have been warned that unless we increase the ability to produce electricity there could be power cuts in the next ten years. Our modern day lives are permeated through with the need for electricity and its production.
Although Cessation could be categorised as a dystopian story I find that rather a negative word and the purpose of writing the tale is to allow elements of hope in a seemingly desperate situation.
The story begins in 2023 a couple of years after the lights go out for the last time. Our group of survivors are thrown together on a farm in the low Pennines north of the M62 motorway and within striking distance of a number of northern towns which could prove useful for supplies. Initially the group is small and live on a farm called Serendipity but as time passes the size of the group waxes and wanes for a variety of reasons.

Yes I admit to being a little 'naughty' in advertising my book on the back of Durham Cathedral and all of that history, but it is written, is  a speculative look at the way the world is and could be and is also a warning.

Kindle versions £2.93
Paperback £5.99

God Bless