Wednesday, 14 September 2011

If I Could Be Anybody I'd Like To Be...

Florence Boot (1863-1952). She was a Jersey girl, born in St Helier and her parents owned a bookshop. Florence met Jesse Boot (founder of Boots The Chemist) when he visited Jersey from Nottingham.

Florence worked with her husband and as Lord and Lady Trent they became great benefactors to the island. As well as F B Fields (sports fields in St Clement) they built Florence Boot Homes, La Motte Street School, Coronation Park (beautiful parks, with playground and paddling pond) and various other developments for the local people.

After her husband's death in 1931, Lady Trent commissioned Rene Lalique to design the incredible works of art in St Matthew's Church (aka The Glass Church). It's one of my favourite places to visit and if you ever come to Jersey you should definitely make the most of seeing so much Lalique in one place.

Today is Launch Day for Talli Roland's second novel, Watching Willow Watts. You can buy a copy of Willow on Amazon UK for £1.71, or on Amazon.com for $2.99. (Paperback coming in November).

Here's the blurb:

For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image in a frame.

Instantly, Willow's town is overrun with fans flocking to see the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers -- whose shops and businesses are cashing in -- Willow embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves.
But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village's newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?


So, who would you like to be?

25 comments:

Gina Dickerson said...

What an interesting blog. I had never heard of Florence. My mum worked for Boots (the chemist) for a very long time, sadly she is no longer here (a life lost young) and I have a soft spot for Boots the store. Thanks for the education! Am a new follower.

Talli Roland said...

Oh wow! The legend behind Boots - I had no idea there even was a 'Boot' couple. What a fantastic choice, Debs. Thank you so much for taking part, and for all your help and support! xx

Troy said...

Yes but would really want to wear your hair like that?

Shirley Wells said...

Oh. Blogger just ate my comment.

Great choice, Debs. I'd never heard of her but what a lovely story.

I'm loving Talli's launch day and finding out who we'd all choose to be.

MC Rogerson said...

Fascinating! I didn't know about Florence so I'm glad I stopped by today.

Rebecca Emin said...

Gosh, Debs, that is so interesting! Good choice. My parents are on holiday on Jersey even as I type. Enjoy the launch party!

Kath said...

I didn't know anything about the people behind Boots, let alone Florence, before reading your post. That was fascinating and so good to see that she stayed true to her island home and saw that it benefited from her successful marriage. Interesting choice, Debs!

Alleged Author said...

I would love to be responsible for the building of parks because they bring enjoyment to many. Great choice!

Amanda said...

How interesting, Debs! Great post. x

Rachel said...

Fascinating and informative choice, Debs! X

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Loved your interesting choice, Debs - and I've learned something new! Not sure who I'd like to be - too much choice, but probably a historical figure.

Debs Carr said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. It must have been wonderful to be able to do so much for the island she was born in.

Rebecca - I hope your parents do visit the Glass Church if they are interested in Lalique crystal, it looks nothing from the outside, but is stunning once you go in.

Melissa Marsh said...

I love hearing the stories behind those famous names - i.e. Boots. She sounds like a marvelous lady!

Jen said...

Blimey, I never knew about Florence Boot or the history behind the 'glass church'! Will have to re-visit it when I come back in Nov... haven't been for many years and suspect that it's one of those things that becomes more impressive as we grow up!

Am loving all these threads for Talli's book!

Anna Scott Graham said...

Intriguing lady! I don't know who I'd like to be, or what point of history; that's a puzzling notion. When I read about activists, that stirs my soul, something I'll have to ponder... :)))

Faye said...

I can see why you admire the Boots, Debs. It's so refreshing when people who have wealth give back to their community. The church is a real architectural treasure to have close by.

Exciting times when new books are released. Where is yours in this process?

Flowerpot said...

I hadn't heard of her either Debs - fascinating. I'll have to think about who I'd like to be.....

galant said...

This is indeed a coincidental post as I have, next to me, on my desk the latest Shire Book which is entitled LALIQUE by Eric Knowles, in which the Glass Church (St Matthew's) is mentioned. So, anyone interested in Rene Lalique and his wonderful glass, treat yourselves to this lovely book (which is larger than the usual Shire books which, in recent years, have been modernized but not dumbed down; they are excellent short histories of so many subjects.)

Tracy Z. said...

I've never heard of her, so I learned something new today. Thanks for sharing!

Debs Carr said...

I lived near FB Fields (sports grounds) years ago and then discovered the Glass Church and learned how they were connected. What a fascinating life she must have had.

Liane Spicer said...

Fascinating. Heard of Boots, never realized it was named after real people. Can't think of anyone I'd wish to be - just me, warts and all, but a lot richer, a lot thinner and with an anti-aging mutant gene. :)

Talli's book sounds like fun!

Debs Carr said...

Liane - I like the idea of being a richer, thinner me;-)

D.K. Kirkby said...

What a fascinating woman!

Suzanne Jones said...

Terrific post, Debs.

XX

Debs Carr said...

Thanks ladies, glad you enjoyed it.