Joss Naylor is arguably more popular than ever . . . if the attendance at the launch of his biography, at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake last Saturday, is anything to go by.
The event at the theatre was a sell out with the Main House packed with almost 400 and after the event the queue for the book signing appeared to be endless, snaking out of the bar through the foyer and almost onto Lake Road. Joss and his biographer, Keith Richardson, spent more than an hour signing books.
The event at the theatre was organised by River Greta Writer (publishers of the book) not only as a launch but also as a fund raising event for charity and Joss’s chosen charity was Eden House Children’s Hospice, Carlisle. The event, sponsored by Invest in Cumbria, raised almost £4,000. Booking staff at the theatre said that such was the interest in the event it could have sold out twice!
The evening was in two parts: in the first half of the show, writer Keith Richardson gave a fascinating and entertaining illustrated talk about the book and Joss’s life, enhanced by the powerful images of the photographer Val Corbett who was specially commissioned to produce pictures for the book. One particular image, of Joss and his two dogs Titch and Spy on crags at Dore Head, overlooking Wasdale Head, was described by Keith Richardson as a “timeless classic”.
In the second half Joss was interviewed on stage by the writer and broadcaster Eric Robson and at the conclusion of the interview, which included questions from the audience, Joss, who appeared on stage with his dog, Spy, was given a standing ovation by a packed house which had been thoroughly captivated throughout by Joss’s observations on running, farming, politics and life.
‘Joss. The life and times of the legendary Lake District fell runner and shepherd’ is published by River Greta Writer. It retails at £25 and is available from bookshops in Cumbria and the Lake District. The book is also available direct from the publisher at http://rivergretawriter.co.uk/?c=books&a=joss_payment_options
See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/12/country-diary-lake-district for Tony Greenbank’s article in the Guardian on Monday 12 October about the book and its launch.