Friday, April 27, 2007

shirley toulson

Shirley Toulson
I have a daughter, she's sound,
whose web page I've found,
I've left her my poem,
now maybe she'll mail home.


Shirley Toulson, who lives in Somerset, was drawn into the spell of Celtic Christianity as she worked on her books dealing with the oldest roads and folklore of Britain and Ireland, and found herself following the routes taken on their journeys by the saints of the early church. Among her writings are: THE CELTIC ALTERNATIVE (1987) and THE CELTIC YEAR (1993).


Personal Information: Family: Born May 20, 1924, in Henley-on-Thames, England; daughter of Douglas Horsfall Dixon (a writer) and Marjorie Brown; married Alan Brownjohn, February 6, 1960 (divorced March, 1969); children: Janet Sayers, Ian Toulson, Steven Brownjohn. Education: Birkbeck College, London, B.A., 1953. Addresses: Home: 16 Priest Row Wells, Somerset, England. Agent: Bruce Hunter, David Higham Associates, 5-8 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W1R 4HA, England.

Career: Writer. Features editor of Teacher (journal of National Union of Teachers), 1967-70; editor of Child Education, 1970-74. Teacher of creative writing for adults.


* Shadows in an Orchard (poems), Scorpion Press, 1960.

* Circumcision's Not Such a Bad Thing after All and Other Poems, Keepsake Press, 1970.

* All Right, Auden, I Know You're There: A Quick Thought (poems), Offcut Press, 1970.

* For a Double Time (poems), Sceptre Press, 1970.

* The Fault, Dear Brutus: A Zodiac of Sonnets, Keepsake Press, 1972.

* Education in Britain, M. Evans, 1974.

* Farm Museums and Farm Parks, Shire Publications, 1977.

* (With Fay Godwin) Drovers' Roads of Wales, Wildwood House, 1977.

* (With John Loveday) Bones and Angels (poems), Mid-Day Publications, 1978.

* East Anglia: Walking the Leylines and Ancient Tracks, Wildwood House, 1979.

* The Drovers, Shire Publications, 1980.

* Derbyshire: Exploring the Ancient Tracks and Mysteries of Mercia, Wildwood House, 1980.

* The Winter Solstice, Jill Norman & Hobhouse, 1981.

* The Moors of the Southwest, Hutchinson, Volume 1, 1983, Volume 2, 1984.

* The Mendip Hills: A Threatened Landscape, Gollancz, 1984.

* Celtic Journeys, Scotland and the North of England, Hutchinson, 1985.

* The Celtic Alternative, Century Hutchinson, 1987.

* Walking Round Wales: The Giraldus Journey, Michael Joseph, 1988.

* The Companion Guide to Devon, Harper/Collins, 1991.

* The Celtic Year, Element (Rockport, MA), 1993.

* Somerset, with Bath and Bristol, foreword by Christopher Hibbert, Pimlico (London, England), 1995.


* The Remind-Me Hat and Other Stories (juvenile), M. Evans, 1973.

* Dickens, S. Low, 1977.

* Kipling, S. Low, 1977.

* Milton, S. Low, 1977.

* Shakespeare, S. Low, 1977.

Works in Progress: A further book about the Celtic church in Britain from the third to the eighth centuries; a county history of Somerset; "I have also worked on a further book on the Welsh drovers' roads, and a study of the Devon/Somerset Blackdown Hills."

Shirley Toulson told CA: "Apart from the social history of the British countryside, my main interest is in contemporary English and American verse. More recently I have been working on the history of the early Celtic church and the places associated with it in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the south-west peninsula."

Source: Contemporary Authors Online.


The Drovers

Shirley Toulson

In a bygone age when few people travelled far from their homes and almost any journey was an adventure the drovers regularly made the long and perilous trip from the Scottish highlands and islands or from the Welsh mountains to the south-east of England. They brought vast herds of cattle from the hill farms of the north and west to the markets of London and other towns. Sheep, pigs, geese and turkeys were also driven to the towns. In this book Shirley Toulson tells of these hardworking and resourceful men and of the dangers and hardships they faced. She describes the animals they drove and the way they conducted their business, and she outlines some of the routes they followed, as well as indicating features of the countryside which may reveal the passage of drovers through an area in times past.

Shirley Toulson has been writing books on the social history of the countryside since 1974 and is a leading authority on ancient tracks and drove roads.

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