British Ambassador spots potential bestseller for Carpathian recluse

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Ambassador hosts book launch of British author living in Romania.


Andrew Noble, British Ambassador to Romania, has hosted a press conference and a reception at his Residence in Bucharest, on Thursday 26th September, on the occasion of the launch of ‘A Stake in Transylvania’ book by British author Arabella McIntyre-Brown, the English version of the ‘Din Liverpool în Carpați’. The event is part of the UK’s international campaign #LiteratureIsGREAT.

Arabella’s book tells the story of her settling in Romania nine years ago, following a spate of family funerals and a very difficult period in her life. The book is a story of “yet another Brit” falling in love with Romania, and at the same time a motivational incursion into the uncharted territories of mental health and its challenges.

Arabella moved to Romania in 2010, but unlike expats who settle in the cities, she lives 1,000 metres up in the Piatra Craiului national park, near Bran. Living there alone, to the fascination of her neighbours, she has written five books in the last three years.

‘The perfect place for a writer? ‘There are a lot of distractions – perhaps even more than in the city,’ she smiles. ‘But it is usually blissfully peaceful,’ she says. ‘A little corner of heaven.’

Quite a contrast to the previous 30 years living in London and Liverpool, but Arabella loves the time warp that takes her back to her rural English childhood. ‘I felt instantly at home as soon as I set foot on the road to the village,’ she said.

This spring Arabella was one of the special guests on the UK Stand at Bookfest in Bucharest. Joining the audience for Arabella’s talk, Andrew Noble – who had read her book in its Romanian translation (‘Din Liverpool în Carpați’) – remarked that the book has a dark dimension which added salt to sunny tales of mountain village life.

‘Move over, Peter Mayle,’ said the Ambassador.

Arabella is delighted to become part of the Anglo-Romanian book world, especially this year when the British Embassy is promoting literature and culture as a ‘GREAT’ bridge between the two countries. ‘I’m so grateful to the Ambassador and his team for all their enthusiastic support. Writing is a solitary business much of the time, so it’s a real boost to have such a high-profile event to launch the book’s English-language edition.’

‘A Stake in Transylvania’ has a foreword by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, named the world’s great living explorer, who was married to Arabella’s sister Ginny until her death in 2004. On 2nd September 2019, the 40th anniversary of the Transglobe Expedition’s departure from Greenwich, Arabella spoke at the Royal Geographical Society’s inauguration of ‘Ginny’s Hut’, a permanent memorial to her sister, who was the first woman to be awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal. The Transglobe Expedition’s patron was HRH the Prince of Wales, whose Saxon houses are just two (very big) mountains away from Arabella’s place in Măgura.

‘A Stake in Transylvania’ was released on 26th September in paperback and ebook formats.

See for review copies (ebook/pdf), photos, author Q&A, author bio & bibliography, book extracts and reviews.

Romania Journal has gone in depth with Arabella’s story in a recent extensive interview.

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