John Wentley Investigates by J.F.C Westerman

After his splendid record with the Star and Planet Line, it was naturally to John Wentley that the Company turned when it become necessary to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several of their planes. How he responded, and how he quickly found himself pitted against a world-wide organisation of really terrifying power, is the story of the book – and a wonderful book it is.

John Wentley Investigates By  J.F.C. Westerman


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From the book’s opening…

“Unless something happens pretty soon, we’ll have to cut our losses and give up!” delared John Wentley, as he stared moodily out of the window and surveyed a vast, level field. “Dash it all, George, two whole months and not a single commission!”

“It’s not too good.” admitted George Teuter, his chum and partner. “I don’t know what people are coming to these days. Our advertisment should rake in something: ‘Airmen willing to undertake any commission. Nothing too big ot too small. Danger and adventure welcome. All work strictly confidential.’ That’s how it goes, more or less, isn’t it?”

“Near enough,” agreed John. “In any case, no one has risen to the bait, and it seems to me that Tentley Aviation will have to close down. One thing I’m pretty sure that Captain Dowell will take me back to the Old Star and Planet Line if I apply with due humility. Tou’re all right, of course, but I have to earn my living.”

“Come on, snap out of it!” directed George. “This si the first time, I’ve seen you in such a mood, and it doesn’t suit you, old son! Of course, if you regret leaving the Star and Planet Line and want to back to sea, carry on; but I must say that I’d be more than fed up if you did.”

“I don’t want to go back to sea exactly – although my so-called sea career was combined with more than a bit of flying…..


The Grey Owl Books by Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin

Pilgrims of the Wild is one of the The Grey Owl Books by Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin.  In it a “a ‘Red Indian’ tries to convey to the white man, before it is too late, some of the spirit of his vanishing race”

The Grey Owl Books by Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin


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Pilgrims of the Wild is the attempt of a Red Indian to convey to the White Man, before it is too late, something of the spirit of Grey Owl (Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin), trapper, guide, sniper in the Canadian Army, later officially appointed Protector of Wild Life, and world famous; and of Anahareo, daughter of a line of Iroquois chiefs.

Their journey was long and weary, beset by hardships and dangers, and undertaken without hope of gain, in obedience to a spiritual vision, the vision that somehow, somewhere, they might find a sanctuary for the last survivors of the Little People, the little friends of the Red Indian, the beaver.

Grey Owl has been compared with Gilbert White of Selborne, and the comparison between a half-breed trapper of the Canadian backwoods, and the cultured, comfortable eighteenth-century country parson, may seem far-fetched. It is not so. Common to both are an intense love of all living things, extraordinary powers of observation in simple, vivid words. The influence of Gilbert White, Patron Saint of English naturalists, has been far reaching: so already, though his work is not yet done, is that of Grey Owl. This book has added thousands to his army of friends and admirers.

Other Grey Owl Books include

A Book Of Grey Owl (Pages from the writings of Wa-Sha-Quon_Asin) (Amazon UK, Amazon USA)

This book contains a selection  from all of Grey Owl’s published writings under five headings: Sajo and Shapian, The Beaver People, On the Trail, Creatures of the Wild, and North American Indians. It is a delightful volume, beautifully produced and fully illustrated with photographs old and new as well as Grey Owl’s own sketches, representing all aspects of his many sided genius.

The Green Leaf: A Tribute to Grey Owl edited by Lovat Dickson (Amazon UK, Amazon USA)

The contents of this delightful little book – a fitting memorial to a noble life cut off in its prime – include an account of Grey Owl’s last days; his death and burial; spontaneous tributes from the Press; a selection of very revealing letters to his publisher, now printed for the first time; some unpublished Precepts and passages from the books embodying  varying aspects of his philosophy; his farewell (undelivered) broadcast to the children of Britain; and a pictorial record of his last days, including some remarkable photographs printed in photogravure.

Tales Of An Empty Cabin (Amazon UK, Amazon USA)

The cabin will be recognisable to those who have read Pilgrims of the Wild as the House of McGinnis. The ghostly firelight in the empty cabin brings back to his mind now, as it did in that winter, “some half-forgotten story or incident, or thought, and by them there nearly always hung a tale.”

“It is a unique book, profound and fascinating…..I have been able only to hint at the wealth the book contains…..a book, incontestably, to possess and to brood over, again and again.” Hugh De Selincourt in the Sunday Times

The Adventures of Sajo And Her Beaver People (Amazon UK, Amazon USA)

“I have no hesitation whatever in calling The Adventures of Sajo and her Beaver People the best tale of its kind since Black Beauty…..I cannot imagine the child, or for that matter the grown up, who will not love reading about Sajo and her beavers as much as I have loved reading about them.” Compton Mackenzie in the Daily Mail

The Tree (Amazon UK, Amazon USA)

Grey Owl’s classic story of six hundred years in the life of a tree, illustrated with his own drawings and with cover design and end papers by Webster Murray


Foundations of T’ien – T’ai Philosophy by Paul L. Swanson

T'ien - T'ai Philosophy

The full title of this book is Foundations of T’ien – T’ai Philosophy – The Flowering of the Two Truths Thoery in Chinese Buddhism.

It has chapters on 1: Truth in T’ien – Tiai Philosophy, 2: Early Mãdhyamika in China, 3: Early Chinese Aprocryphal Sūtras, 4: The Liang Period (502-557), 5: Hui-Yüan’s Encylopedia of Mahãyãna Buddhism, 6: The Ch’eng Shih Lun Scholars, 7:The Sanlun Critiques, 8: Chih-i’s Threefold Truth and a Translation of Chih-i’s Fa hua hsüan i.

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(From The Introduction): “This volume represents the first comprehensive study in English of the teaching of the Threefold Truth, pehaps the single most important doctrine in T’ien – t’ai Buddhism. Its author, Paul Swanson, stands as the first of a new generation of Buddhist scholars attempting to provide a comprehensive analysis of T’ien – t’ai for the West and thus top open new vistas for understanding East Asian Buddhism as a whole.

(From The Preface): “T’ien – t’ai Buddhism is usually introduced by way of the convenient but misleading framework of its doctrinal classification system , known as the “Five Teachings and Eight Periods.” Both in Japan and in the West, this system is used to classify the entire corpus of the Buddhist teachings into the various types of teachings which were supposedly  revealed by the Buddha at various stages of his career. Certainly this latter idea is an important part of the T’ien – t’ai tradition, but it leaves the impression that T’ien -t’ ai tradition, but it leaves the impression that T’ien – t’ai Buddhism is a rather rigid and outdated relic of the past whose meticulous scholastic analyses are of no more than academic interest.

A shift of perspective on T’ien – t’ai Buddhism, I wish to argue here opens up an intricate and all-encompassing synthesis of Buddhist teachings and practice based on a consistent principle that brings T’ien – t’ai Buddhism to life and makes it more accessible to men and women in our day. This principle, the key to T’ien – t’ai Buddhism, is Chih-i’s concept of the “Threefold Truth”: Emptiness, Conventional Existence, and the Middle.

Chih-i (538-597), one of the greatest of the Chinese Buddhist philosophers, combined an uncommon scholarly insight into the Buddhaharma with the virtuosity of a dedicated follower of the Buddhist path”.


Writing By Candlelight. E.P. Thomson

canfleightThe essays in this book were, with one exception, written between 1979 and 1980. They concern such matters as the miners’ strike of 1972; Sir Harold Wilson’s apologetics and the referendum about “going into Europe”; the ABC Official Secrets Trial of 1978 and the current attack on the jury system. The last two essays restate the case for policies of active neutrality. The essays vary in style and give scope for the author’s talent for satire and polemic as well as for measured political analysis. All are concerned with the means employed today to manufacture what is then offered as a consensus of “public opinion”. They are also concerned with the increasingly authoritarian measures and ideology of the British state. As Thompson writes: “For two decades the state, whether under Conservative or Labour administrations, has been taking liberties, and these liberties were ours”.

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