A SHOPKEEPER in Stratford is continuing to follow in the footsteps of his former famous neighbour.
Henley Street trader Barry Thornton is preparing to publish his latest book continuing the tale of a theatrical mouse set in Shakespeare’s home town.
Mr Thornton, of B&W Thornton, has already penned and published two books following the adventures of ‘Kit’, a theatrical mouse who comes to Stratford.
The first, ‘A Midsummer Mouse’, was published in 2014, followed by ‘The Merry Mice of Stratford’ the following year. The third, The ‘Winter’s Tail’, will come out towards the end of February. All have been illustrated by award-winning artist Debby Faulkner-Stevens
The latest book is a series of tales told in the ‘green room’, including how Kit went to see the Queen and various other adventures, as well as a Christmas tale.
Ceramics dealer Mr Thornton, who has run his business on Henley Street for 32 years with his wife and son, said: “I used to write a bit when I was a kid but never did anything with them, and that was probably a good thing. I have enjoyed doing this, it’s just something completely fresh and different.”
“It’s stopping the ideas that’s hard. I can’t write fast enough.
“The big thing about the books are the illustrations, they are beautifully illustrated.”
The books are only available through the Henley Street shop, with the first selling more than 2,000 copies.
“They are only sold in the shop, simply because we wanted to see what we could do with it,” added Mr Thornton, who said he may consider writing more, but would see how the third one went.
“We’re never going to make a fortune unless they catch on really well and somebody wants to animate them which I would love.
“I wanted them all to be first editions so I did them as individual pieces but they are a continuation of a family of mice along the river bank and all the crazy things they do.
The books have proved popular with locals and visitors from all over the world.
Mr Thornton said: “I talk to people about the books and I have signed most of them, and people are quite thrilled really.”
The first book, whose full title is ‘ Midsummer Mouse: The Memoir of a Theatrical Mouse or What you Will’, Kit the mouse takes to the stage, fights a pirate and finds true love, all set in Stratford.
And ‘The Merry Mice of Stratford: A Fat Mouse in Love, The Further Adventures of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Theatrical Mouse’, again set in Stratford, sees Kit the mouse build a theatre under a willow tree, frees the mice of Bidford and give the first performance of a new play by Shakespeare.