Sunday, 10 November 2013


Arthur Rimbaud
37 ans
10 Novembre 1891
Priez pour lui 

Rimbaud back from Africa
Rimbaud back from Africa
sketched by his sister Isabelle.
Arthur Rimbaud died on the 10th November 1891 only a couple of weeks past his 37th birthday - an inflamed knee and an austere life in Abyssinia having used up what was left of his youth.

But what a youth it had been - charging around Europe mad to live and careless of anyone who got in his way. Then later trekking around Africa seeking his fortune. Though the fortune he searched for changed as he changed continents.

In Paris, in Brussels, in London, he sought the alchemical gold - the gold that brings with it bliss and enlightenment, that he believed could be found by altering the base metal of mundane life through extremes of behaviour, through drink, drugs, delirium. And sex.

With Paul Verlaine as his willing punchbag (a punchbag happy to punch back), Rimbaud scoured the cafes and bars, experienced the dives and debauchery of whatever city he was in. Looking like an angel, he lived like a demon. At times he believed he had found what he was looking for - attained 
Rimbaud at 16
Rimbaud at 16
that higher state that allowed him to see beyond the mundane and into the divine. He challenged a God he professed not to believe in to accept him as a worthy opponent.

Well, we all know what happens to angels who challenge the Almighty. Rimbaud fell like Lucifer into the flames of his own disgust. But hell turned out not to be a place of ice and fire. It was instead a return to that ordinary life he had once desired so fervently to leave behind.
On the shores of Africa he turned into an able clerk, honest and trustworthy, his work ethic firmly in place. When the spirit of adventure he could not suppress rose again in him, he travelled to Ethiopia - then known as Abyssinia - to seek a different fortune, to amass a different type of gold.

At the end of his life he had been carrying 14lbs of gold around with him, permanently strapped to his waist for fear of thieves. He ate little, dressed badly, lived sparsely, hoarding all the time gold coin after gold coin until the weight of it wore him down.

After a monstrous journey back to Europe, his leg was amputated. He lived out his final days in dreams and delirium and died in Marseilles begging to be transported back to Africa.

Rimbaud family tomb, Charleville Cemetery
Rimbaud family tomb, Charleville Cemetery

DELIRIUM or The Rimbaud Delusion, a novel by Barbara Scott Emmett will be available as a paperback and ebook later this year.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Crime and Thriller Reviews: Ten facts about ... Jimmy Bain

Crime and Thriller Reviews: Ten facts about ... Jimmy Bain: When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer? I always enjoyed English literature at school. After university I worked in a p...


Monday, 9 September 2013

Got my Awesome Indies badge for


See my LBG page for details, reviews etc.


Thursday, 13 June 2013


Finally started sending DELIRIUM out to agents in the last week. 

The novel is complete (apart from the inevitable tweaks that I keep making and will keep on making until someone forcibly removes it from my hands).

Now maybe I can get back to some promoting and blogging and suchlike. Before I start work on the next one...

Friday, 22 February 2013

It's Been a While...

It's been a while since I posted on my blog. My excuse is that I've been busy trying to finish my Rimbaud novel.  I keep saying it's nearly done but I still haven't finished yet.

Now called DELIRIUM, it's up to around 105,000 words - which makes it the longest book I've ever written.

It really is getting close to completion now - just a bit more tweaking and rearranging and a couple more bits to write, then a complete read-through and overhaul and that's it. Doesn't sound like much, eh?

I had hoped to have it finished by the end of 2012 but my new deadline is Easter.  When is Easter again? Not too far away, so I'd better get on with it.

Here's a mock-up of a draft of an idea for a potential cover in the meantime - though it's unlikely to be used for the final product.