The 90-year-old author who spent 55 years on book and plans more

Alwyn Edgar has published his first book aged 90. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Alwyn Edgar has published his first book aged 90. Picture: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant

Alwyn Edgar has been a cartoonist, teacher, coal miner, lawyer and fiddle player.

But now, aged 90 - and thanks to a 55-year effort - the grandfather can finally call himself an author after publishing his first book.

Mr Edgar, from Stratton Strawless, said: "Well, everyone else is in a hurry but I did it because I wanted to do it."

His book, Clan and Clearances, which seeks to correct the history of the Scottish Highlands, began on a typewriter in 1963 and has grown alongside the birth of the internet and computers.

Mr Edgar said: "Word processing is a gift to writers. I dread to think how much longer I would have taken without it.


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"It's a complete labour of love. Everyone thinks I'm barmy for doing it as I'm not getting a shilling for it."

And he has plans to write more and said there are another four volumes, although "they are not in shape to be published yet".

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He added: "I might need another 30 more years for that. I'd be 120 then. I wonder what the record for the oldest age is?"

The book took shape in a 16-room house in Oulton Broad in spare moments around family life - but Mr Edgar said the book's completion is down to two women.

Mr Edgar said: "My mother was a real battleaxe and fought to get me a good education.

"She just turned up at University College School in London, demanded a meeting and insisted I went on full scholarship. The headteacher didn't want a commotion so he agreed.

"And my wife, Janet, has been incredibly supportive and allowed me to take periods of time off work to complete the book."

The inspiration from the book comes from walks as a young man in the Scottish Highlands and a dissatisfaction with existing history books.

Mr Edgar said: "I was astonished that many historians had got the facts wrong and the problem is, they all copy off each other. Even with the internet, I would still go a find the original sources in the British Library.

"It's all terrible boasting but my book is much better than anybody's."

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