Fareham MP Suella Braverman and local councillors have welcomed a new book which maps the birth of a Hampshire town dating back to the 6th century.
‘The Birth of Titchfield’, which has been authored by John Hiett, runs through hundreds of years of history of the village, including Titchfield Abbey and its associations with William Shakespeare.
The book consists of 12 short stories which, although fictional, are based on real people during the time that they lived in or visited Titchfield.
Shortly before Christmas, Suella and Titchfield councillors Connie Hockley, Geoff Hockley and Tiffany Harper met with John and his co-author Bryan Dunleavy to discuss the book, learn about how it came to being and the interesting people and events that it covers.
Welcoming the book, Suella Braverman MP said:
“I was very much enjoyed meeting John and discussing his book. Much thought and research has clearly gone into this worthwhile project, which maps the life of our wonderful village of Titchfield and how it has played an important part in Hampshire and for its communities.
“I hope many people read this book so that they can learn some amazing and interesting things about Titchfield while being entertained at the same time.”
Before John Hiett moved to Titchfield and wrote the book alongside other authors, he was a mining engineer in Wales and Somerset before taking up marketing in London.
Speaking about his book, John Hiett said:
“Titchfield is full of history. It has been visited by eight monarchs, including Richard II in 1393, Henry V before Agincourt, Henry VI who was married here in 1445, Edward VI in 1552, Elizabeth I in 1569 and 1591, and Charles I in 1625 and in 1647 when he was captured and taken for execution.
“I thought it would be interesting to publish a history of the common people of Titchfield of whom less are known, so in league with Bryan Dunleavy, a local publisher, we set out to produce a work of fiction set in Titchfield and covering a period from the Dark Ages to the 1950s.
“The book consists of 12 stories which are set in different times and are fictional, but true to the history of Titchfield. For example, a Titchfield doctor wrote a story which follows a family when the plague struck the village in 1348. They didn't know what it was, where it came from or what they could do about it., but they realised as friends and neighbours died around them.
“Another story based in 1943 covers a submariner and is written as an epistolary tale, with letters he exchanged with his wife while he was serving in the Mediterranean where his submarine becomes lost. His wife was pregnant with his first and only child when he died, so the story calls back the anguish of those separated by war and never to meet again.”
The book was launched in November 2018 in hard back at £14.95 and in paperback at £9.95 and is available from Amazon, Waterstones and Magic Flute Publications.