Books

Established

Dark Angels

Heritage. Adaptation. Values. Flexibility.

From the oldest pub in the world to the Liberty Bell and the origins of a nation, Established: Lessons from the World’s Oldest Companies tells the stories of twelve businesses with a combined age of almost 5,000 years. They’ve survived war, plague, rebellion, boom, bust, depression and strange twists of fate. But how and what can we learn from them?

Spanning the local and the global, family businesses and household names such as Guinness and Wrigley, Established seeks to uncover the secrets behind the longevity of these twelve remarkable institutions. This is a book with points to make through stories told; all reinforced by photographs, many of them historic. At a time when the average lifespan of a business seems shorter than ever, the companies included here stand as living testaments to the value of rich, compelling stories in a world of quick-fix branding.

Keeping Mum

Dark Angels

They say you should walk towards the light. Well I didn't. I fled. I ran away from it. I pushed the light back and it splintered in my hands like glass. I thought I might be dead because there was no blood. I raged, I wept. I shouted. There was no pain. I screamed. There was no noise. It wasn't time. It wasn't right. But still, I did not know that I was dead. Still, I hoped that I was not. I wasn't ready…

Has it been done before? We don't think so. Dual authorship is one thing, but fifteen authors? That's more like a writing team for a soap opera or a big TV series than a single novel.

And who are the Dark Angels? Well, they're not bikers or Goths or heavy metal rockers, but an eclectic bunch of writers who have come together through the Dark Angels creative writing programme. Challenging themselves to come up with ideas for a collective novel, they chose the model of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, a novel told from the viewpoint of many characters with each chapter in a different voice.

Gathered together in a Scottish country house in the coldest March on record, the Dark Angels started to create the characters to tell a story about a woman who dies in a Scottish country house – and whose family decides to transport her body back to London via a few special, possibly secret-laden locations.

What they came up with is a stonking good story. By turns poetic, comic, psychological, philosophical, and moving. Full of secrets and lies, it's an adventure in writing.

Biography

Dark Angels is a writing programme established in 2004 by Stuart Delves, Jamie Jauncey and John Simmons, whose book Dark Angels describes the group’s philosophy. Their collective novel, Keeping Mum, was published by Unbound in 2014.