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Facing the facts

A change of genre is in the wind.

Goodbye fiction, hello non-fiction. The memoir From Paupers to iPads that I published way back in 2011 has long been due for revision.

Paupers front cover (2015_01_15 08_44_49 UTC)

So much needed correcting or expanding in the light of subsequent research, but it was a task continually begun and then set aside. It was tinkering at the edges, itsy-bitsy fiddling when a wholesale rejig was needed.

The intervening years have seen my exploration of the family tree spread ever further out along its branches and at times get completely lost in the mass of foliage that has gathered there.

So many interesting ancestors have been discovered, so many stories about their lives.

But as any family historian well knows, it is far too easy to be led off down winding tracks that take you ever further from the main highway – like a rambler who cannot resist exploring a little-trodden bridle path rather than sticking to the well-signposted trail.

The trick is in knowing, like the rambler, when to stop and turn back; to return to the main track and enjoy the abundance of delights it offers.

Claiming the third cousin of a great-great-aunt as a relative may be genealogically correct, but it is really stretching the relationship links close to breaking point.

Thus some heavy pruning has been taking place. Much effort has gone into averting one’s eyes from those tempting bridle paths. There is enough to wade through without succumbing to the lure of those detours.

Like the first book, I will again stray into the realm of historical fiction to try to make my ancestors’ lives something more than a succession of names, dates and places.

And this time there will be a considerable focus on my links to Cornwall. These were a surprising discovery for one who long believed himself to be a pure bred Anglo-Saxon and only late in life discovered that his roots were in Wales and then, even more recently, had also spread into that other Celtic stronghold, Cornwall.

So much to explore and tell … and so little time to do it.

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