No Quarter Asked, No Quarter Given

A Georgian romp of a story: of characters that are not all they seem, of rousing achievements and acclaim; a story of an unlikely friendship that is destroyed by disloyalty and ultimately by treachery and betrayal.
The year is 1785 and on a London Street there is a chance encounter between two young men, John Campbell-John and Samuel Medina. One is a rogue and an impostor and the other a man of honour who wants to stand up and fight the world and put right all the injustices he sees in it. With John as his mentor, Samuel is taken from his Jewish community and thrust into the degenerate world of 18th Century London, where he sets out to sample all the sensual pleasures that Georgian society has to offer and jeopardises the achievement of his ultimate goal: to be the Boxing Champion of England.
The story of an unlikely hero; a man who becomes an acclaimed boxing champion, adored by his public from the highest to the lowest in the land; a man who is guided by his innate honesty and integrity to overcome prejudice and eventually find peace.




A CANOPY OF STARS

The year is 1823, and at the Old Bailey a young man, David Neander stands in the dock on trial for his life. His crime? The theft of half a sheep's carcass worth a mere 40 shillings. The system is stacked against him for while he is an educated man, he is a Jewish immigrant and speaks little English, is seen as just another piece of London's low life jetsam to be dispatched to the hangman with little ceremony and no one to mourn him.
Yet by chance, in the gallery that day Julia Carmichael, the young, talented daughter of a celebrated lawyer, witnesses his plight. She observes the injustice being inflicted on the accused by an incompetent, prejudiced judge and sees in David Neander what others have failed to see. Determined to help him she delves into his past and uncovers the remarkable journey he has been forced to endure, the privations he has had to overcome and the stinging irony of his being accused of a theft he did not commit. But can she and her father prove his innocence or must they watch him hang?
A Georgian courtroom drama and an adventure story; an unlikely romance and the story of two lives that are changed forever.

The King Of Blognogplotin

The story of a lonely little girl whose mother has died. But her two magical cats bring excitement into her life, and take her on a thrilling adventure to the strange kingdom of Blog-nog-potin where everything is so grand and the people have silly names.


RIPPLES AND SHADOWS

History is Professor James Postlethwaite’s passion, both personally and professionally. When, by chance, he hears of some old documents that have been festering in the attic of a country house for two centuries he is keen to study them; manorial records together with journals written by the lord and lady, a first-hand view into the life of the Georgian privileged. But he is unprepared for what he finds, for what he reads.

These are no ordinary journals chronicling the mundane everyday lives at the manor. These tell of two extraordinary lives, told in their own words. Stories of passion, of achievement, of acclaim, of attainment; but also of tragedy, of misfortune, of heartbreak, of adversity – but essentially stories that define the human spirit.

Stories so strong that his own detachment as a professional historian is compromised; he knows he should be dispassionate, approach these journals analytically, but instead he finds himself emotionally connected to these two long-dead people. There are uneasy parallels as his own life starts to mirror the antique stories that he is researching.

A story of three very different lives that become entwined – a story of achievement from the humblest of beginnings, but most of all a story of love.

And finally, a secret told for the first time in two hundred years.

About Stephen:

Stephen Taylor was once a happy and reasonably well adjusted person; that was until this urge to write invaded his psyche, this need to be a writer, to tell tales. He spent his days as a Tax Inspector (Now come on out from behind the sofa – they’re a fine bunch of lads and lasses at the Tax office), and shuffling his daughter to and from school. But then these thoughts began to coalesce in his mind.

Why was the greed of the eighties so bad for the country? Why couldn’t other people see that downsizing, predatory takeovers were dead end principles, unsustainable? And so emerged his first novel, - Once Upon a Thatcher Time; a financial thriller (not yet published).

But his first love was Historical fiction - he is an avid reader of it. The concept of a Georgian trilogy was conceived. Three stories, each standing on their own, but each set in Georgian London; a decadent time and a decadent place. And more questions to answer.

How could the most famous man in England in 1800 be totally unknown today? Why was the brutal sport of bare knuckle pugilism regarded as noble by our Georgian forebears? What a story there was to be told? And so lunch times and evenings began to be devoted to telling that story; and the Novel – No Quarter Asked No Quarter Given was Born (later short listed for the BritWriters Award). A Georgian romp of a story,

If the past is another country (according to Leslie P Hartley) then the Georgian period exemplifies this. Research threw up other questions. Why were these people so different from us? Why did over 200 offences carry the death penalty? Why was a hanging a public holiday? Why did people take their children to see these executions? A callous time and yet a coarse word at the wrong time was considered unpardonable. And then the novel, A Canopy of Stars emerged. The story of a young man, David Neander in the dock on trial for his life. His crime? The theft of half a sheep’s carcass worth a mere 40 shillings. But can he prove his innocence or must he hang. He needs help - will he get it? A Georgian courtroom drama, The Old bailey, an unlikely romance and the story of two lives that are changed forever.

The third novel in the trilogy is now published (September 2012), "Ripples and Shadows." A story of two very different people from different ends of the social ladder, one highborn the other a child of the Foundlings' Hospital. There lives serendipitously entwined. Their stories told in their own words through their journals. See also a contemporary novel, The Games People Play, a romance (not yet published),

And a children’s book, The King of Blognogpotin.

Stephen Taylor was born in Yorkshire, although brought up in Manchester - his mother travelled back to Yorkshire so that his birth there would give him residential status to play cricket for Yorkshire - nobody ever believes that, but he promises that it’s true. Unfortunately it was a feat that was never achieved, the White Rose County unappreciative of his cricketing skills.

He now works in Nottingham and lives in the Vale of Belvoir, a widower with a daughter just finished at University.