Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Watling Street Book Signing
A book about a road , not something that would ordinarily have me popping down to Waterstones on a Wednesday evening. However having heard the author John Higgs talking about the concept on Radio Northampton it sounded rather interesting. Secondly one of Northampton's most iconic of characters Alan Moore was also to be in attendance. Throw in a free buffet and I needed no further persuasion !
It is a journey along one of Britain's oldest roads from Dover to Anglesey. The route takes in Canterbury, Kent, London, St Albans, Dunstable, Bletchley Park, Northampton, Rugby and Bosworth Field. Along the way he introduces us to a host of interesting characters – from local guides to historical figures Originally a path, that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Higgs describes how it unlike other ancient monuments the road keeps evolving
. Alan Moore is there because he features heavily in the chapter on Northampton. For those unaware of his work he is best know for his comic book writings such as; Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has been widely recognised as one of the most revered and influential writers in the country. Also one of the most confounding – perverse and hard to fathom
. Five blockbuster films were made of Moore's stories yet he turned his back on Hollywood as he edged away from mainstream. At the same time turning down huge payments for adaptions of his work as his aversion to corporate America grew. He has spent his entire life in Northampton and is glowing in his appreciation of the place. "This is a good place for me. Keeps me focused. Life's not easy; it's not massively difficult. There's a gravity about Northampton that I like." He is a common sight walking around the Town Centre with his caved snake cane and often carrying carrier bags. There is definitely something of the 'Gandalf' about him with his mane of hair and thick beard. To look at him you could be forgiven for thinking
this is a man down on his luck ..The reality couldn't be further from the truth !