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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 10:44 UK

Island author honoured by plaque

Gerald B Edwards: Pic The Guernsey Society
Edwards was born in Guernsey in 1899

A plaque has been unveiled in honour of Guernsey author Gerald B Edwards.

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page was published in 1981 after the writer's death and received worldwide critical and literary acclaim.

The fictional autobiography depicts the life of a Guernsey fisherman, tomato grower and philosopher. It was later adapted for radio and theatre.

The plaque at Hawkesbury House, in the Braye du Valle, commemorates the home where the author lived for 16 years.

The story traces Ebenezer's life from the late 19th Century through to the 1960s and includes the island's harrowing experience of the German occupation during WWII.

To read [the book] is not like reading but living
William Golding, author

Edwards won not only critical acclaim for the book, which portrays Ebenezer as "cantankerous, opinionated and charming", but also the admiration of his fellow islanders for so accurately depicting Guernsey.

William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, said: "To read [the book] is not like reading but living."

It was translated into French and published in the US. It was reprinted again last year.

Jane Moss from the Guernsey Society, who worked with the Arts Commission to have the author honoured, said she hoped the plaque gave the book some of the recognition it deserved.

Lawrence biography

Born in 1899, Edwards grew up in Guernsey and after attending Bristol University, worked as a teacher and civil servant in London.

In 1928, Edwards was commissioned to write a biography of DH Lawrence, but Lawrence then died and it was never completed.

Despite showing considerable promise as a writer, he destroyed much of his work, but in 1972 he met art student Edward Chaney, who encouraged him to complete The Book of Ebenezer Le Page.

After the author's death in 1976, the typescript was bequeathed to Mr Chaney who had it published.




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