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Roberts, Chris

Roberts, Chris

PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Swansea, B.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Office—Foot and Mouth Productions, Unit 1F, Clapham North Arts Centre, 26-32 Voltaire Rd., London SW4 6DH, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, librarian, and photographer. Librarian in London, England. Founder and proprietor, Foot & Mouth Walking Tours and F & M Publications, London.

WRITINGS:

Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason behind the Rhyme, Granta (London, England), 2004, Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Cross River Traffic (photographs), Granta (London, England), 2005.

Also author of satirical musical play about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

SIDELIGHTS: Chris Roberts published his Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason behind the Rhyme in a small, limited edition by his own publishing entity, F & M Publications. The title proved popular and was picked up for a new, illustrated edition by Granta in London and was then sold to a New York publisher. The slender text gives the history and slang meanings behind many of the favorite nursery rhymes children learn to chant at early ages. Perhaps not surprisingly, these rhymes often contain hidden political or cultural references—and it is these that Roberts, who is also a librarian, brings to light.

A Kirkus Reviews critic called Heavy Words Lightly Thrown a "high-spirited and irreverent probe," adding that the author has "packed into his little essays a large amount of choice information and fascinating trivia." A Publishers Weekly contributor especially praised Roberts's ability to unlock "secret meanings of the past," concluding: "This is better than history lite—it's history made delightful."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2005, review of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason behind the Rhyme, p. 578.

Publishers Weekly, May 9, 2005, review of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown, p. 55.

ONLINE

Book Munch, http://www.bookmunch.co.uk/ (September 28, 2005), review of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown.

F & M Publications Web site, http://www.fandmpublications.co.uk/ (October 24, 2005), reviews of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown.

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