Skip to content
June 28, 2016 / peoplesbookprize

arthurfarndell⌈ Vote Now 

In the lead up to The People’s Book Prize 2016 we caught up with author Arthur Farndell to talk about his novel

On the Nature of Love


Arthur was born in London in 1937 but was evacuated to the Huntingdonshire countryside two years later. After the war the family settled in Leicester, where Arthur received a grammar school education before taking a Modern Languages degree at Cambridge. Professionally, he taught in both the public and the private sectors, but the time he enjoyed most was a ten-year period of teaching English to overseas students. He married Phyllis in 1961 and they were blessed with five splendid children. Now in his eightieth year, Arthur still has some pupils for private tuition.

When did you start writing?

When I was about eight, I enjoyed writing simple versions of stories that I had read.

As an Author, What Influences You the Most?

My mother helped me the most. In spite of my enjoyment in re-hashing stories, when I was later faced with weekly essay questions for homework at secondary level (Write about a day in the life of a shoe, Write about an advertisement that has impressed you) my mind was completely paralysed. For two years my mother wrote these essays, which I only copied out, but at the same time, she taught me what she was doing. Finally, the day came, like the moment you first find your balance on a bike, when I was able to produce a competent essay, after which there was no looking back.

Where did the idea for this book originate?

I was reading Sears Jayne’s translation of Ficino’s Latin version of his commentary on Plato’sSymposium. This translation is now out of print and difficult to obtain. Out of the blue a friend gave me Ficino’s Italian version of this commentary, a version that had never been put into English before. As I read the first few pages, I found that the beauty of the language was so uplifting that I was inspired to make a translation of it, with the aim of allowing the beauty of the language and of the subject matter to be accessible to English readers.

The nominees for The People’s Book Prize are voted for by the readers, how important are your readers to you?

As important as water is to a swimmer. The readers’ comments that have appeared on the website of The People’s Book Prize are so encouraging and direct that the author feels in touch with the people who wrote them.

Shepheard-Walwyn publish a variety of brilliant authors, what is it like to be in the company of talented writers?

It is a humbling experience – a privilege I looked not for.

What book influenced you most as a writer and what are you reading at the moment?

When I was twelve, I read Don Quixote and The Origin of Species from cover to cover. I don’t remember much about them now, but I feel they opened the door to a vast new world. Currently, I like to keep a number of books on the go, like a cook with several saucepans. On the hobs at the moment are Neil Robson’s Roomy Villas, Ernle Bradford’s The Shield and the Sword, Richard Jefferies’ The Story of my Heart – an Autobiography, and Swami Dayananda’sBhagavadgita Home Study Course.

What can we expect from you in the future? What are you writing at the moment?

The Pathway of Non-Duality is due out soon. I am not the writer of this work, but I have overseen its translation from the original Italian. In the same vein, I am currently managing the translation of an Italian work on the Bhagavadgita.

Find Arthur at: arthur-farndell

Facebook: Shepheard-Walwyn

Twitter: @SWpublishing

Find More Finalists at

home pageThe People’s Book Prize is the unique literary competition that is judged by the nation and open to all UK publishing companies.

You Be the Judge: The People’s Book Prize – “The home for new and undiscovered works.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: