Monday, 13 February 2012


Freshly back from the magnificent country of the Orange Free State - a touch like John Ford's Monument Valley here and there - in South Africa, I face an in-store signing of the new Fonthill novel, THE WAR OF THE DRAGON LADY, from ll am to one-ish on Saturday, 25th February in Waterstones, Salisbury.

I do not fancy sitting there, like an onion, with no-one to talk to, so if any fans of Simon Fonthill & Co are in the area on that day, do call in. You don't have to buy a book (although, by golly, it would be great if you could...); just come and say hello.

Thank you in advance.


  1. Dear Mr Wilcox, Have recently enjoyed 'Dragon Lady' and look forward to the 9th Simon & 352 book, but what I would like to know is wether you have any updates about your other book 'Starshine', will it be out this year? with regards, Anon.

  2. Mr. Wilcox:I'm writing from the USA. I think it's a shame that you (and many other British authors)have no American publisher. I'm following the Fonthill series as I'm able. I'm up to Majuba Hill (the first one I read, actually)and have just finished Diamond Frontier. I share your interest in southern African history and in the Victorian "little wars" and so I have been very entertained by your novels. I'd like to comment on your satement that John Dunn disappeared from view after the culmination of the Zulu campaign. You may well have had other readers mention this, but in fact Dunn became a favorite of Wolseley, and was set up by him as one of the 13 "chiefs" of Zululand after Cetswayo's defeat. Dunn was instrumental in Wolseley's decision of whom to select as the British client rulers of the new Zululand, and became if anything even more powerful than he was before the war. None of this, I think, really rules out your invention of his escapades in Kimberly, as Dunn was very disliked by Frere and the Colensos, and it took some time before Wolseley made his final dispensations. There is a useful essay, "Sir Garnet Wolseley & John Dunn" by Charles Ballard in the book "The Anglo-Zulu War: New Perspectives", ed. by Duminy & Ballard, which also has a map which shows the 13 chiefdoms of Wolseley's settlement, including Dunn's large domain. Although the settlement was made in 1879, I feel that your novelist's license entitles you to re-order the past a bit when suitable for plot purposes. As you hint, if Dunne's descendants can forgive you, so should we. I look forward to catching up on the series while attempting to not be spoiled as to future plot elements. Thank you for giving us these excellent books!