An invitation to publishers and agents
Cherry Ingram: an Illustrated Life
The website owner has a complete working draft for a book with the title
Cherry Ingram: an Illustrated Life
Expression of interest from publishers or from literary agents would be welcome at
The new work differs from and adds to that of Naoko Abe as follows ……
…… Naoko describes Cherry Ingram’s life, especially his life with cherries, using a wide variety of sources. She relates the long history of cherries in Japan, and Ingram's crucial contribution to their survival and popularity. We do not attempt to rival that fine biography. Instead, with minimal editorial input, we let Cherry Ingram himself tell the story of his long life of travel, field sports, ornithology, plant-collecting and gardening. Born into a newspaper family, he was from an early age a prolific writer and artist.
The book has many potential readers, naturalists, gardeners, those interested in social history, and those who have enjoyed Naoko Abe’s Japanese story and wish to find out more about Cherry Ingram.
Chapter structure of the new proposal
1. Early Autobiography and Diaries: 1896-1904
Especially concentrating on his early precocity as an ornithologist and including his introduction to field sports. He wrote an unpublished ‘autobiography’ at the age of 16. The chapter covers his first extensive travels, including his brief but very significant stay in Japan in 1902.
2. ‘Chough’ Ingram: marriage and museum ornithology: 1905-1909
To his ornithological friends, and to his wife throughout their long marriage,
he was known as ‘Chough’ from the bird of that name. This chapter describes his development as an ornithologist in the Bird Room of the Natural History museum and his many field excursions
through the Riviera from the family house in Monaco. For just few years after his marriage, birds took a back seat in his life,
3. Birds of France: 1910-1914
This chapter focuses on several journeys through France in the early days of
motoring, collecting information for a planned book The Birds of France. The book was never published, in part because it was overtaken by WW1. His journals of this period include some
fine writing about birds and countryside. His one longer journey was to the West Indies to monitor the success of his father’s introduction of Birds of Paradise to Little Tobago.
4. First World War: 1914-1918
The chapter includes a summary of his war service in the Royal Flying Corps in France from 1916 to 1918, with a few previously published entries from his war diaries. The main new, unpublished material is from his period with the Kent Cyclists in 1915, when he explored Dungeness and its birds.
5. ‘Cherry’ Ingram: 1919-1948
This is his most important period as a traveller and plant collector, including his momentous trip to Japan in 1926 and to South Africa a year later. The chapter also covers his service as Commander of his local Home Guard in WW2 – he devoted much of his life during the war to the Home Guard but still managed to continue his research on cherries. The chapter ends with the publication of his classic book Ornamental Cherries.
6. Not Winding Down: 1949-1981
Describing a vigorous old age: with his garden and his gardening reputation at their peak (until further enhanced by Naoko Abe). He confirms his place among the gardening greats and also returns to his first love of ornithology.
There are several appendices in the draft, in provisional form. The most important are (1) the first complete transcript of his Japanese journal, (2) an illustrated list of the plants he bred or introduced to the UK.and (3) an account of his association with the cat artist Louis Wain.