Since its publication in 1981, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G.B. Edwards has regularly been hailed as one of the outstanding novels of the 20th century. However, until recently, very little was know about its author, Gerald Basil Edwards. A Guernseyman by birth, he left the island in his twenties and died a recluse in Upwey, Dorset in 1976. He had dedicated his novel to Edward Chaney, a young art student, who eventually persuaded Hamish Hamilton to publish it.
Since then, the novel has become a treasured part of the island’s literary heritage – and the author’s childhood home, Hawkesbury on the Braye Road, was the site of the first Blue Plaque, when the island started their own scheme in 2008.
Nearly forty years after the author’s death, Edward Chaney completed his biography – Genius Friend: G.B. Edwards and The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. It was published by Blue Ormer in 2015, and launched at the Guernsey Literary Festival.
Sir Michael Holroyd wrote:
This is a remarkable book which sets out to show us that the half-forgotten Gerald Edwards, author of a single magnum opus, should be acknowledged as one of the great novelists of the twentieth century.
In 2017, Blue Ormer published The Trail of Ebenezer Le Page by Stephen Foote – a guide to the main locations in Guernsey associated with the novel or the life of its author.