andrew norman history

General History Books

“Sometimes a chance meeting or event can inspire a book; particularly if it is associated with my home county of Dorset. For example, with former residents of Tyneham (the ‘Lost Village’) which the residents were obliged to evacuate during the Second World War, never to return. The annual Tolpuddle Rally, which inspired a volume about the struggles of the six impoverished, Dorsetshire labourers who are now immortalised in history as the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’. (Identifying the former abode of George Loveless himself was a great thrill.) Meeting the inventor of the swing-wing aeroplane, and I myself visiting the former home and grave of the very first person known to have vaccinated against smallpox; both former residents of Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck. Finding out where Robert Louis Stevenson lived, for a time, and wrote his famous book Treasure Island, as he battled against tuberculosis. (This is in Bournemouth, now part of Dorset.)”