Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Julian Atterton 1956 - 2005

Julian Atterton

 "Julian Atterton was one of the local children's writers who set his novels in pre-industrial Cleveland." Andy Croft The Fire and the Horror 1989

Julian Atterton is a more contemporary writer who lived in our area,. Born in 1956, he grew up in Saltburn by the Sea and lived in Castleton on the North York Moors. This piece from the Yorkshire post on his death in 2005 gives a good profile of  Julian and his work.

Julian Atterton  "was an Author, lyricist, singer and climber who sadly passed away at 48, in 2005. He was author of historical novels for teenagers set between the sixth and 12th centuries in the North of England.

His books include The Last Harper, The Tournament of Fortune, Knights of the Lost Domain, and a collection of short stories under the title Robin Hood Tales. He was brought up in Saltburn where his mother, Alice, was a headteacher and councillor.

His father, Robert, was a headteacher at Grangetown, near Middlesbrough, and died when Julian was 11, and his mother took the family to the South of England, sending Julian to a boarding school in Surrey, where he pined for the moors.

He won a scholarship for a year at the Sorbonne, and while in France he climbed in the Alps – the start of a life-long passion – and he wrote lyrics for, and sang, with Phil Selliez-Vandernotte, Philippe Busson and Luc Robert.

He recently recorded a CD, Love and Run, with Selliez-Vandernotte in collaboration with Paul Whittaker and Charles O'Connor of Irish folk/rock band Horslips.

He met his first wife, Madeleine Gair, at the University of East Anglia, and after graduating returned with her to Yorkshire, living for a time in York where he wrote his first book, The Last Harper. They moved to Castleton, on the North York Moors, into a house which had been given to his mother, and in an attic room with a view of the moors Julian wrote his books, essays and song lyrics

In 1987 he started story- telling to children in libraries and schools across the North of England. A natural entertainer with a talent for mimicry and making people laugh, Julian won the children's attention with his mischievous sense of fun.

He mesmerised them with his imagination and inspired them to make up their own stories, which the schools would often compile into books. He took local teenagers out climbing crags in the Lake District and Scotland. He climbed regularly, the last time being the weekend before he was taken suddenly and fatally ill.

He enjoyed photography, and he kept a journal of his climbs and walks, some of which are published in the climbers' journal, Loose Scree. His friends all knew him as a well-read, knowledgeable, witty, and charismatic man, capable of outrageous honesty while at the same time very sensitive to other people's feelings.

After his first marriage ended, he met and married Jane Robinson, a dancer and theatre designer. Last summer they collaborated with musician Bob Pegg in Strathpeffer, Scotland, where they worked with children during the school holiday, devising an outdoor promenade play with music, costumes and puppets.

At the time of his death he was working on the second draft of an adult novel, The Art of Rapture, and a biography of the climber Percy Farrow."

The lyrics of one of his songs included these poignant words:
"Step with open heart
into a new beginning
Let your love flow clear and strong
Reaching open arms
We're gonna greet the morning
Lovers in a land beyond."

Source -

Link to Julian's books on Amazon Here 

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