Progress with the book March 2019


I’m off during April to the beautiful island of Iona, near Mull.  My friends part-own the Argyll Hotel there.  In exchange for some dog walking, I will be able to write in peace. I aim to get the first version of the whole book finished.


PROGRESS – so far

Currently I’m written seven chapters out of a planned twelve. They’re in draft and need editing. I hope to get this done in May prior to publishing later in the year.

I plan for the book to have a number of illustrations, for example, Joliver’s boats, portraits of him, his family, his cat and relevant work by other artists who knew him and lived on the river.


PAINTINGS – the search continues

Owen John Oliver painted professionally from 1951-1956 selling his work as he travelled - mostly in Cornwall and Rochester. Finding his paintings, though seen by people I have interviewed, is proving elusive.  I am hoping his niece and great nephew near Peterborough will find some they believe are in a garage. If anyone has a sketch or painting, which may be signed OJO, please get in touch.


BOOK READING – success

As part of Faversham Literary Festival in February 2019, I read Chapter four to an audience of about 60 people. This describes my first visits to Joliver on ‘Hobbit,’ and how our love affair started.  It had a wonderful reception. Thanks to everyone who came up afterwards and gave your feedback.

About the Author

Frances Rowley Beaumont

Frances has always loved drawing and writing. Writing a diary, poems and short stories she finds cathartic. From her experiences she knows life is full of surprises!

Writing about John Oliver's life is the first full-length book she’s written and has found it a fascinating project.

Her deep friendship with Joliver began in 1968, when she was 24, until his death age 88 in 2014.  She has extensively researched the book and sought out his friends and acquaintances. Their voices - from different times in his life and points of view - are included.

Joliver was unique and his life was an inspiration to those who met him.

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