Readers (if there are any . . .) may be puzzled by the title of my blog. Well, in the Middle Ages a ‘chapman’ was a pedlar – a travelling salesman who went from village to village with his pack of trinkets and gew-gaws. The name comes from the Old English ‘cheype’ – ‘to sell’ – which still survives in place-names such as ‘Cheapside’ in London – once a market near St Paul’s – and Cheap Street in Sherborne. Both Chaucer and Shakespeare mention ‘chapmen’.

So my surname is one of those, like ‘Smith’ and ‘Miller’, that indicate a former occupation.

I keep making tiny alterations to the text of my book – re-reading and polishing. I recently wrote to a Famous Actress in the hope that she may agree to write a foreword. Until I hear from her I can’t take the next step towards publication. I plan to self-publish, on a ‘print-on-demand’ basis, as I am not prepared to have my manuscript sit in a traditional publisher’s ‘slush pile’ for months, only to be rejected in the end.

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