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'Life in a Time of Plague: A Coronavirus Lockdown Diary' by Julian Roup

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Purchase Life in a Time of Plague: A Coronavirus Lockdown Diary by Julian Roup:

Amazon (US): click here

Amazon (UK): click here

Barnes & Noble: click here

Waterstones: click here

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“Engaged, intelligent, personal, fast moving and funny.” - Financial Times

Life in a Time of Plague is the story of Britain under the first 75 days of its unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown, seen from the author’s rural East Sussex valley home in England.

From the refuge of a seemingly idyllic rural idyll, the book monitors in bleak and forensic detail the failure of the Government to protect Britain, and its woeful response at every stage of the pandemic.

The author’s age and medical issues colour this diary with a dark humour, as his age group is most at risk. He is determined to make his 70th birthday at least, despite the thousands of deaths in Britain to date.

It is a quiet slow appreciation of the bright green spring and summer of 2020 in the English countryside, set against the horrors faced by frontline workers. However, what is most surprising is that amid the death, heartache and economic carnage, there is also a silver lining, a chance to simply stop and stare, and rethink our lives.

Julian Roup has produced a podcast series based on 'Life In a Time of Plague'. You can listen to it here - - first broadcast by BizNews.

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About the author

Julian Roup is the author of three non-fiction books: a children’s book, A Day In the Life of an MP; A Fisherman in the Saddle, a memoir of growing up in South Africa; and Boerejood, which explores the miracle of peaceful change to democratic rule in South Africa in 1994.

Boerejood received critical praise from many, including the Financial Times in the UK, which described it as: “Brilliant, engaged, intelligent, personal….and funny”. The FT ran a 2,000-word feature on the book as its Weekend Magazine cover story in May 2006.

Julian Roup has a background which combines marketing, journalism and public relations.

Born in South Africa in 1950, he lived in Cape Town for the first 30 years of his life. He has a journalism degree from Rhodes University in South Africa, and worked at the Cape Times and the Cape Argus before emigrating to England in 1980, where he started off writing for the Mid Sussex Times.

He founded his own PR consultancy, Bendigo Communications, in 1993. Clients have included: Virgin Atlantic, Bonhams, Bradford & Bingley, and the Development Agency for the Western Cape in South Africa. He has also created PR campaigns for clients including the British Army, Black Horse Agencies, Christie's, the Government of Malta, the London Underground, British Rail InterCity, NSPCC, and the RSPCA.

He worked as Director of Press and Marketing for Bonhams, the international fine art auction company, for 12 years.


Praise for Julian Roup

Evocative of Annie Dillard's chapter about The Tree with the Lights in it, in her book ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’. Beautifully done, Julian.

Leslie Moïse

It is a rare thing to find a book which speaks intimately of a place both you and the author know and love, but even if you aren;t acquainted with Ashdown Forest the appeal is just as strong. Julian brings this magical place to life on the page with a rare depth of feeling. Essential reading and highly recommended - a modern day equivalent to Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain for the other end of the country!

Paul McKinnel

Beautifully written. You speak the words that we feel in our hearts. Thank You to horses everyday, everywhere. X

Diane Rainbow

This is an amazing piece of writing - absolutely captivated by it and think the author perfectly explains that exquisite relationship that women are able to have with horses. Mine definitely used to give me that illusion of power and strength and almost winged flight all the time. I’ve been to parts of South Africa too and loved the descriptions of the riding country. Thank you for sharing this.

Helen Elizabeth Stone

While reading this lovely woods hymn, I was thinking how I felt exploring the great East Texas forest and had only one word - free. A horse allows freedom.

Kay Motley

I thought you’d like this because a) he writes beautifully; and b) the South African connection.

Miranda Kavanagh

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Purchase Life in a Time of Plague: A Coronavirus Lockdown Diary by Julian Roup:

Amazon (US): click here

Amazon (UK): click here

Barnes & Noble: click here

Waterstones: click here


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