Troubador Writings for a Car Boot Sale

Released: 28/02/2020

ISBN: 9781838592448

Format: Hardback

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Writings for a Car Boot Sale

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In Writings for a Car Boot Sale, Pamela Theophilus Gardner takes readers on a new literary journey with her eclectic mix of writing to suit all moods. In this collection of short, entertaining fiction, fascinating non-fiction and academic essays, there is something for every reader.

The book opens with a series of short stories; a selection of fictional sketches and narrative in a variety of forms, including realistic, fable and drama. This section concludes with a historical story, based on an episode in the life of the potter and ceramic artist, William Billingsley – which links nicely to Pamela’s second collection: non-fiction ceramic mysteries.

Well illustrated, the mysteries are accessible to all readers, with or without an interest in ceramics. Dating from early to late nineteenth century, social history and the characters populating the stories feature as strongly as does the porcelain.

The book concludes with two, more challenging essays, stemming from Pamela’s academic interest and professional experience in diet and health, and exploring a blend of science and the politics of food policy.


This book is a marvellous 'omnium gatherum' of pieces from a talented writer whose interests range wide. A campaigning and passionate dietitian, she writes with great authority on public health issues. The science is presented in an accessible and logical way, enthusing the reader with the same fervour to put things right. For a relaxing change of pace and feel, you can dip into one of her intriguing and cleverly constructed short stories, each thought provoking and highly entertaining. Change gear again and the author's original research shines new light on some notable pieces of 19th century English porcelain and an intriguing connection to Jane Austen. This unusual book provides variety like no other, its disparate topics linked by the author's lively and enquiring mind and sense of fun.

FERGUS GAMBON, Director of British Ceramics at Bonhams. He has made many appearances on BBC's Antiques Roadshow.

Here is a book which shows the mark of a writer who knows her business. It spans different genres - creative fiction, mystery and the academic - but the competence in each is clearly evident. Part One is particularly striking for the originality of language. Concision is combined with a deftness of touch which makes the reading challenging but rewarding. Such is the subtext that the short sketches bear multiple reading in order to appreciate the artistry. The result is a miscellany of felicitous phrasing that contrasts with the intriguing ceramic mysteries in Part Two and the scientific whistle-blowing in Part Three. Put the parts together and you have an author who has talent in fields not normally found within the same volume. It's quite an achievement.

JOHN DOUGILLl, author of many books, often with a focus on the literary and cultural history of places. He taught English in Oxford, before settling in Kyoto: Professor Emeritus of British Studies at Ryukoku University, Kyoto.

Intriguing glimpses into the chequered history of ceramics are sandwiched between a fine collection of short stories and a voyage of discovery in plain English into the controversy surrounding the widespread use of artificial sweeteners. Writings for a Car Boot Sale lives up to its title in being well worth a rummage.

MAGGIE COBBETT, Yorkshire writer of fiction, features and poetry. Her books reflect this variety and include novels and a guide to crafting lucrative fillers.

by Fergus Gambon, John Dougill, Maggie Cobbett

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