My direction is now changing to explore the story of British manufacturing, inspired by the herculean efforts made by many British companies in supplying the army in two world wars. You can read more about this on my manufacturing blog. A first volume was published in June by Pen & Sword, How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World, and looks at British manufacturing through the prism of the Great Exhibition of 1851 up the the Festival of Britain a century later. The second volume is my work in progress.

My military blog talks about my books, War on Wheels and Ordnance.  and Dunkirk to D Day, Their primary source were albums left by my mother. You can find my thoughts on a wide variety of topics on my other blog. Most recently the EU, but initially those surrounding the banking crisis, Magna Carta and the Rule of Law and my role as chair of trustees at Lincoln Drill Hall and The Lincoln Book Festival.

I have also been writing biographies for  Story Terrace.

I wrote Charlotte Brontë’s Devotee as a brief excursion from military history. The subject really found me, since my name appeared on a family tree a Brontë follower was researching. He wanted to find out more about William Smith Williams, the Reader at publishers, Smith, Elder & Co. who recognised her genius. I am Smith Williams’s great, great nephew. My presence on that family tree started an itch, and I had to find out more. I read Brontë biographies, and found a good deal about the five years during which William and Charlotte corresponded, often frequently. I read her letters to him; sadly, for us, only one of his survives. I still had to find more: whence had he come and whither did he go. The result is my biography of him, Charlotte Brontë’s Devotee, and this reveals a true 19th century ‘Renaissance’ man as passionate about art as he was about literature, as knowledgeable about science as he was about politics.

You can read more on my blog and the book is available on Amazon.

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