Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Last night's triumph was picked up by Nancy Banks-Smith, the TV critic for the Guardian.
Who would not be cheered to hear that The Romantic Novelists' Association has pipped The Economist to win a place in the final of University Challenge (BBC 2). The romantic novelists were stiffened in their resolve by their only male member, Stephen Bowden, who frankly hasn't had anything published yet. He is currently working, more in hope than expectation, on Lord Alexander's Cipher.
Now I have to say that Nancy Banks-Smith is my all-time favourite TV critic (I rate her even above Clive James in his Observer days) and I am delighted that she went to the trouble of finding her way here to Wenlock (I assume that's where she got the title from) but she is absolutely not right on that final point. I am determined to get published, and to quit my day job. If not with Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth, then with the next one, or the one after that.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the media jungle, The Gloucestershire Echo are following the story.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on getting to the final of university challenge. I have to ask if you are related to Hugh Bowden, ancient historian at King's College London? You look uncanily like him. I nearly fell out of my chair when i switched to BBC two. Unless of course you live a double life, romantic novelist by day, history prof by night (or vice versa)

Stephen said...

Hugh's not that ancient - in fact he is marginally younger than me, being my twin brother.

I'll plug his latest book here, and let him know to send me some chocolate in due course.

Gabriele C. said...

Congratulations, Stephen.

Gabriele C. said...

BTW, did you know that Cheltenham is the partner town of Göttingen?

We're connected. :)

Stephen said...

There are signs at the edge of town saying that we are twinned with Göttingen, but I have never seen much evidence of exchange activity. We get a "German Market" in the run-up to Christmas, but I think that it is really just an English market in a bunch of garden sheds, with somebody selling sausages that they picked up that the local Aldi or Lidl. :-(

Gabriele C. said...

Do you have Aldi and Lidl in the US? I can't remember having seen them in Scotland.

And you don't get Göttinger Weißwürste at Aldi. :)

We do more here in Göttingen, it seems. We've got a Cheltenham Park (not the largest, the Botanical Garden and the Schillerwiesen cover a greater area) and a Cheltenham House which lodges a Chinese restaurant and a few doctors and attorneys. There are some guest visits (mostly poor unsuspecting school kids obliged to learn to quote a few lines of said Schiller, I suspect) and the occasional lecture about the UK, though I admit I don't have much patience to sit through lectures theses days, I had my fill during my studies.

Göttingen has finally managed to get part of the official website up in English. It took them years.

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