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Reading Nottingham's Unread: Republishing James Prior's Forest Folk

A lunchtime talk for the Collected Words exhibition. First published in 1901, Prior’s pacy novel is set in Blidworth against a background of the Napoleonic Wars and Luddite riots. It lay unnoticed for many years, although DH Lawrence rated Prior’s work. Then, in 2016, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Spokesman Books co-published Dawn Of The Unread, graphic accounts of vengeful local writers resolute on being read by new generations. In the ferment, Forest Folk clawed its way into view. How will it fare in the bookshops of 2017?

Tony Simpson edits The Spokesman, journal of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, and is a director of Russell Press printers.