The Lost Pages

It’s probable that some of our readers will know a bit about the Book of Kells – the ancient hand produced copy of the gospels which is, at present, to be seen in Trinity College in Dublin. Less probably know that at some point pages went missing from the front and back and to give an idea of the age of this book, this loss may have occurred close on 1000 years ago. It is an exquisitely illustrated piece of art work and well worth seeing if you happen to be in Dublin – you won’t see all of it – just the page of the day.

Now a book has been written – pure fiction – about the finding of these lost pages. The book has a very significant Market Lavington connection.

The Lost Pages by R D Francis

The Lost Pages by R D Francis

The author, we see, is R D (Roger) Francis. Roger was born in Devizes but moved at a very young age to Market Lavington with his parents. He lived in Market Lavington from 1936 to 1955. His father, Wilfred we have seen on these pages in the church choir (click here). Roger’s cousin, Peter Francis was, for many years, the professional photographer in the village.

Roger now lives across the other side of the world, in Tasmania.

Roger Francis - author of the book

Roger Francis – author of the book

His book tells the story of an agent, essentially retired who is recruited one more time to find those lost pages. We won’t give the plot away, except to say that our agent, Jack, is not the only person on the trail. That trail follows the author’s life, but in reverse. It starts in Tasmania and reaches a climax right here in Wiltshire. There are scenes in the church – with an illustration by Roger’s wife, June.

Illustration of St Mary's, Market Lavington - scene of some major action

Illustration of St Mary’s, Market Lavington – scene of some major action

The action even comes to the museum – here’s a short extract.

‘We have an excellent little museum in the village,’ he continued. ‘Surely they would know the answer to my question, wouldn’t they?’

We agreed with this idea immediately. It broke the sombre mood and we went quickly to the museum. The part-time volunteer curator had just opened up and was delighted to suddenly have so many customers. The Reverend put the all important question to him and the answer came back immediately.

‘Well, Reverend, I’ve always believed that Bishop Tanner was in the Vicarage house that you are in now. It’s much older than what is the nursing home, you know.’

Gosh, even a quote from the part time volunteer curator of Market Lavington Museum! But this is fiction and the author has the usual disclaimer about the characters not being real. As a matter of historic fact we think the fictitious curator got it wrong – but then this is a story so that doesn’t matter one jot.

The book is a high speed journey that takes in places across the world. There is action, romance and high politics. It’s a good read and can, at present, be purchased from Amazon.

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3 Responses to “The Lost Pages”

  1. A fashion parade with a difference | Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] We already know that Roger Francis remembers the event. He’s the former resident, now living in Tasmania who published a novel last year called ‘The Lost Pages’. His book features Market Lavington quite heavily and we have featured it on this blog. (Click here). […]

  2. June Francis Says:

    It is my sad duty to inform you that Mr Roger Francis passed away suddenly in the 16th April in Hobart Tasmania Australia at the age of 79.
    Roger and his wife who survives him had two children Julia and Christopher, five grand children. Three grandsons to Julia, David 25 James 24 and Jonathen 20. Two daughters to Christopher, Alexandra 20 and Charlotte 12.

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