St Paul’s Juniors / Juniors News
Author Talk

On Thursday, Upper Second Boys were treated to a talk by Paul Dowswell.

As an author of many excellent historical novels, Paul talked about his inspiration for ‘Powder Monkey’; a story of a boy at sea in Nelson’s Navy. Using ‘The Fall of Nelson’ painted by Denis Dighton as a starting point, Paul explained how the painting had inspired his story and some of his characters. He offered a lot of background information about life at sea. The boys were then invited to ask questions of which there were very many as the boys all responded with interesting and well-thought out questions. They learnt, among other things about the food, the heads and the differences in living accommodation between officers and the crew. The boys all left with a better understanding of life and death on board a wooden sailing ship in the early Nineteenth century. 

Author Talk2

Paul also offered some indications as to how writing an historical novel involves thinking and learning about historical viewpoints and details of everyday life in order to bring a story alive.  He included two readings from Powder Monkey which has inspired many of the boys to reserve the book from the Colet Library.  

The next Author Visit will be Joe Craig (author of the Jimmy Coates series) who will be talking to the Lower Third Boys.

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