Neil Rathmell

100+ essays on literary topics



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Improbable Fictions

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Neil Rathmell’s new collection of short fiction ranges from his earliest stories, first published by Faber & Faber in an anthology of work by new writers, to his most recent, some published here for the first time, some published previously in literary magazines in the UK and Ireland.



1549 was the year of Kett’s Rebellion, when thousands of ordinary people in Norfolk protested against the enclosure of common land by wealthy landowners. Robert Kett, himself a landowner, changed sides and became their leader. He led them to Norwich where they made their camp a mile outside the city. Within days their numbers had grown to 20,000 and the mayor, Thomas Cod, had no choice but to let them in. Today it might have been called the Norfolk Spring or Occupy Norwich.
‘A page-turning read and an illuminating insight into important events in our history.’
Matthew Branton, author

Vive le Mole!

Neil Rathmell’s grown-up sequel to The Wind in the Willows sees Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad flying south for the winter. What happens when they touch down in a Provençal village is a far cry from life on the riverbank. Vive le Mole! is a story of love and intrigue in the south of France told with characteristic wit and charm by this accomplished author.

An Englishman (and his mother) Abroad

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Neil Rathmell writes poignantly and vividly about the ten days he spent with his mother in India, staying with friends to celebrate her 90th birthday. As well as telling his mother’s story, he introduces a cavalcade of characters from India’s history and mythology – from Ranjit Singh, the last great ruler of Punjab, to Prince Half-a-son, a character in an old Punjabi story; from the Maharajah of Patiala, with his collection of Rolls Royces, medals and concubines, to Didho Ranjha and Heer Sayal, the Romeo and Juliet of Punjab; from Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru, to Udam Singh, avenger of the massacre at Amritsar.
“A perceptive view of hospitality in India, which I enjoyed greatly because it closely reflected my own experiences on a recent visit. The unlikely story of how the author took his mother there for her ninetieth birthday was quite inspirational.” (Goodreads)

Heer Ranjha

Two of the stories from An Englishman (and his mother) Abroad are available as individual e-books from Amazon.

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