#blogtour – A Ragbag of Riches by James Chilton @rararesources #extract

It’s my turn today on the blog tour for A Ragbag of Riches: An Assortment of Wordy Delights by James Chilton. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel’s Random Resources for the place on the tour.

I have a short extract to entice you with but first let’s see what the book is all about:

This collection of quips and quotes creates abook for the bower, the bedside, the bath and for browsing; a book at arm’s length from the deck chair, for the tedium of travel but above all for pleasure.

It is a haphazard collection: the Ragbag covering the rougher, even vulgar (but nevertheless witty) entries of graffiti, newspaper headlines and bumper stickers, the Riches being the poetry, prayers and prose of fine minds that inspire by their beauty, sincerity and sublime use of words. At the lower end, I love the astringency and ability of the authors to poke fun with the sharpness of a red-hot needle. At the top end, silver words and profound wisdom sometimes lead me to tears.

So I invite you to wallow or skip lightly. I hope there is something in this salmagundi to make you smile or catch the affections of your heart; to mingle quiet music with amiable irreverence.

You can purchase this fascinating sounding book from Amazon.


It is difficult to provide extracts from this book as its essential character is one of a haphazard collection with almost every page containing a selection of entries.  However, there are seventeen different groupings and this is one of these.

Wine pages 190,192,193

Wine has always attracted comment. Sometimes it is prosaic and aimed at a thirsty buyer but occasionally descriptions take on alluring little masterpieces.  Gerald Asher’s wine catalogue was famous; who else could have described an old Paulliac in a catalogue as ‘ …showing a gradual shift in style as it ages into graceful discretion’. Or Nuits-St -George as ‘ rather jumbly, untidy sort of wine’. References to female pulchritude often occur such as Lawrence Durrell’s  ‘.. As the flash of a nymph’s thigh in the bracken’. And Stephen Potter exaggerated the qualities of a port beyond its best with the words that it ‘… hovered between oblivion and the divine Untergang of infinite recession’.  Of course, champagne attracts a number of quotes and Madame Bollinger’s well known remarks on her 1955 vintage are worth inclusion if only because they epitomise the attraction of champagne.


Please do have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.


A grandfather of nine and a father of four, James Chilton lives with his wife and two labradors in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He holds diplomas in Architectural History from Oxford University, in Design and in Plantsmanship from The English Gardening School and a certificate in the Decorative Arts from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perennially busy, James draws, sculpts, designs gardens and jewelry and is a member of Bart’s Choir. He also a member of the International Dendrology Society and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society and in Oxford. His first book, The Last Blue Mountain, was published in 2015.

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