Finished my latest book – unlucky no. 13. It’s really just a collection of my old essays, reviews and even a blog or two, most of them previously published in other forms, with an attempt to fit them into a logical sequence with an overriding theme – ‘Britain and Europe’ – which may not be thought to be too convincing. My Empire Ways was in the same mould. Some of it, including its ‘Conclusion’ on ‘Brexit and History’, is new. I still have lots of editing to do. The title – Cosmopolis – is provisional.
One very good publisher has promised to take a look at it; but despite its quality – in my eyes, obviously – I’m not altogether confident of its finding a berth. In which case I’ll try self-publication. It will have to be in hard-copy. I don’t trust electronic publication. What if a sun-burst or something wipes out all our web-based stuff?
I don’t want any royalties; just the chance to hold my new baby in my arms, after all that labour. And before I succumb to post-natal depression.
Wasn’t it Beatrice Webb who, after a fling with the bold macho imperialist Joseph Chamberlain, decided instead to marry the weedy socialist Sidney Webb, in order to ‘have books, rather than babies’? (I think it was I who discovered that, in her diaries at the LSE in the sixties; but it may not have been.)