Chris West Talks About and Signs his New Book, First Class - A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps
Wednesday 20 June 2012
From 1840 to the present day, Britain’s postage stamps have been a way the country has looked at itself, reflecting its values and its dreams – and sometimes its misguidedness.
Stamps tell stories. First Class is a history of Britain with a difference – it uses postage stamps as the ‘hooks’ on which to hang the story of the country since 1840. The Penny Black, of course, a concept that revolutionized the way the Victorians communicated with each other – and with the world. Queen Victoria’s Jubilee issue. The stamp that bore bad news from the trenches. The roaring lion of 1924’s British Empire Exhibition: the world’s biggest empire, apparently in its prime but behind the pomp beginning to crumble. The modernism of Edward VIII’s stamps. Victory, the 1948 Austerity Olympics (budget, £750,000), a stamp that tells the story of Suez. Winning the World Cup in 1966, the troubles of Northern Ireland, the IT revolution, the first non-white Briton to feature on a stamp, the millennium, the 2011 Royal Wedding… And end up with a simple question: can Britain still call itself a ‘First Class’ nation?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Local author Chris West has had a long career as a published author of fiction and non-fiction. He has written four crime novels set in contemporary China, where he had travelled as a student. The first of these, Death of a Blue Lantern, was nominated for Best First Novel at the World Mystery Convention. In 2001 he collaborated with Mike Southon on The Beermat Entrepreneur which has now established itself as a classic text on entrepreneurship. He’s also co-author of Myths about Doing Business with China, with Harold Chee, and sole author of Perfect Written English. His most recent book is Think Like an Entrepreneur, co-authored with entrepreneur and NLP trainer Robbie Steinhouse..
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