Sunday 23 February 2020

#BlogTour Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters by Amy Binns

It's my turn on the BlogTour Hidden Wyndham by Amy Binns.
About the Author
With a decade of experience in news reporting, Dr Amy Binns is now a writer, researcher and journalism lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.

Her PhD was on solutions to difficult behaviour on social media and other online communities, and she has contributed to a report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life on the intimidation of parliamentary candidates. She regularly speaks on Radio Five Live on social media issues.

Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters, is Dr Binns’ second book. She has also written about local history in the book “Valley of a Hundred Chapels”, also available on Amazon. She has also published papers and chapters on interwar feminism and social history. Dr Binns lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two children.

About the book
The first biography of the life of science fiction author John Wyndham is now available. It includes the first publication of a collection of love letters to his long-term partner and later wife, Grace Wilson.

Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters, by Dr Amy Binns, author and senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), explores Wyndham’s wealthy but traumatic childhood. This was transformed by a spell at the first mixed-sex public school Bedales from 1915 to 1918, the source of the strange but fervent feminism of Consider Her Ways and Trouble with Lichen.

The biography covers his formative years as a pulp fiction writer, his experiences as a censor during the Blitz and his part in the Normandy landings. He described his struggles with his conscience in a moving series of letters to Grace, the teacher with whom he had a 36 year love affair.

 After the war, he transformed the searing experiences of wartime London, France and Germany into a series of bestselling novels: The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos and The Kraken Wakes. But he remained intensely private, shunning fame and finally retiring to live anonymously with Grace in the countryside he loved.

Wyndham made a huge mark as a sci-fi writer with The Day of the Triffids, a book and visual experience that remains one of the most memorable works of the last century. This biography gives an insight into the man behind the words. The creative mind that used his stories to cross boundaries and worlds.

Binns doesn't rely on gossip, Chinese whispers or the myth behind the stories. This is well- researched and also quite intimate at times. For a man who tried to keep himself and his life out of the spotlight I wonder what he would have thought about the invasive nature of not only his story being told, but also readers evaluating the information.

Either way this book gives the kind of intimate glance into a life Wyndham tried very hard to keep away from not only the curious public, but also from everyone else. Sort of begs the question whether we need access to certain information to be able to understand or better enjoy the written or visual work.

Personally I found it gave an interesting perspective to a man taught to keep his emotions tight to the chest. His inner torment and how he questioned the morality of specific things he was a part of, which he wouldn't have been able to air in public without being perceived a certain way. His emotions and love being hindered by scars of the past - a fear of public commitment and abandonment perhaps.

It's a well thought thorough open window into the world, emotions and secrets of Wyndham. Binns does an excellent job of introducing us to the soul and heart he kept hidden.

Buy Hidden Wyndham at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads at any other retailer. Publisher: Grace Judson Press; pub date 1 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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