On Saturday October 5 the Henry Bloom Noble Library will be hosting the launch of local author Derek Winterbottom’s new book, Sophia Morrison, Mona Douglas and their Enchanted Isle between 11am and 4pm.
The book charts the lives and achievements of Sophia Morrison (1859-1917) and Mona Douglas (1898-1987), two women who had an enormous influence on Manx cultural development. Both were determined to preserve the Manx Gaelic language and the Island’s traditional folklore and customs.
Sophia Morrison is most famous for her Manx Fairy Tales and died relatively young, while Mona Douglas’s long life was filled with activity as a poet, novelist, dramatist, rural librarian, prolific journalist, producer of Manx pageants, collector of Manx folklore, folk songs and dances, organiser of Celtic congresses and festivals, originator of the Manannan trophies and general flag-bearer for Manx cultural nationalism. She was also a hill farmer and conducted a long romance with an Italian ex-internee. Mr Winterbottom’s book illustrates how Mona Douglas has a strong claim to be considered the most influential Manx woman of the twentieth century.
Derek Winterbottom holds degrees in history from the universities of Oxford and York and after teaching in the UK moved to the Island in 1994, where he has been a writer and occasional lecturer and broadcaster. His first book about the Island was a biography of TE Brown in 1997, followed by a study of the island’s governors since Revestment, biographies of Sir Charles Kerruish and Henry Bloom Noble, concise histories of the island and Castletown, and the stories of Manx Radio, Milntown, Hospice Isle of Man and the Montagu Lords of Man.
Sophia Morrison, Mona Douglas and their Enchanted Isle by Derek Winterbottom is priced £12.50. The author has generously agreed, however, to sell his book at the launch event for £10.00.
Borough librarian Jan Macartney said: ‘I’m delighted that such an acclaimed local author as Derek Winterbottom has chosen the library to launch his latest book, which celebrates the lives of two towering female figures in Manx history who have contributed enormously to our culture and heritage.’
Derek Winterbottom will also be giving a talk about the book at the Henry Bloom Noble Library on Thursday October 17 at 7pm. Free tickets are available in advance from the library counter.
The Henry Bloom Noble Library is in Duke Street, Douglas.