Mike and Diane Wilson -
Free Spirit
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Reality in life is superior to make-believe in death

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Full Fathom Five

Full Fathom Five tells the story of Christopher (Kit) Brown and his involvement in The Great Gale of 1871, his part in the heroic rescue of the crew of the Victoria, and the lifeboat disaster of March 1898 which led to his death. The story also relates how Kit tries to persuade his son Fred to take responsibility, and reflects on some aspects of life in the fishing community of Bridlington during the Victorian era. Real people are featured in this story, and the events concerning the lifeboats are historical events, but some of the words and actions of the characters are fiction.

Comments from readers:

Thank you for the books you posted to me. They went down a storm. We really enjoyed them, Mum and my aunt especially because they remember visiting their grandma Hopper in the houses on the slipway, so it all brought back great memories for them. - Denise Beaumont, a proud Hopper descendent

Full Fathom Five brought back some very good memories of close on a year spent in sunny (sometimes!) Bridlington having an exciting time researching with so many Bridlingtonians, the history of the Brid lifeboat and the amazing events surrounding The Great Gale and the family story of Kit Brown. Mike has done the town a great service by getting the story written in prose form so generations hence can learn from and enjoy knowing more about their community's history - plus it's a damn good read in its own right. I hope this is just the beginning of many more exciting stories you will tell. - Rupert Creed, Co-Writer, Come Hell or High Water

When a friend writers a book which turns out to be good enough to be published, something very strange occurs. Whatever the genre, and whether or not it is the kind of book you would wish to read, you buy it and you read it. Thank goodness that statement is true, for a book about fishermen and lifeboat crews would not normally be my kind of bedtime reading and I would have missed a great treat if I had not bought and read this book. I was so taken with the characters that it was an emotional not-to-be-forgotten trip. Once I started reading I had to steal every spare moment to get back to it and find out what was happening to those brave men and their loyal families. The quality of writing is the kind best-sellers are made of and I hope Mike writes another very soon. I am so glad to have had the pleasure of reading this book. - Hilda Slater, Bridlington Writers' Group

Full Fathom Five is an immensely good read and gives a real feeling for the harsh lives of our fishing forebears. The book gives us a slice of history but also shows us some of the great lessons of life. - Arthur Credland, Keeper, Hull Maritime Museum.

A well-written exposition of the hardships endured by Kit Brown and his fellow fishermen, not only in their daily lives, but in their struggle against the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to be provided with the right type of lifeboat for Bridlington Bay. - Anne Mullender, Bridlington Writers' Group.

Full Fathom Five is a fictionalised biography of Christopher (Kit) Brown, of Bridlington in Yorkshire, who helped rescue the crew of the Victoria in a storm in 1893, and, later, lost his own life in the lifeboat disaster of March 1898. Mike Wilson has been true to historical detail in this fictional biography cum novel, although he has dramatised the personal lives of the characters. His gripping dialogue creates a fine pace, so that the pages of the book seem to turn themselves. The conflict of loyalties between Kit and his tearful wife, Mary, reveals the insecurities of the times, as she begs him, yet again, not to risk his life any more. "You've done your bit for the lifeboat. Let someone else do it." Well-researched, believable, and informative, Full Fathom Five can be ordered from the author. - Senior Moments Writing Magazine


The book was first published by Biscuit Publishing Ltd.

Full Fathom Five is now out of print, but at the beginning of April there was a signed copy for sale at Burlington Books in High Street, Old Town, Bridlington.

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Mike Wilson