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ISBN: 9780857042972
AUTHOR: Roger Guttridge
Dorset Curious and Surprising
Dorset Curious and Surprising
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The country clergyman who eloped with a parishioner’s wife… the stranded whale that became a tourist attraction on a Dorset beach… the spinster who kept her companion’s body for almost three years without reporting her death. These are just three of more than thirty eyebrow-raising tales selected by Roger Guttridge for his latest book on his home county.

Some of the tales are well known but given a new treatment by the author – such as the stories of the ‘fossil lady of Lyme’ Mary Anning, Winston Churchill’s near fatal fall from a bridge near Poole and the mysterious skull that has sat in a west Dorset manor house for 200 years.

Other stories will be less familiar – such as the hushed-up royal birth in a seaside town, the squire’s son who used a coffin filled with stones to fake his own death and the county’s link with the Russian Revolution, the ‘Father of Chemistry’ and ‘the man who could have been Darwin’.

The book includes spooky mysteries like the Durweston poltergeist and the Beaminster ghost of John Daniel, murder cases such as the Sherborne poisoner and Captain Burdett of Wimborne and tales of great Dorset characters such as the lecherous squire of Woodlands and the reformed horse-thief and highwayman who became a poet, doctor and lawyer.

Forty-five years as a Dorset journalist, author and historian have given Roger Guttridge an unparalleled knowledge of the county’s past and a rare ability to tell its tales.

Roger Guttridge was brought up in the Sturminster Newton area of North Dorset and educated at Blandford Grammar School before beginning a career in local journalism. Dorset - Curious and Surprising is his nineteenth book as author or co-author. He has also edited several books by other authors. Roger’s other journalistic speciality is swimming. He is a former press officer with the Great Britain swim team and has written about the sport for many publications, including the Daily and Sunday Express and Swimming Times magazine.

Imprint: Halsgrove, ISBN 978 0 85704 297 2, hardback, 210x148mm, 144 pages. Published October 2016.

Dorset Smugglers' PubsDorset Smugglers' Pubs - £9.99
Drawing on jail records, Customs’ reports, contemporary newspaper articles and eye witness accounts, the story of smuggling in Dorset is revealed by Terry Townsend through the history of the pubs that served as meeting places, recruitment centres, secret storage facilities, distribution depots and valued customers.
Crime & Punishment in DorsetCrime & Punishment in Dorset - £19.99
Terry Hearing ranges over a millennium of Dorset’s history to recount the evil, the bad, the misguided or the simply unlucky, and how they were dealt with – sometimes brutally, sometimes with surprising care – to reveal unexpected aspects of the county’s less reputable past.
Weymouth & Portland Then Meets NowWeymouth & Portland Then Meets Now - £19.99
Dorset historian Maureen Attwooll looks at the borough’s history through maps which date from the Tudor period up to the twentieth century. Together they show just what has altered and what – remarkably – has stayed the same. Presentation and layout is refreshingly different and the past is revisited with renewed vigour.
Last Dorset DiariesLast Dorset Diaries - £12.99
David Edelsten, incomparable countryman, continues his acclaimed reflections on country life in prose as lucid as it is poetic. Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
Legg Over DorsetLegg Over Dorset - £12.99
Prolific is the word that applies, to someone with 125 books to his name - mostly about Dorset and in-depth history ranging from the Romans to the Second World War. The autobiography of Rodney Legg - 'arch-scourge of politicians, government, the military and the Establishment in general - a one man Dorset cultural institution'.
Thomas Hardy's DorsetThomas Hardy's Dorset - £14.99
Well illustrated, this book is complete with a gazetteer of Hardy's fictional sites and their real equivalents, making it an ideal guide to the Dorset landscape of Thomas Hardy's life and literature. By Rodney Legg, the doyen of contemporary Dorset authors
Bournemouth in the Good Old DaysBournemouth in the Good Old Days - £19.99
Born in Bournemouth, as was his father a century ago, Dorset historian Rodney Legg is ideally placed to return to his roots to present memories of the town. Focussing on the Bournemouth’s Edwardian heyday that faded away with the Great War, they carry on through the devastation of Second World War bombing to the era of postwar austerity and change.
Web Price: £9.99
11.58 EUR 12.49 USD 16.36 AUD

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