Below is the transcript of a speech made by Stratford Caldecott, son of Moyra Caldecott, at the event to launch her latest book, Multi-Dimensional Life, at Gothic Image in Glastonbury on June 9, 2007. It will also be posted on Moyra’s website (www.moyracaldecott.co.uk) as soon as I have a moment!
Strat’s speech at Moyra’s 80th birthday party/ booklaunch at Gothic Image bookshop, Glastonbury on 9 June 2007
On behalf of Moyra, I want to thank Jamie George for his hospitality tonight, Martyn Folkes of Mushroom Publishing for his immense hard work to get the books out on time, and all of you for coming, many of you from so far away. She invited you, but I don’t think she actually expected you to come! I am Stratford, her eldest son, speaking to you because she is not able to speak as confidently as she once did. But over a lifetime she has been more coherent, more eloquent, than the rest of us. I really doubt if any of us will have heard of anyone else who could have a launch party for NINE books in their 81st year of life. It is probably a record. I know that the Pope, who is the same age as Moyra, sells more copies of his, but even he doesn’t write so many!
Moyra has always been a poet, and was a leading figure in the London poetry groups of the 1960s as some of you may know, but her first big success as a novelist came late, with the mystically inspired trilogy, Guardians of the Tall Stones, now in print continuously with various publishers for 30 years. Another of her perennial best sellers is Women in Celtic Myth. She has published 30 different titles altogether, averaging no less than one a year, and many of them have been translated into other languages. One or two have even teetered on the brink of becoming a Hollywood movie. As you will read in her long-awaited autobiography, Multi-Dimensional Life, available here, her own life has often resembled a movie too — a kind of cross between Brigit Jones and Indiana Jones, or Miss Marple meets the Scorpion King. She travelled up the Nile and into the Pyramids with rock star Tina Turner, in order to discover the present whereabouts of the pharaoh Hatchepsut, and the result is another of the books on sale tonight. Her adventures both in and out of the body are a phenomenon that I have lived with most of my life.
I really hope that if you love Moyra as I know you do, you will buy as many of her books as you can tonight, and make this event a success for everyone. Apart from the classic titles, and the new editions of several of them, she has several brand new books tonight. Multi-Dimensional Life reveals the amazing experiences of a writer exploring other worlds and the deeper reaches of this one. (She writes: “I did not realize it at the time, but during the writing of my books I was on a Quest. By mapping it now I hope I might make others aware of the complexity of every given moment, and encourage them to look out for signs and wonders in their own lives.”) The Breathless Pause reveals the charm of her personality through a selection of her poems and wise meditations. Adventures by Leaflight contains some children’s stories that have appeared before along with a series of new ones that were never previously published.
I think my late father, Oliver, would have been very proud of what Moyra has achieved as a writer in the last few years. She has produced a body of work that has inspired the devotion of thousands of fans around the world. These books have made the world a better place; they have opened doors on to other levels of reality; they will live on and inspire others in the future. I have personally witnessed the amount of scholarly research that went into each of the historical novels, as well as some of the psychic experiences that helped to make them more than they appear on the surface. I speak on behalf of the whole family when I say that Moyra’s intense appreciation of life and of the natural world has opened our eyes to the beauty of the cosmos, and her books can do the same for her readers.