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On Winsley Hill [Paperback]

Alan Richardson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 8.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 Oct 2010
On Winsley Hill is set in a very real location, a plateau near Bath, England. Within the chronicles of old light ever stirring on the hill is the story of Rosie Chant, a young farmworker who, aged 17 in 1908, falls in love with a visiting American folklorist and archaeologist called Edward Grahl, triggering a fierce soul love which entangles her through nine decades. Grahl recognises Rosie's unique otherworldly talents. She is a visionary and can pick up impressions from objects and places. As part of his research for a book he is writing, he uses her to tell him about the era of standing stones, long barrows, and sacred wells. She doesn't complain when he uses her in other ways, and through Grahl she gets to mix society life with the darker side of her gift, with devastating consequences.

Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Skylight Press (10 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908011009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908011008
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 22.6 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,265,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Richardson has been writing weird, wonderful, winsome and frequently embarrassing books - not all of which appear on Amazon - for longer than many of his readers have been alive. He has done biographies of such luminaries as Dion Fortune, Aleister Crowley, Christine Hartley and William G. Gray. Plus novels and novellas that are all set in his local area. He is also an expert on Earth Mysteries, Mythology, Paganism, Celtic lore, Ancient Egypt,jet fighters, army tanks, Wiltshire tea shops, Great British Actors and Newcastle United Football Club. Although he regards supporting the latter as being the closest thing a man can get to a Near Death Experience. He does not belong to any group or society, does not take pupils, no longer gives lectures, and insists on holding down a full-time job in the real world like any other mortal. That, after all, is part and parcel of the real Path - however it might be defined. He is married with four daughters, and lives the life of a Happy Hermit in the south-west of England.
His simple-simple website is at: www.alric.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

Product Description

Review

"Alan Richardson needs no introduction, as the biographer of various major figures on the occult scene, who also has a reputation as a highly amusing, well informed and down to earth speaker. His specialist knowledge is brilliantly exploited in this vivid evocation of the west country world of 1908 in the moving story of a psychically gifted young girl exploited and abused by an academic researcher. This finely observed tale not only captivated me but taught me a great deal about psychic and psychological fact. Highly recommended, and I look forward to more of the same." - Gareth Knight

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and unsual 12 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took the 114 pages of this novel slowly and surely as one has to take in all that the Author writes so as not to miss anything of this magical novel.

The place of the title is well depicted and if the reader does not know the area then you feel as though you would like to visit this beautiful valley. The story, whilst strange and unusual, gives the sense that Rosie Chant and the sinister American archaeologist Edward Grahl really existed. Other characters are well portayed such as the beautifully named Lady Vesey-Jones and the Reverend Walter Hamilton-Smith.

Also cropping up is a link to Alan Richarson other novel, The Giftie, when the name of Robert Kirk is mentioned.

The scary Wheeler boys, the maiming of an animal and a death lend a hint of menace and intrigue to this book. Overall the mixture of the psychic Rosie Chant, the unique nature of this area near Bath with all it's unusual history and the forbidden love of the early 20th century makes this a book well worth reading and also asking for more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King meets Will Self? 4 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Is this really like Stephen King meets Will Self then? Well, yes, and no.

In the last year I read Stephen King's impressive psychological horror story 'Bag of Bones' and earlier this year I read Will Self's equally impressive but excessively wordy 'How the Dead Live'. Whilst I doubt that Alan Richardson has read or been influenced by either novel I couldn't help but see assorted parallels between the three books.

'On Winsley Hill' almost reads like an English 'Bag of Bones' - there's forbidden love, dark secrets of the past, the power of history, black humour, magic and other strange forces. But I stress the Englishness of this story - don't go expecting King's very American style for this is very English in its reluctance to dip into sentimentality and in its particular landscape and approach to spirituality.

And there's something of Self's taste for biting cynicism and his desire to astonish here too, whilst Richardson's Rosie Chant feels as well-rounded and real as Self's equally vivid and formidable Lily Bloom. You wouldn't want to mess with either of these two ladies, who both move towards the ends of their lives with similar degrees of regret and bitterness.

But ultimately this is Richardson's own unique vision of a love story, of sorts, between a charismatic but equally slimey American archaeologist and the aforementioned young Rosie, who has a fierce temper and strange gifts.

Powerful, atmospheric, wickedly funny, and at times extremely moving, this is my favourite read of 2011 so far. It's not perfect - at times I felt excluded from some of the mystical language, which comes from a tradition I'm not familiar with, whilst I felt some of the description at times was a little overzealous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supremely well crafted novel... 5 May 2011
Format:Paperback
The tone and pacing seep with the evocative landscape, which is peopled with Richardson's authentic characters from past and present. Rosie, blessed and cursed with unusual gifts, journeys through a spiritual labyrinthe- shadowing the reader with every step. Themes of betrayal, sacred landscape, analeptic memory, and spiritual reclamation swirl in this subtle maelstrom of impressions. This novel will stay in the corners of your subconscious for a long time...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative Landscape... 5 May 2011
By Daniel Staniforth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The tone and pacing seep with the evocative landscape, which is peopled with Richardson's authentic characters from past and present. Rosie, blessed and cursed with unusual gifts, journeys through a spiritual labyrinthe- shadowing the reader with every step. Themes of betrayal, sacred landscape, analeptic memory, and spiritual reclamation swirl in this subtle maelstrom of impressions. This novel will stay in the corners of your subconscious for a long time...
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