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‘Two rich recent discoveries – both published by Slightly Foxed Editions’

The Empress of Ireland is the novelist and screenwriter Christopher Robbins’s account of his friendship with the most successful forgotten Irish film director of all time, Brian Desmond Hurst. Hurst was outrageously camp, and a bit of a rogue, but he seems to have been superb company. There are wonderful twists and turns to his story, not least of which is the account of his service in the First World War. The book, simply, is a masterpiece, and its neglect is as inexplicable as that of its subject. Still Life by Richard Cobb, first published in 1983, is a memoir of a Tunbridge Wells childhood. Cobb, historian and Francophile, seems to have had a photographic memory, and his memoir is both an uncannily vivid resurrection of past times, and a quirky, funny and irreverent personal testament. Surely Tunbridge Wells could never have expected to be so beautifully and lovingly recalled.’ John Banville, Literary Review

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