Photo Credit: Jillian Edelstein
A three day literary line-up awaits you in March 2022!
Patrick Gale has been a patron of The Charles Causley Trust for many years. During this time, he has been involved with our Arts and Literature festival, our Young Person’s Poetry Competition and now we are delighted to help launch his latest book, Mother’s Boy, based around the known facts of the boyhood and youth of Charles Causley and the life of his mother, Laura.
Patrick was born on the Isle of Wight but has lived in Cornwall since 1987. He currently lives on a farm near Land’s End with his husband Aidan, where they raise beef cattle and grow barley. In addition to his work with us at The Charles Causley Trust in Launceston, he is also the artistic director of the North Cornwall Book Festival, patron of Penzance LitFest and a director of Endelienta. Mother’s Boy is one of Patrick’s many literary creations that embodies his affection for Cornwall.
His latest novel explores the lives of two principal characters — Laura and Charles.
Laura, based on Charles Causley’s mother, is an impoverished Cornish girl who meets her husband when they are both in service in Teignmouth in 1916. They have a baby, Charles, but Laura’s husband returns home from the trenches a damaged man, already ill with the tuberculosis that will soon leave her a widow. In a small, class-obsessed town she raises her boy alone, working as a laundress, and gradually becomes aware that he is some kind of genius.
Charles is an intensely private young man, who signs up for the navy with the new rank of coder. His escape from the tight, gossipy confines of Launceston to the colour and violence of war sees him blossom as he experiences not only the possibility of death, but the constant danger of a love that is as clandestine as his work. Mother’s Boy is a story of a man who is among, yet apart from his fellows, in thrall to, yet at a distance from his own mother; a man being shaped for a long, remarkable and revered life spent hiding in plain sight. But it is equally the story of the dauntless mother who will continue to shield him long after the dangers of war are past.
To celebrate the publication of Patrick’s novel, we will be hosting a 3-day Mother’s Boy event from the 4th-6th of March. The event will begin on Friday 4th March at Launceston Town Hall with the launch of our 2022 Young Person’s Poetry Competition, of which Trust Patron Patrick Gale is our head judge. This will then be followed by a university workshop at Launceston Library. Then on Saturday, Patrick will lead a coffee and cake morning at Cyprus Well, Charles and Laura’s final home. In the evening, Cornish filmmaker Jane Darke will present and screen her documentary ‘Cornwall’s Native Poet,’ followed by performances by folk singer Jim Causley and a book reading and Q&A by Patrick Gale. On Sunday, the launch event will conclude with a free community book signing and reading event at Launceston Town Hall, in which BBC’S Petroc Trelawny will interview Patrick Gale on all things Mother’s Boy.
For more information about how to book tickets for these events see our dedicated (and new!) Whats On section here on our website.
To pre-order Patrick’s book, see Bookshop.org.