SIT YOURSELF DOWN - WELCOME......to Andy Drummond's website. Full of things you probably never needed to know. But full of things nonetheless, which counts for something in these days of sharp practice and perpetual disappointment. Some news (conceivably old news) is set out below. Stuff about me and my books is available - above and right.
Read more here on Angels, Referendums (again and again), Golf-courses (inevitably), Cocks, Bulls and other Animals, Curious Languages and the price of Snuff and Pickled Herring.
Stay a while, if you can. Be cynical. Always ask questions. Always read stories.
Nothing else to do? Does it move? Then watch closely...
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NEWS AND OTHER IMPONDERABLES
A new book about Müntzer (February 2024)After some 35 years of preparation, my new book about Thomas Müntzer is now published (by Verso of London and New York) in hardback and e-book format. All continuing to be well for the duration of 2024 - but who can guarantee such a thing? - the paperback version will appear in early 2025, just in time for the 500th anniversary of Müntzer's death.
For more information on the book, click here. It is, of course, be available in a good bookshop near you, and online at the usual suspects.
The Regular Enumeration of Things (January 2024)... and who could possibly object to such an aim? My brief musings upon the Universal Languages dreamed up by 17th century British (and European) polymaths is now available online, at the History Workshop.
Click here to delight in schemes which at first appear to be wild-eyed, but in truth were the result of cool logic (and, yes - a mighty dose of optimism).
New artwork of Müntzer (June 2023)The Berlin artist Stefan Klausewitz has, over the past few years, created some wonderful and quirky images of Thomas Müntzer and Martin Luther. He has kindly allowed me to show some of them on my website. For more details, click here.
What`s in a Name? (23 May 2023)Much to my continued astonishment, History Workshop Online persist in accepting my articles. For which I am, of course, very grateful. My latest contribution discusses, at adequate length, the issue of why histories written in English persists in Anglicising the names of foreign royalty - such as Frederick William, king of Prussia, or Duke John of Saxony. It turns out that things are not as simple as I imagined...Click here to read the article, and the many other good essays on history which are hosted on the History Workshop website...
For children of a serious disposition... (5 January 2023)I am pleased to announce the publication of my translation into Volapük of the children's book entitled "Am I Small?" (Binob-li-smalik?) by Philipp Winterberg. My lengthy and expensive education has not been in vain!
The book appears in paperback, hardback or - for the technologically sophisticated - a Kindle version.
Those of you with access to small children who have a passionate interest in artificial languages, and a firm grasp of grammatical structures, will no doubt be pleased to acquire a copy for them, to be read at bedtime or studied each morning before that cold shower and gruel. Those of you without such appendages, or having only sight of children of a less serious disposition, can always buy a copy for yourselves.
Click here for more details and (UK) purchasing opportunities. (Paperback versions can also be bought or ordered from other suppliers, in due course...)
Wikipedia and the Hungarian Pole from Slovakia (21 September 2022)Not content with my earlier article on the Napier Report (see below), those very tolerant people at the History Workshop are hosting my lament on the travails of a modern writer. The question of Benyovszky's nationality is a thorny one: was he Hungarian, Polish, Slovak or - perhaps - a citizen of the world? It depends on which century you live in, I suppose... and which country you call home. Click here to read my article, and the many other good essays on history which are hosted on the History Workshop website... And you can, of course, read far more about that fascinating, if slightly disturbing, man here .
Benyovszky Polish-style! (May/June 2022)A film and a talk! Polish film-makers Katarzyna Trzaska and Marek Kucharski are engaged in producing a film reflecting on the life of Benyovszky and his legacy today. It is entitled "Being Benovsky", and although still at a relatively early stage of production, it is moving along nicely. Marek and his film-crew came over from Poland in early May, to conduct an interview with me in Edinburgh.
And on 12 June, the "Polish University Abroad" have organised a virtual symposium, to celebrate 200 years of Polish Romanticism, which - all unknown to himself - Benyovszky inspired (amongst other things, an epic poem on his contribution to the Polish wars, by Julius Słowacki, appeared in 1841). I have been asked to make a small contribution to the day's excitements, in the form of an online interview.
The Napier Report - a radical read (13 April 2022)The good people at the History Workshop have kindly put online a piece I wrote on the Napier Commission of 1883. Lord Napier and his fellow Victorian gentlemen were relevant to my book about the Ullapool Railway, 'A Quite Impossible Proposal' . Rather surprisingly, given the composition of the Commission and the times they operated in, the true - and often radical - voices of the crofters and cottars were heard and published. Click here to read my article, and the many other good essays on history which are hosted there...
And on the very same day ... another of my essays on the Napier Report appeared in the Scottish Local History Forum journal (issue 112). This one is a statistical analysis of the Commission's sessions and reports, aiming to provide an insight into who said what, and why. It is only available in hard-copy - but, since you are keen, go and buy it!
A True Discourse (July 2021)Another of those whimsical books is now available on Amazon. It is an adventure, or True Discourse, set in the year 1669 involving divers and aeronauts, mechanics, witches and charlatans, linguists, time-travellers and traitors Click here to see why you should even care...
Lockdown stories (more of) (January 2021)Covid-19 lockdowns have come as a bit of a surprise to many. Queens and Berserkers, Frog and Toad, angels, Rabbit and Eeyore... See how they fail to cope properly - or how they exploit the situation. Click here to have a rummage about...
...and around 200 other stories for your amusement, free of charge.
A Railway to Aultbea, via Gairloch? Also impossible! (November 2020)The award-winning Gairloch Museum suggested to me, many months ago, that I should give a talk on the abridged history of the railway-line from Achnasheen to Aultbea. And, at last, some troubled months later (but perhaps now without Trump overseeing the end of the world?), here we are, on 10th November at 7:30pm. Visit the Gairloch Museum YouTube channel for the recording of the talk
A Quite Impossible online talk (October 2020)The Ullapool Book Festival kindly offered me the chance of delivering one of those virtual talks. I thought about it long and hard, and then decided to embrace the 21st Century in all its virtuality. It was a tough decision, though. However, the results are to be made available to the waiting nation, as of 8pm on Thursday 29th October. It goes out on Youtube here - https://youtu.be/A1jDKQbG8jg - and can be viewed in the coming days, at your leisure. Suit yourself.
A Quite Impossible Proposal? (September 2020)After a little delay caused by some pandemic or other, that book about unbuilt railways finally emerges from the engine-shed (to mix my metaphors). It is called "A Quite Impossible Proposal" in honour of the several Scottish Office civil servants of the 1890s who refused to contemplate the building of these railways.
The book is full of all manner of good things, including social and economic history, riots and rebellions, railways, the price of fish, Highland Railway skulduggery and governmental drivel. Click here to read more...
An Impossible Journey ! (May 2020)Should it all be getting too much for you, why not try a gentle - if virtual - railway trip to the north-west coast of Scotland? Or even a railway journey on Skye or Lewis? Anything is possible under this Quite Impossible scheme. Click here to view the timetables, the nostalgic fares, the tickets you can purchase, the freight you can send. Glory in the Gaelic place-names. Buy yourself a summer travel-pass to use under the sunshine and Atlantic breezes (yes, we can only dream).
Do not just take my word for the essential wonderfulness of this virtual railway - see a review in The Scotsman newspaper from early May.... You might also want to consider this contribution from from Glasgow`s Sunday Herald...