Retired Bolton School English teacher racks up hat-trick of books
THEY say that everyone has a book in them — but a former English teacher found he not just one but three.
Ralph Britton, who taught at Bolton School Boys’ Division from 1975 until 2004 has had all three, very different novels, published on Amazon Kindle.
Mr Britton, aged 69, wrote the novels while teaching — all of which were inspired by his own school days as a student and teacher.
He said: “I think a lot of my past pupils who have sampled some of my writing would be amused to know it is online if not in print.”
Mr Britton, who lives in Bolton, added: “One came from my teaching the story of Theseus.
“The boys acted some of the incidents in Theseus' life and wrote their own fiction about them. Some of it was very good and inspired me to have a go myself.
“This ended up as a novel for young adults called The Labyrinth.
“Many boys who went to Bolton School will have come across chapters of it as I used it a lot in teaching.
“I encouraged them to criticise it — which made a change from me advising them — and I learned a lot from them.”
The father-of-two has also had published a novella called High Towers, which is very loosely based on his school days. Mr Britton said: “The third is a historical detective set in the English Civil War, Murder at Oxford, 1642.
“I wrote a PhD thesis on political pamphleteering in the Civil War and thought it was a neglected period, and I love historical detectives.”
He said: “I wrote them in the 1990s and The Labyrinth probably earlier than that and thought they would just drift away, I did not have an interest in publishing them privately and the Kindle gave me the chance to put them online.
“I enjoyed having them published. I put an awful lot of time into them and rewrote them several times and I could write another detective book and may do to keep myself amused. It is a very interesting period.”
The book covers were designed by his daughter, Marianne Ferrero, who went to Bolton School Girls’ Division.
The 31-year-old has a degree in art history and has done an Art Degree foundation year and an MA in Art Education.
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