Last Saturday, July 21st 2018, we launched The Silent Listener. The Life and Works of J.H.W. Eldermans at the Atlantis Bookshop at 49a Museum Street in London, United Kingdom. We knew in advance that the Atlantis Bookshop is a small venue, so that the turnup would not be into the hundreds, but there were a significant number of people who showed interest enough, so that the shop was filled with people who genuinely showed interest in the subject of J.H.W. Eldermans.
We met with Geraldine and Bali in the morning with temperatures rising quickly in London. Gemma and Jane were not at the shop yet, so we decided to wait for them. During the wait we decided to have breakfast at Giovanni’s, straight across from the Atlantis Bookshop. And while we were waiting for our meals to arrive, Jane and Gemma drove into the street, so I went out to meet them. After we carried the books into the shop, breakfast arrived and I had to defend my mushrooms from my wife who was stealing them from my plate.
The day was filled with magic. After we parted ways to meet up for the night, I went to the British Museum to see some highlights I didn’t want to miss. The first one being the Rosetta Stone. A significant find for cultural studies, especially history, as it was the key in the translation to hieroglyphics. The stone was much larger than I expected it to be, and it was quite hard to get a good picture of it, because it drew as much attention as the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum. Next was the Mesopotamian gallery, which was stunning to say the least. After that the hunt was on for the objects once owned by Dr. John Dee. John Dee was the court astrologer of queen Elisabeth I and he was the discoverer of the Enochian language together with his associate Edward Kelley. My master’s thesis involved a manuscript from John Dee, so to me it was a mandatory visit.
After the British Museum we decided to wander a bit through London, and I found an English version of Asterix The Legionary for my collection of Asterix albums from countries I have visited. Then we decided to go back to the hotel for some relaxing and a change of clothes. A nice dinner at Wagamama’s on Jubilee Place and then off to the Tube for a ride to Holborn Station, from where it was a five minute walk to the Atlantis Bookshop. There the shopwindow was filled with The Silent Listener. After an hour we decided to start the presentation. The book sold fairly well that evening, and there were wine and nibbles, a nice fruity red one called Winking Owl, which seemed very appropriate for the evening. After the presentation it appeared that Geraldine of the Atlantis Bookshop was quite the critical reader and observer and fired away some intriguing questions, which makes such a night more interesting. My fellow author at Troy Books Michael Slater made the journey from Bristol by train to attend the launch. It was great to meet Michael, but also the other people who made the effort to travel to London and whose books I had the honor to sign. The Atlantis Bookshop has proven to be a great location for a book launch party, and more so because of the grand names of British witchcraft and magic who went there to meet each other, and not the least of all: Gerald Gardner, Cecil Williamson, Doreen Valiente, Aleister Crowley… One starts to wonder if Eldermans set foot in this magical shop as well.
So I would like to thank Geraldine and Bali for their hospitality and great advice for my current research on Bob Richel and ofcourse Gemma and Jane of Troy Books to make this all possible. And I would like to thank everyone who attended the evening for their interest and their time! I hope the book meets your expectations.
© 2018 Wilmar Taal