Invest in our Linguistic Heritage

We are excited to announce the latest forthcoming publication from Blue Ormer. A Glossary of the Norman Language in the Channel Islands, compiled and edited by Professor Mari Jones of the University of Cambridge, based on fieldnotes made by Professor J.P. Collas almost a century ago.

For the first time, we are offering the opportunity to join a crowdfunding initiative to support the launch of this important addition to the literature on the Norman languages of the Channel Islands: Guernésiais, Jèrriais, Sercquiais and Auregnais.

There are four options:-

  • Supporter – receive a copy of the book on the day of publication.
  • Subscriber – receive a copy of the book and your name listed as Subscriber in the Tabula Gratulatoria.
  • Sponsor – receive a copy of the book with personalised signed bookplate and your name listed as Sponsor in the Tabula Gratulatoria.
  • Patron – receive five copies of the book with personalised signed bookplates and your name listed as Patron at the top of the Tabula Gratulatoria.

The launch date for the book will be confirmed when the crowdfunding campaign reaches its target.

 Subscribers, Sponsors and Patrons will be invited to a special launch event (travel restrictions permitting).

All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Priaulx Library.

For more details on how the campaign works, see the Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Current progress
(Updated 20 Sep 21)

About the Book

John Peter Collas (1911-1984), Professor at Queen Mary College, London, is best known for his work on the legal vocabulary of the Norman language spoken in Britain after the Conquest. However, a collection of several hundred unordered slips of paper, some of which were stored in Guernsey and others located in Wales, reveal that Collas also had a well-developed academic interest in the Norman spoken in the Channel Islands, probably stemming from his own family background in Guernsey. In this Glossary, Professor Mari Jones has reunited the collection and, by ordering, transcribing and editing the slips, she has made Collas’s work accessible to a broad readership for the first time, providing a record of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais terms that will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike.

Pages: 256
Hardback with dust cover
ISBN: 978-1-9993415-8-9 

About the Author

Mari C. Jones is Professor of French Linguistics and Language Change at the University of Cambridge, Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages at Peterhouse and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Her research focuses on French linguistics, Romance dialectology, language contact and change, language obsolescence and language revitalisation. She has published extensively on the Norman language in the Channel Islands, including the monographs Variation and Change in Mainland and Insular Norman (Brill, 2015), The Guernsey Norman French Translations of Thomas Martin (Peeters, 2008) and Jersey Norman French (Blackwell, 2001). Her commitment and support for the revitalisation of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais have been steadfast and sustained.

What People are saying about the book:

“If you have an appetite to learn and understand more of the history and culture of the Channel Islands in order better to appreciate the value of our heritage, this work will be an important addition to your bookshelves … the islands owe an enormous debt of gratitude to [Professor Jones] for compiling and editing my late uncle’s work and creating a source of reference material that will endure for all time and for all people.”

Sir Richard Collas, Bailiff of Guernsey (2012-2020)

“Without Professor Jones’s meticulous and painstaking work, J.P. Collas’s material would probably have remained inaccessible and largely forgotten. The Glossary she has produced will be of enormous importance to scholars and students of Norman. The wealth of vocabulary that it makes available will also assist greatly in the ongoing endeavour to revitalise our precious indigenous Channel Island languages”

Ben Spink, Head of Jèrriais Teaching Service

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q. What is a Glossary, and how does it differ from a Dictionary?

A. A Glossary is a word list, rather than a comprehensive list of all the words in a language. What is unique about Collas’s glossary is that for each English word it lists the equivalent word in one or more of Guérnesiais, Jèrriais, Sercquiais and Auregnais.

Collas also included quotations that illustrate how the word is used and phonetics to show how the word is pronounced.

See right for a sample from the letter B.

An extract from the letter B (Part I).

Q. There are already dictionaries of Guérnesiais and Jèrriais – why do we need another one?

A. The Glossary complements existing Dictionaries of Guérnesiais and Jèrriais, but is also the only comparative study of the vocabulary of the Norman language in the Channel Islands.

Q. When will the book be launched?

A. When the crowdfunding campaign reaches its target, we will announce the launch date for the book. We are hoping that this will be in Spring 2022.

Q. How can I become a Subscriber?

A. You can either

  • click the link above and pay by credit card or Paypal.
  • if you would prefer to pay by cheque, then please download and complete this flyer.

Q. How can I become a Patron or Sponsor?

A. If you would like to make a more significant contribution to this project and appear as Patron or Sponsor in the Tabula Gratulatoria, then please contact us for details.

Q. What if the fundraising campaign doesn’t reach its target?

A. In the event that the campaign does not reach its fundraising target, all payments will be refunded.

New book: Occupied!

We are pleased to announce our latest publication – a book about the German Occupation of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Written by local tour guide, Victoria Robinson, this beautifully illustrated book provides a general introduction to this subject for primary school children. It has already received positive feedback from children, parents and teachers.

… a pretty useful and good resource for the Occupation.

Concise and effective.

Local headteacher

Really good book – loved reading it.

Local teacher

About the Book

On the 30th June 1940, life in the Bailiwick of Guernsey changed completely when German forces landed and occupied the island. For five long years, the islanders faced life under enemy rule bringing with it danger, hardship and heartbreak.

Discover the stories of daily life during the occupation, living under strict rules and watching out for German soldiers at every turn.

Find out about the main events of the period including evacuation, daring commando raids, listening to secret radios, building fortifications, deportations, facing food shortages, curfews and transport challenges – and, finally, the joy of liberation – all brought to life through colourful illustrations.

About the Author

Victoria Robinson is a Guernsey born and bred accredited tour guide with a passion for the island’s history and sharing it with others.

Local Books for the Lock Down!

If you’re looking to make use of the time during the lockdown by catching up on your reading, or learning more about the Channel Islands – then you’ve come to the right place!

Blue Ormer published a range of local books – and the store also includes a number of other books of local interest, including the entire catalogue of Toucan Press.

Start exploring our range:

Don’t forget – free postage in the Bailiwick of Guernsey!

Special offer – 10% discount by using the code LOCKDOWN10 at checkout.

New Book: In Living Memory

This exciting new book commemorates and celebrates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Channel Islands, after the occupation of the invading German forces during WW2. Stories of the occupation continue to inspire generations of artists, poets, historians and writers. 

In Living Memory is a collection of contemporary visual arts, original essays and poetry, plus first-hand memories of those who survive the war years and wish to share their memories – some for the very first time.

Heartfelt stories and images,
together commemorating
the freedom we enjoy today.

Dame Mary Perkins in her Preface


Survivors: Ethel Brouard (née Le Noury), Marion Dorey (née Robins), Shirley Falla (née McCarthy), Peter Gaudion, Margaret Le Conte, Mavis Lemon (née Wakley), Diana Nicole (née Bachmann), Janet de Santos (née Duquemin) and Naomi Taylor (née Keyho)

Visual artists: Paul Chambers, Mark Cook, Chris Foss, Rosanne Guille, Molly Harris, Frances Lemmon, Pip Looijenga, Olympia McEwan, Jeni Snell, Siân Jones, Ryan Morley

Writers & Poets: Annie Barrows, Gilly Carr, Richard Fleming, Richard Guille, Nick Le Messurier, Nicholas Rowe, Trudie Shannon, Karen Simpson

Foreword by Dame Mary Perkins and Introduction by Molly Bihet.

All proceeds to Age Concern in Guernsey and Alderney.

New book: Across the Channel

Major-General Sir Donald Banks KCB MC DSO TD

UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the unveiling of the blue plaque has been postponed until Spring 2021.

Major-General Sir Donald Banks (1891-1975) was due to be the next Guernseyman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque in May 2020.

To coincide with this event, his memoirs, Across the Channel, which he wrote in the 1960s, but have never been published, were due to be launched at the Guernsey Literary Festival. However, the book is now available here.

The book describes his remarkable career from commanding the 10th Essex Regiment in WW1, becoming the first Director-General of the Post Office, Permanent Secretary to the Air Ministry, and his service in WW2 from his evacuation from Boulogne as part of the British Expeditionary Force to the Petroleum Warfare Department, responsible for the innovative application of the nation’s fuel stocks to the war effort, such as FIDO (fog dispersal at airfields) and PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean).

You can order your copy using the link below.

More details of the rescheduling of the blue plaque will be found at the Heritage 75 Festival website once a new date has been arranged.

New book: The Ord Diaries

UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the Guernsey Literary Festival we have made the reluctant decision to postpone the launch until Spring 2021.

One of the most important primary sources for those interested in the German Occupation of the Channel Islands, the diaries provide a unique insight into this traumatic period of the islands’ history.

John Nettles has edited the diaries and written an introduction.

You can find out more about this work from this short video below.

For more details see

Special Offer: Victims of Nazi Persecution by Gilly Carr

We are pleased to announce a special offer on Gilly Carr’s latest book Victims of Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands: A Legitimate Heritage?

Special offer: 72% discount

The recommended retail price is £90 for this hardback book from Bloomsbury Academic – but we have negotiated a special discounted price of £25 which is only available to residents of the Channel Islands.

Gilly’s latest book explores the long-term effects of Nazi persecution on the Channel Islands’ political prisoners during the German Occupation of World War II. It also examines the long-term neglect of their heritage and memory by both national and local governments since 1945.

The three-part book starts with the wartime experience of islanders in Nazi prisons and camps based on their own testimonies and examines the reception they faced on their return. The second part explores the compensation claims period of the 1960s, the role of Frank Falla, and the way political prisoners were actively excluded from the narrative of the occupation by the local authorities. The third part takes us from the 1960s to the present, looking at the fight for recognition by local ‘guardians of memory’ and the activism of ‘game changers’. The book finishes by examining the status quo today.

About the Author

Gilly Carr is Senior Lecturer and Academic Director in Archaeology at the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge. She has carried out extensive research into the Channel Island Victims of Nazi Persecution and has published extensively on this subject. Gilly established the Frank Falla Archive in 2017 to commemorate the Channel Islands Victims of Nazi Persecution.

Guernsey Literary Festival Part 2: Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey

The second book we will be launching at this year’s festival is the second part of Gregory Stevens Cox’s trilogy about Victor Hugo’s exile in the Channel Islands – Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey.

It’s only three weeks away now, and tickets are selling fast – so book your place soon – using this link to the Guernsey Literary Festival website.

In the 1860s  Victor Hugo, following five well-established tourist routes, made more than 200 carriage drives exploring Guernsey’s country parishes.

His early explorations informed his essay  L’Archipel de la Manche – intended as an introduction to The Toilers of the Sea.

Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey (extensively illustrated with images of the period) follows the routes that Hugo took, the diversions he made, and relates them to his writings..

About the Author

Gregory Stevens Cox has spent over fifty years researching Victor Hugo’s life in the Channel Islands. He has written five monographs on Victor Hugo’s exile and was one of the founders of the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society.

Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey, his latest work, is part of a trilogy published by Blue Ormer which started with Victor Hugo’s St Peter Port (2018) and will be completed with Victor Hugo and the Sea, to be launched at the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society conference in June 2019.

Guernsey Literary Festival Preview, Part 1: Mervyn Peake

This year’s programme is now fully announced and the brochures have hit doorsteps of everyone on the island. We are delighted to be supporting the festival again this year – with the launch of two new books.

The first of these is: Mervyn Peake: Son of Sark, by Steve Foote.

Mervyn Peake (1911–1968), is widely considered to be one of the twentieth century’s most original and innovative novelists, poets and artists. He is best known for the Gormenghast trilogy.

Peake lived in Sark during two formative stages of his life: during the 1930s as a single man, where he joined an artists’ colony known as The Sark Group and between 1947 and 1950 when he returned to the island with his young family.

Mervyn Peake: Son of Sark is intended as a guide to Sark for those familiar with the work of Mervyn Peake, and an introduction to Peake’s work for those familiar with the island.

Special offer for fans of Ebenezer Le Page

Order “Genius Friend” – Edward Chaney’s biography of G.B. Edwards – and get a copy of “The Trail of Ebenezer Le Page” (normal price £3.99) absolutely free!

Edward Chaney became friends with Gerald Edwards when he was living in Weymouth in the 1970s, and encouraged him to finish writing The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. He was then instrumental in persuading Hamish Hamilton to publish it in 1981.

In 2015, he published “Genius Friend: G.B. Edwards and The Book of Ebenezer Le Page” – the story of Gerald’s life.

“The Trail of Ebenezer Le Page” is a guide to the places in Guernsey associated with G.B. Edwards and those that feature in his novel.

A great Christmas offer for fans of Ebenezer Le Page!