Martin Hedges’ international yearnings began as he was lulled to sleep by the sound of jets taking off at Heathrow.

He is a business journalist though he latterly took a PR role when hired by the French government, trying to convince its oldest enemy, the British, to invest in business. The high points of his career include being hit with a golf club by Ted Turner and introducing Boomtown Rats frontman to British press baron Robert Maxwell with a Blackadder-style “Bob, this is Bob…”

He trained as a lawyer, though he never practised. He trained as a private pilot though he thought that flying a plane was like giving the keys to the highway to the worst learner in driver’s ed.

He has written extensively on the hidden details of mostly Victorian history. It is history with an emphasis on business misdeeds in The Day they Hanged a Banker.  Scams also figure in An Infinite Deal of Nothing. It recounts the biggest fraud ever perpetrated in the year when the world convinced itself there were diamonds just waiting to be picked up on the desert floor.

His two biographies, John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie conclude that Carnegie was not as good nor Rockefeller as evil as they were widely portrayed to be.

Martin Hedges lives in Acton, not that strip mine of the soul in West London, but a leafy village in the ancient English county of Suffolk, where the sound of woodpeckers on ‘fully automatic, safety’s off’ punctuates the relentlessly demented lowing of pigeons.

8 Responses to About

  1. Hi Martin. For some reason wordpress is not allowing me to reply to your comment so here I am. I buried Huck Finn with his blanket and a small cross necklace 🙂 Animals.


    • actonbooks says:

      But you will almost see him fleetingly out of the corner of your eye and hear his little feet for days and more likely weeks to come — and I don’t mean some kind of wish fulfilment on your part. I had this and even the cynic that I am I had to believe what I almost saw and heard. Afterwards so many people with dogs I spoke to subsequently said the same thing happened to them. If I were looking for a religion, the sweet soul of dogs, animism, uncorporeal spirits and rebirth would seem like a good place to start…
      My WordPress has become strangely wilful — like a cat!


      • I think my sense of God definitely started with animals. Pets first and then the occasional magic of spotting a shy woodland creature always made me wonder about creation, etc. I understand that domesticated animals liked the promise of free food at some time in ancient history, but it’s that almost crazed love that they show us day after day when the rest of the world says try harder, do more, you’re not quite good enough—there’s a grace in that. I think they’re messengers– and examples of what unearned love looks like. Of course tigers in a forest just want to eat you.


  2. actonbooks says:

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
    The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
    And cometh from afar:
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
    And not in utter nakedness,
    But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God, who is our home:


  3. Hi there Martin. My first lawyer who isn’t a lawyer on blogland. Cheers! Why on Earth did Ted Turner hit you with a golf club?


  4. GP Cox says:

    Pleased to meet you.


    • ActonBooks says:

      Thanks so much for reading my misplaced rambling. You might say’For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found.” (Clue: it was a Quinn Martin Production).

      Liked by 1 person

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