Hi, I’m Simon Dunant an avid reader, collector and independent researcher of the works, ephemera and memorabilia relating to the early 20th Century writer Hugh Walpole. Here I am pictured in 2019 climbing Hugh’s beloved Catbells overlooking Derwentwater and Keswick in the Lake District.
Since 2011 when I first discovered his books I’ve been researching the fascinating life and works of this prolific author . I originally started to create a blog about Hugh Walpole in 2013 to curate and share what I was discovering about Hugh Walpole’s life and work, however as a personal project I never got around to publishing the site.
In 2020 as my Hugh Walpole book collection grew I was near to completing the ownership of every book listed in the Bibliography section of the Hart-Davis definitive biography.
Thanks to the universe creating yet another set of other worldly events (these seem to occur frequently in my dealings with Hugh’s work) connecting up a seemingly otherwise random chain of people, I had the opportunity to acquire the remaining rare books needed to complete my collection (and a few more private items that are only likely to come to the market once in a lifetime).
This opportunity (which I’ve written about here) and the sudden availability of the hughwalpole.com domain name that appeared to have lapsed registration out of the blue after a long time being registered by someone else but pointing to a generic ISP holding page, seemed to indicate that something was telling me it was time the site I had always wanted to create to honour Hugh should finally ‘hit the presses’.
So here it is, finally designed, built and published with a few posts, though with much writing still to come and a lot of stories yet to be shared.
As of writing in July 2020 I wonder what Hugh would have made of the world today, with the global pandemic, the world politics and everything that’s going on right now. From reading some of his early diary extracts and later insights from ‘Open Letter Of An Optimist’ concerning the First and Second world wars, perhaps the human race is just in another unlearned cycle. I’m sure Hugh would have been hopeful as ever though.
If you’ve only just discovered Hugh Walpole’s work or are a seasoned fan I hope this blog adds a richness your literary journey.
I’d also love to hear from you if you have any interesting facts, stories, ephemera or indeed anything relating to Hugh Walpole’s life and work that I can publish on the blog. Please do get in touch via the contact page or via the comments of any of the posts.
This is a project entirely funded and run by myself in my spare time, so if you do send a message please be patient, I’ll endeavour to get back to you as soon as I can.
With kind regard