Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spotlight on Author W.S. Martin

Today’s guest blog at Thoughts in Progress is a bit different as I’d like to spotlight a deceased author of a children’s historical narrative.

Author W.S. Martin is posthumously touring the blogosphere this month on his first virtual book tour thanks to his publisher, Nordskog Publishing, Inc. Martin is the author of BRAVE BOYS OF DERRY OR NO SURRENDER! (ISBN: 978-0-9827074-0-1), a 96-page hardcover.

Not a lot is known about Martin.
Mr. W. Stanley Martin was a stationer and was partner in the City of London firm, Martin and Parnham. I knew Mr. Parnham very well but was not so acquainted with Mr. Martin, although I do know that he spent his last days at Felpham in Sussex and used to attend services at the Chapel of the Bannister Theological College in Felpham, where Bishop D. A. Thompson used to preach. It was there that I saw Mr. Martin almost 60 years ago. He was then old and white-haired."   —Stephen A. Toms, June 6, 2010

BRAVE BOYS OF DERRY, OR NO SURRENDER! was written around 1900, and according to Marion Hyde, Librarian of The Gospel Standard Baptist Library who have an undated original, was first published by Morgan Scott, London.

A number of other works by W. Stanley Martin include: Editor of "Uncle Ben's Budget," 226 issues from March 1898 through Dec. 1916; and Author of "The Story of the Light That Never Went Out" with Augusta Cook; and "Some Famous Bonfires"; "Turn or Burn"; "Fireships, Fireworks, and Firebrands"; "The Man Who Fought the Giants" [Luther]; "Torchbearers of France and the Netherlands"; "William the Silent and Holland's Fight for Freedom," 1907; "The Tinker of Bedford and the Book that He Wrote" [Bunyan]; etc.

historical narrative of how courageous young apprentices helped save their besieged Protestant town of Londonderry in 1689. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: “The story of the 1689 siege of Londonderry proclaims the power of God in the incredible resistance of the City of Londonderry against the attempted Jacobite conquest of Ireland by the deposed King James II of England. While the city leaders vacillated, thirteen bold and brave young apprentices took the initiative to close the city gates. “No surrender!” became the rallying cry. Faith in Christ gave the people of Derry the courage to resist in the face of extended siege, blockade, starvation, and disease. Liberty lovers—young and old—should read this book.”

Here are a couple of passages from the book:  

"Inside the city all was stir and bustle; the action of the apprentice lads had been like a spark to a barrel of gunpowder. The whole city was up. The gauntlet had been thrown down, and it was now to be a fight."   P. 15  

"But one of the greatest dangers was that some of the inhabitants were in league with the enemy; there were traitors in the town; and you know a secret enemy within the gates is far more dangerous than an open enemy outside."   P. 20 

According to the publisher (Nordskog Publishing), the Rev. Christopher Hoops, Founding Theology Editor for NPI, stumbled on this little book republished by the Mourne Missionary Trust in 1986 but long since out-of-print, and made it a valued addition to his library. . . . It was his fervent wish that this be republished and made available to another generation of youth. With his characteristic charm and in that hope, he bequeathed his treasured rare copy to me, from which this new publication was derived. It is in grateful appreciation for his fruitful life lived for Our Lord, his offering of this rare and valued text for re-publication, and fond remembrance of his personal friendship that I dedicate this historical book expounding the virtue of courage to his memory.

More information about the author can be found online at


  1. How wonderful that Mr. Martin's work is getting a second life with this blog tour. The internet, and technology, definitely has a way of opening more and more doors for books.

  2. What a great way to remember someone--publish another book after they are gone. Wouldn't he be surprised on the marketing strategies?

    The book sounds absolutely wonderful.

  3. Joanne and Teresa, thanks for stopping by. It is good that a person's work does continue on without them for future generations to read. Look at all the other wonderful authors we'd be without otherwise. Have a wonderful day.

  4. Thanks for hosting W.S. Martin today. I've actually read this book. Though the writing style is more formal than one would expect in a modern day children's book, I believe it will still appeal to many boys ages 9 - 12.

    I hyope your readers will take a look.



  5. Mason - Thanks for such an interesting perspective on W.S. Martin! I have to say I didn't read his book when I was young, but your spotlight caught my attention. What a terrific idea!

  6. There are so many older books that my grandparents had that I enjoyed reading. Granted the writing was different at the turn of the century, but interesting never the less.

    I've often wished that those books would be made available again. Some are.

    Thanks for sharing this one with us Mason. It's good to see books rich in history and valor being reprinted.

  7. You post the most interesting things!

    I love to find "old" books. I found The Girl of the Limberlost (published 1909) on my respite to Charlottesville, and it looks wonderful!!

    Now I'm going to look up Boys of Derry!!

  8. Wow.
    That covers it for me.
    Thanks for participating on this tour.

  9. Now that's really unique! Only fair he gets a virtual tour now.

  10. I like this! Putting a spotlight on an author "touring" posthumously for a book that's getting a rebirth. Thanks Mason.

  11. This is a different kind of book tour. It's nice when books and their authors get a second life and a chance to be rediscovered.

    Tossing It Out

  12. I loved reading books like these when I was a boy.

  13. Hi Mason .. thanks for highlighting this author and the republication of his works - what a wonderful way for him to be brought into the 21st century.

    I love these real life stories - they all sound fascinating .. thanks Hilary


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.