Wilson’s Tales: Tales of Torment

The Committee will again be collaborating with the Wilson’s Tales project to help bring the world-famous tales which emanated from Berwick back to life.

Wilson’s Tales of the Borders first appeared in the Berwick Advertiser in 1834 and became an international publishing phenomenon for over a century.

For this year’s Festival, the Wilson’s Tales Project presents an evening of drama, poetry and history. The Domestic Griefs of Gustavus McIver is a tragi-farce of an untameable shrew. It’s staged by Alice Dobie in the manner of the Jeremy Kyle Show: “I buried my booze-fiend wife alive – in a distillery!”

Ahead of his Festival talk on John Wilson’s life and work, Mike Fraser describes Wilson’s return to Berwick in 1832: Health and home are powerful magnets. In three hectic years, Wilson became a successful editor of the Berwick Advertiser, launched his popular Wilson’s Tales – and died, possibly of overwork.

There’s a reading of Beans and Bacon – Wilson’s epic poem of desperation, deception, gluttony and glory.

And there will be a chance to preview this year’s volume of the continuing Revival Edition – retelling Wilson’s Tales for modern audiences.

Baptist Church, Golden Square
Thursday 18th October at 7.30pm

Tickets £8 from www.maltingsberwick.co.uk or on the door
More information from www.wilsonstales.co.uk


Berwick Literary Festival


Mike Fraser BA (Hons) MSc MPhil

will talk about an Eminent Berwicker:


John Mackay Wilson – Writer of Tales of the Borders, Radical Reformer and Editor of the Berwick Advertiser 1832-1835

At this turbulent stage in British history, Wilson wrote his hugely popular Tales of the Borders and transformed the Advertiser writing, for example, controversial editorials on the Great Reform Act and the Freemen of Berwick. Mike discusses what Wilson’s writings tell us about Berwick then and Britain then and now.

20 October @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Holy Trinity Parish Centre                      £5

Come to the Lecture, buy the book!


“Health and Home are Powerful Magnets”

An Exile returns to Berwick


A Berwicker responds to the dawn of modern Britain

The first major study of the life and work of John Mackay Wilson, the Writer of Tales of the Borders and Editor of the Berwick Advertiser 1832-1835

 A time when revolution was in the air, cholera was rife and his Tales were hugely popular


Praise for Mike’s Sir William Beveridge: the Man, the Report and the Berwick Division –

“I think it is terrific” – Steve Richards, Political Commentator


E-book: books2read.com/JMWilson

Paperback: orders@wilsonstales.co.uk