These monthly newsletters grew out of a periodic update I was writing to Sir Martin’s family members, friends, and fans during the three years of his illness. A cardiac arrest and subsequent hypoxia brain injury in the spring of 2012 brought his working career to a halt. But there was such an outpouring of interest and concern that the only way I could manage the responses was to send periodic general emails. The list grew. There were close family members, friends who had known him for years, and some people who had never met him but were anxious to hear news of his health and well-being.
There were people around the world, on every continent, praying and hoping for Martin’s recovery, in many different languages and in many different religious and non-religious circles. Not only were their concerns a honour to Martin, they were a huge source of support to me. If I was late in reporting, people would email me for news – people I knew and many many I had never met and could pass on the street without knowing. Such was Martin’s impact on them; such was the decency and caring his illness brought out.
Having worked during much of that time on creating a new website that would be a source of reference into Sir Martin’s life, his travels, and his work, his death three years ago brought about a change in the nature of the email updates. As I wrote in that final email, the last question of Sir Martin’s life was answered on the 3rd of February 2015 when he died. But the relationships I had developed and the caring and concern that had been shown to me – I was not ready to let that go. So within a few short months, the newsletter that you have been receiving found its place.
My hope was to focus each month on one of Sir Martin’s books, and one of his atlases. Some months the books connect to a story in the news, or a particular historical anniversary, or the mood of the times. Each month I include in the newsletters a piece by Martin, either an excerpt from the book being highlighted, or an article or piece he had written. These pieces are archived on the website in the Blog section of the Blog & Blatt. The Blatt bit is made up of pieces by me that give some insight into his work, our life together, the people we met, the places we travelled. And then the newsletter contains a section of Sir Martin in the News by way of his Web Citings, when he is quoted in the media, in large news organisations and small periodicals and blogs, all of whom feel his name brings authenticity.
Two years ago the Sir Martin Gilbert Newsletter and Book Club went to a double sign-in format for subscriptions. Now, with data protection at the forefront of concern, the EU has rightly mandated that both readers, and writers who have mailings, feel confident about how their information is being used. This newsletter has no direct commercial connection other than to hope to inspire you to explore Sir Martin’s work via Amazon, his publishers, or your favourite bookstore, and to increase your knowledge about him, his life and perspective, and his work. The only information being held by the Sir Martin Gilbert Newsletter and Book Club is your email address and, if known, your name. By agreeing below, you will continue to receive the newsletter with his work and insights, and the odd discount by his publishers. I hope in the coming months to expand the newsletters and would welcome your suggestions as to what would interest you.