6.1. Alexander Standish[10A1]

6.1. (3) AS The Future?

Helen Moorwood 2013

N.B. By clicking on the coloured title you can return to the original articles written in early 2004 and placed by Peter Duxbury on A Duxbury Family Website in March 2004, where it still is, under:

Helen's Story: from Duxbury to Shakespeare. The story of William Shakespeare's Lancashire Ancestry, by Helen Moorwood

10. The Biography of Alexander Standish

N.B. Most of this still stands, but where appropriate the 2004 version is now updated below by interspersed commentary in square brackets and italics. Some reformatting was necessary, and the occasional typo – whether by Peter or myself - has been silently corrected. Asap a shorter narrative version of his biography will appear, based, of course, on all details and documents in this file. Meanwhile, this is part (3) of (1) to (45) AS. [2013 HM]


(3) The future?

A bit of the future was predicted above. I will give my course at Alston Hall (27-30 August 2004) and the Revd John Cree has set up his committee. I have no idea what the future might bring for AS or my Shakespeare book. In June 2003 I sent off the introduction and the first few pages to two publishers. In August I received rejections from both, for the following reasons. I quote:

(i) Sutton Publishing

5 August 2003

Dear Ms Moorwood,

Thank you for sending the proposal and outline for your book on Shakespeare’s ancestry. I have considered it carefully and decided not to take the proposal any further. It struck me as a book that would appeal largly (sic) to a fairly dedicated audience of Shakespeare ancestry enthusiasts. As our books are intended for a broad general readership it would not make a very good fit for the range of marketing and selling approaches that we employ.

I wish you every success in placing the book with another publisher.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher Feeney

Senior Commissioning Editor, History

(ii) Manchester University Press

19 August 2003

Dear Ms Moorwood

Re: Shakespeare’s ancestry, life and Lancashire links

Many thanks for sending in the material. It is an intriguing read; unfortunately it is not one that MUP can take on.

I have talked about it with a colleague and with an academic. Although the material could be ground-breaking, MUP would not be best placed to exploit/promote your findings. You really do need a trade publisher, one with the resources to back up your findings and then be able to market them effectively. If the information you have unearthed is so explosive, MUP would probably be buried by the ensuing publicity.

Apologies for this somewhat brief response. I earnestly hope that you secure the interest of a larger publisher in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Frost

How extraordinary. As my husband Alan commented after reading both: “Do I understand that one rejection was because they thought they wouldn’t sell enough books, and the other because they might sell too many?” Quite. My immediate thought about a publisher capable of coping with the publicity was Harry Potter, but I decided that the first logical place to start was with (materials for) AS’s biography and put this on a web site. Peter Duxbury was happy to oblige.

[Nine years on and it is still sitting on my computer! All is at the moment being reorganised in the light of my recent book ‘Shakespeare’s Stanley Epitaphs in Tong Shropshire’, and the development of this website. 2013 HM]


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