A New Book in Store! #Bookshops #books #novels #writing #literature #fiction #Collioure #France #England #adventure #travel #planets #moon #solstice

I’m VERY happy to announce that my new novel

‘A Worldly Tale Told Of Mothy Chambers’

is NOW available to buy through my website http://www.katebarnwell.com (signed copies with bookmark at £7.99 plus p&p). Please take a look.


‘I never fully understood where I fitted in or what to do with what I had.’

What alignment of planets brought about the meeting of two souls – Mothy Chambers, a 16-year-old struggling with adolescent uncertainties and Bette, a mesmeric young woman, settled in the unique southern French town of Collioure? He, sent direct from English boarding school to France by an indifferent family; she, the recently arrived, new wife of his host.

In the warmth, colour and skies of this small town, extraordinary lives are being embraced.

Mothy returns to England and he and Bette maintain a long and mutually confiding correspondence as he struggles to give meaning to his life. Gradually as his memories unfold, he starts to understand the relevance of his earlier times in France; he remembers how important and special this town was to so many people before him and it’s indisputable effect and transformation on those who came calling.

Mothy reflects on the enchantment of Bette, and wonders if the sudden disappearance of his oldest friend is the key to the purpose of his own ordinary life.

Many thanks to those who have supported my work in the past.

Keep reading something different.

Also available, if you must…



Paperback: ISBN: 978-0-9935817-5-5

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9935817-6-2


Refuge and Respite in Poetry #poetry #peace #War #France #GreatBritain

Legend has it that during the Second World War, the RAF (British Aircraft) parachuted thousands of copies of the poemLiberte‘ over occupied France. It was written in 1942 by French bohemian poet, and founder of the surrealist movement, Paul Eluard (1895-1952).
This act illustrates the social and spiritual power of poetry in the face of terror, and the delicacy and beauty of hope founded in effective words, which unite, inspire and console people.

Paul himself, was a sickly man; a wounded and scarred (mentally and physically) soldier of the First World War, at one point writing up to 150 letters a day to families, announcing the death of fellow soldiers.  

The War soon over, he wrote home in 1919, ‘We will now fight for happiness after having fought for Life.’ 

He found solace in poetry and in friendships with other writers.
His wife, Gaia, helped him with his poetry verses, and gave him the confidence, encouragement and security he needed to achieve her own belief, that he would be ‘a great poet.’ Never underestimate the power of the woman behind the man.

‘Liberte’ is a poem of 21 short stanzas with 4 lines per verse, each ending with 

‘I write your name’

The verses reflect on daily life: ‘my dog greedy,’ ‘the lamp that gives light,’ ‘the sill of my door,’ ‘the wakened paths,’ ‘desk and the trees’ as well as incorporating powerful images such as ‘naked solitude,’ ‘marches of death,’ ‘soldiers weapons.’  

The final verse states:

‘By the power of the word

I regain my life

I was born to know you

And to name you


When Paul died in November 1952, ‘the whole world was in mourning,’ stated Robert Sabatier. He was buried at Pere-Lachaise cemetery, just outside Paris, where a crowd of thousands had spontaneously gathered in the streets to accompany his casket to its final resting place.

Freedom, Equality, Democracy, Love, Brotherhood and Peace.

For this we fight (and so we write) every day.

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Essential Poetry 

The Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz was born 30th June 1911 (died 2004). In 1940 he escaped from Soviet-occupied Lithuania to Nazi-occupied Warsaw, neither were safe places for a creative mind to flourish or for thinkers to think. He joined the socialist resistance and was involved in clandestine publishing and reading of poetry. Life during the Second World War, (or any war for that matter) must have seemed desperate, lonely, bleak, bitter and full of pain, suffering and suppression.  
Milosz has been quoted as saying “when an entire community is struck by misfortune … poetry becomes as essential as bread.”  

Poetry, books and art can heal by taking us out of our world and into new ones, making anything possible through imagination and its freedom. It also unites people, they come together in solidarity, particularly in times of crisis and need; relying on words for ease or escapism.

Think of poetry as a soothing mint, something to chew and absorb; it leaves you feeling heaps better, re-energised, renewed, reinvigorated, refreshed, released!

Please sign here…#MagnaCarta

The 15th June was the official date for the signing of The Magna Carta, The Great Charter by King John, in 1215. It was essentially a peace treaty between the King and his Barons and the administration of justice, fairness and the rule of law.

Z O O M forward 800 years, 15th June 2015 & whilst in the process this charter of the land has seen Revival and Survival, English Liberties, Colonies and Revolutions, Radicalism and Reform, Empire and After, and The Modern Age.

After the English language it is Britain’s greatest export, inspiring the drafters of documents such as the U.S Declaration of Independence (1776) and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

From Bad King John to Good Queen Liz, the legacy of Magna Carta weaves its way into upholding Law, Liberty and Justice; unfortunately for many people and nations today the fight for freedom and dignity continues to be a great struggle.

Let’s end in a staggeringly defiant mood, for the sake of all those who suffer under tyranny, by quoting from W.E.Henley’s poem ‘Invictus’ (Invincible/ Unconquered) which was written after the amputation of his leg and has emotionally inspired leaders Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.

A 19th century poem, for the soul, can be as powerful as a 13th century document to the system, and accessible to all nations:-

‘Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank what gods may be

For my inconquerable soul…’