Edward Willett

Archives

My Government House history book lauded as “a masterful work of art”

A very nice review of Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan: An Illustrated History (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing) has appeared on the Saskatchewan Publishers' Group's SPG Book Reviews website. Keith Foster writes, in part: "Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan: An Illustrated History by Regina author Edward Willett is a masterful work of art in both narrative and illustration, solid in structure, and powerful in its rendition... "Overflowing with photos of Government House and its inhabitants over the decades, this highly visual coffee table book is stunning in its beauty... "This is a book that not only belongs on every bookshelf in Canada, it’s a book Saskatchewan residents, and in particular Regina residents, would be proud to have ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:38, December 5th, 2016 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Tickets on sale for my play As Time Goes By: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts

Tickets are now on sale for my play-with-music, As Time Goes By: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts, featuring music from the '30s and 40s found in the old house where I live that used to belong to my wife's grandparents, and then to her parents (and indeed, we are dedicating the show to the memory of my wife's mother, Dr. Alice Mary Goodfellow Hodges, a most remarkable woman who unfortunately died on August 17 and so will not be able to see the show inspired by her parents' home.) Here's how I'm describing the show in publicity materials: A warm, funny, touching play ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 23:42, September 22nd, 2013 under Blog, Music, Plays | Comment now »

The science of calendars

(A slightly updated version of a New Year's perennial of mine...) It's almost 2013, which means it's time to take down your old Harry Potter calendar and put up your new one (if you’re my 11-year-old daughter). Okay, so maybe you have a Teddy Bears calendar instead, or a Glee calendar. The point is, for us, a calendar is a much an aesthetic and/or advertising medium as it is a way to see what day of the week it is. But in reality, every calendar is the amazing product of thousands of years of history. A calendar is a system of marking off days, weeks, months and years. It allows us ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:59, December 31st, 2012 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | 1 Comment »

Retro Sunday: Ads from the 1930 Child’s Own Annual

As promised, some of the interesting (and, to modern eyes, occasionally odd/bewildering) ads from the 1930 (my best guess) Child's Own Annual. What strikes me most is that, though the annual was clearly intended to be read by children, the ads are very clearly intended only for grown-ups: there's very little here that's going to tempt a child to say, "Please buy that for me, Mommy!" Case in point: This is proof...sorry, "Prufe"...of, if nothing else, the fact that "quotation marks" have been "randomly applied" to "ad copy" for "generations." And remember: only the Empire's finest Pure Wool is used! (Funny thing: right up until...well, now...I read that as "Childprufe," not "Chilprufe." I actually think "child ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:28, December 31st, 2012 under Blog | Comment now »

Retro Sunday: Ads from a 1930 children’s annual

A project I've had in the back of my mind for years is a book called Things I Found in My Mother-in-Law's House, built around the many interesting mid-century knick-knacks, oddments, thingamobs and whatchamallits in this house where my wife's family has lived since 1939 and which is now my home. I did do a series of CBC radio spots on it a few years back, and several blog posts, but it has never coalesced into a book. But, whether it becomes a book or not, I can at least continue to post Things I Found in My Mother-in-Law's House on this blog, and that's going to be my goal for your Sunday entertainment going forward. Of course, today is not only Sunday, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:12, December 23rd, 2012 under Blog | Comment now »

The curious case of a previous Edward Willett, and his letters to Mrs. Bellamy

“Edward Willett” isn’t a name you trip over everywhere you go, but it’s not exactly rare. Nor is it new: it crops up in genealogies and histories down through the past few centuries. It’s true that these days if you Google “Edward Willett” (and doesn’t everyone?) the majority of the links will relate to me, but those other Edward Willetts crop up, too: including a fellow in the 18th century who wrote a book with the curious title of Letters Addressed to Mrs. Bellamy, Occasioned by her Apology. I’ve been seeing this for years; last night I finally decided to find out what it was all about, and found myself fascinated, not just by the particulars of that little book, but by ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:37, December 10th, 2012 under Blog | 2 Comments »

From the vaults: Opening of Land Surveying in Saskatchewan

Commissioned by the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association, Land Surveying in Saskatchewan: Laying the Groundwork for Property Rights and Development talks about the work of surveyors past, present and future in the province. And here's a good long chunk of Chapter 1, which (you should pardon the expression) lays the groundwork for the rest of the book: Land Surveying in Saskatchewan: Laying the Groundwork for Property Rights and Development By Edward Willett Nobody knows who the first surveyor was; he’s lost in the mists of time. That’s not too surprising, considering surveying dates back to the beginning of recorded history, some five millennia ago (which is why it’s often called “the world’s ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:09, December 2nd, 2012 under Blog, Books, The Vaults | 1 Comment »

Edison’s Battery

[podcast]http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Edisons-Battery.mp3[/podcast] Thomas Edison gave us many wonderful inventions, mainstays of 20th century life. However, since he died in 1931, you might be forgiven for asking, “What has he done for us lately?” Him personally, not so much, what with being dead and all: but one of his inventions has just taken on new life, thanks to scientists at Stanford University. Back in 1900, fully 28 percent of the cars built in the United States were electric. While they didn’t put out a lot of power (a kilowatt or two—by comparison, the Model T’s engine put out the equivalent of 15 kilowatts), they were considered viable alternatives, especially in the city. And as Edison ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:40, July 12th, 2012 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | Comment now »

Saturday Special from the Vaults: A History of Cumberland House

I've done quite a bit of writing for various historical sites around the province. Here's something I wrote for Cumberland House a few years ago. I've never been there to see how it was use! Oh, and in case anyone is wondering...yes, the science column will return. It's been on hiatus while I experimented with being an editor for Fine Lifestyles magazines again (it didn't work out—I couldn't support their editorial policies) and wrapped up my term as writer-in-residence at the Regina Public Library (it ended last Wednesday). My main focus now is on writing Masks, my next novel (coming out under the pseudonym E.C. Blake) but I'm definitely going to resume the column: look for it to be back Monday. Now, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:27, June 2nd, 2012 under Blog, The Vaults | Comment now »

Saturday…oh, all right, Tuesday…Special from the Vaults: Introduction to Historic Walks of Regina and Moose Jaw

My 2007 book Historic Walks of Regina and Moose Jaw, published by Red Deer Press, is just what it says: a collection of 10 walking tours (eight in Regina, two in Moose Jaw) that take you past a number of homes and commercial buildings of historical or architectural interest, with a brief description of each. It wouldn't have been possible if not for the work of Heritage Regina, which created and researched the Regina walking tours long before I came on the scene. I adapted their tours and added additional information from various sources. I also walked all of the tours and took a photo ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:04, May 29th, 2012 under Blog, Books, The Vaults | Comment now »