“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it.” — Confucius
“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wayfarer, there is no way. / A path is made by walking it. / By being walked, it becomes a path. —Antonio Machado
Hello, my name is David Elder and I'm a Gloucestershire-based writer and photographer. See below for details of some recent projects.
Sometimes I just write, sometimes I just take photographs but often I enjoy the art of blending text with the right images. I honed this skill in particular when attempting the challenge of taking a photo each day (and saying something interesting about it!) for a whole year - see my Blipfoto photo journal for the results of this endeavour.
I hope you enjoy visiting this web site. Please feel free to contact me if you're interested in my work or would be interested in collaborating with me on a future project.
Copyright Notice. The copyright of all the images on this web site belongs to me. Please respect this by contacting me first if you'd like to make use of any.
New Book - available from 15 November 2017.
From a small market town to its heyday as a fashionable watering place and recognition as ‘the most complete Regency town in Britain’, through to its subsequent reinvention as a centre for religion, education, shopping and festivals, Cheltenham has a proud and distinctive identity. This extraordinary history is embodied in the buildings that have shaped the town, from the medieval church (now its Minster) and the Montpellier Rotunda, where a young Gustav Holst performed, to the world’s first (outside of London) purpose-built Masonic hall and one of the country’s most iconic buildings of the modern era, the GCHQ Doughnut.
In this unique study well-known local author David Elder guides the reader on a tour of its greatest treasures, revealing that Cheltenham’s history is sometimes complex but never dull. Published by Amberley, and also available via Amazon. Also available as an e-book.
Play - first performed in September 2017
The Parrot, the Poet and the Philanderer, a play written by Lou Beckett and myself, was partly inspired by my book ‘Literary Cheltenham’. Its first performances took place on 7-8 September 2017 as part of Cheltenham's Heritage Open Days events. The story focuses on Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Barrett and Alfred Tennyson, three world-famous English writers who all spent time in Cheltenham during the middle of the 19th century; their true stories include scandal, competition for an important literary prize and a fight for women’s higher education. The play asks whether a young woman can change not only the lives of the three authors but the story of Cheltenham as well.
Book - published in 2016 by Tewkesbury Historical Society as a limited edition. Also available as an e-book.
‘Literary Tewkesbury’ presents a fascinating collection of quotations, images and commentary that provides a totally new perspective on Tewkesbury’s history. Fully illustrated in colour and black and white.
Tewkesbury is one of those ancient places that seems always to have been there. Over the centuries its history has frequently ‘dripped’ from the pages of literature, from Shakespeare to Ivor Gurney and from Sir Walter Scott to Charles Dickens to name but a few. Yet writers have also provided more intimate portraits of the town they have loved and cherished – whether it is faintly disguised as the ‘queer unique’ Elmbury of Tewkesburian novelist John Moore or the Norton Bury of Mrs Craik’s most celebrated novel John Halifax, Gentleman.
In terms of overall importance this town has always managed to ‘punch above its weight’ whether it’s the great Abbey with cathedral-like proportions or the great battle of 1471 which proved to be one of the most decisive during the War of the Roses. This informative, analytical and richly illustrated anthology celebrates the history of Tewkesbury through literature from its early beginnings to the modern day, the achievements of its many remarkable people, and the importance of its local heritage. Complete with index and a literary walk around the town, this book intends to be not only an essential work of reference, but also a leisurely guide for all who love Tewkesbury.