Grande Vigne Press



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SHED - a tale of two villages
(Approx 115,000 words)

by George Macpherson
Published March 2017

A chaotic Cornish comedy – with serious undertones, in which two villages have been feuding for centuries. All change when divine intervention triggered by tractor-driver Bill Burt, playing Polfellet church organ, solves not only social and economic problems, but also leads to illicit romance in other social circles.

Heroines and villains in this modern fairy tale are three women, Wiffy, Tink and Plonker, school-mates since posh prep school in Par, and later at Cheltenham Ladies’. The men in the story, including Lord Oswald Kitchener (‘Oz’), Admiral Nicholas Beddington (RN Retired) and Gervase Hetherington-Blythe (pronounced ‘Hithe’) all dance to the tunes of these sirens - and to a couple of others including the formidable Cynthia Heddington, the Admiral’s socialite wife, and Heidi Schmidt, who works at Aldi in Liskeard.

Landowners Oz and Gervase, like many with property on Bodmin Moor, have a bracken problem, while climate change presents new hazards to them and their land, which, from the air, looks like The Somme in 1917, due to frantic mining and prospecting in days gone by. Some ingenious solutions emerge with national and indeed global, benefit. 

None of this will be forgotten, especially every August, when this part of East Cornwall, from now on, reverberates with church bells and bagpipes.

Author’s note: This novel, while scandalous, is not explicit in its love scenes, violent episodes - so can be recommended to even the squeamish. 

Download a free sample from Amazon Kindle books, or buy a paperback version from, or your local Amazon website.

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(Approx 135,000 words)
by George Macpherson

Bertie has had it ‘up to here!’ Despite working  dawn ‘til dusk in The City, and knowing he was the most effective man in the firm, the one role he wants goes to the Chairman’s secret totty.  He’s lonely, frustrated and bored. Walking home through Hyde Park that evening, he makes a life-changing decision: he will not sign a new contract but pack a knapsack, disappear and take ‘a year and a day’ off, to seek his fortune! With his private income he can afford it. Who would believe that, within 24 hours, the shapely rear view of a bad-tempered young horsewoman might lead him into a series of events that would turn his life upside down in a way he never expected, deep in the Wiltshire countryside?

 This is the humorous tale of how our hero got mixed up in the dwindling fortunes of an aristocratic widow whose late husband’s last attempt at financial survival involved property development on land next to the River Avon. These meadows now flood annually. How can such a scheme, essential to paying off the estate’s debts, ever go ahead?  It’s a situation that calls for a stroke of brilliance to give it any chance of success. That, together with a recalcitrant stallion, the Manor House cat and the Rector’s daughter all conspire to map out Bertie’s career and love life for the next decade or more.  Some fortune! But then – when you’ve got everything, what more could you want?


Author’s note:

A warning to those who prefer euphemisms and virginal purity when it comes to personal relationships. This book is for ‘grown-ups’ and contains a few graphic love scenes. Who was it who first said ‘never explain, never apologise’? It seems to be an arrogant attitude and there are various claimants as to who coined the phrase: so let me explain that my plea for tolerance in this matter should be taken more as a warning on the packet, such as ‘may contain nuts’.

 Download a free sample from Amazon  Kindle books, or buy a paperback version from, or your local Amazon website.



(Approx 110,000 words)
by George Macpherson

Drought in Africa, floods in Asia and tornadoes in USA threaten to destabilise whole populations. The prospect of aggressive mass migration has become real. World leaders are receiving warnings that radicalisation of the educated, but desperate poor, poses a credible and immediate threat of meltdown to global law and order. In view of secret intelligence and commercial predictions, Permanent Members of the UN Security Council take decisive action to prevent such a cataclysm. The failure of military force to bring peace in Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria convinces Presidents Xi, Hollande, Putin, Prime Minister Cameron, and  President Obama that something different must be tried.

To achieve this, hundreds of retired engineers, agronomists, chemists and field administrators must be called back in a massive effort to harness natural resources and world trade, providing food, water and a livelihood to the dangerously  deprived.

Arun Gillies, ageing son of a Burmese mother and Scottish father, is one of those re-recruited from his retirement home in South West France. For him it comes at a pivotal moment in his life, complicated by the state of his marriage and his fantasies surrounding a brilliant young French student of politics, whom he meets when she's on work experience. Events take this unlikely couple back and forth between Europe, Africa, and America, taking unexpected and dramatic roles in the front line of this world campaign.



A novel set in Cornwall

(Approx 134,000 words)

by George Macpherson

What does it take to make humanity take notice of what 'Mother Nature' is telling us? Heatwaves and forest fires? Summers with floods and no sun? Disappearing islands? Foul air? And what can we as individuals do about all this? 
This story is about natural resources - and the way people exploit the planet on which we all depend. It centres on their economic, emotional and romantic lives, and whether people's behaviour in their different walks of life can make a difference.

Successful Polperris artist Rose Yi Johnson is elected to the local District Council in Cornwall, despite her mother being from Northern China. Her illegitimate daughter, Emily, is a Fine Arts graduate working for a London gallery. She has inherited her mother's oriental good looks and deep intellect. 

Councillor Johnson is incensed when she learns that The Church is applying for planning permission to build a car-park and ice-cream kiosk on an ancient and legally-protected meadow, (SSSI and AONB) known as The Glebe Field. The application is supported by influential landowner and womaniser Hugh Olver-Blythe, who has much bigger plans in mind. He has been buying farms along the Cornish coast, amalgamating the land and refurbishing the buildings as holiday lets and cottages for sale. He wants to diversify further. 

Rose Johnson's passionate concern for the environment, aided by an astounding stroke of family fortune, brings a personable young barrister and his famous father into the picture. This has dramatic repercussions for The Glebe, for Rose and her daughter. 
George Macpherson's intriguing and frank novel, (a sequel to one of his previous books The Floating Island – a tale of Africa), recognises that human behaviour has changed little over the centuries. Set within the context of a modern love story, it suggests that while our acquisitive and greedy instinct drives us to plunder and wreck this planet – and even attack Mother Nature herself, bringing mass self-destruction, money in itself need not be evil. Great riches can bring many good things and much happiness.

The Author:

Award-winning writer and journalist George Macpherson was educated at St Paul's School, London and Seale Hayne Agricultural College, now the University of Plymouth. He worked for the United Nations' International Labour Organisation in Africa as a Technical Advisor before joining BBC World Service as a producer, then Programme Organiser for the Swahili Service. He also presented and produced music, medical, farming and wildlife programmes for TV South, BBC Five Live and BBC Radio Four before moving with his wife Jane, to France to write novels.

They returned to UK in 2014 and live in Somerset.

This is his seventh published novel.

Contact him by telephone on
+44 (0)1398 322962 or email

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ISBN-13: 978-1543200454 (CreateSpace-Assigned) 

ISBN-10: 1543200451



See George Macpherson's books on



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ISBN 978-0-9566386-4-9 (UK)

ISBN 09566 38643 (CreateSpace)
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Paperback £10.99

ISBN 978-0-9566386-3-2
Another Life

(Approx 120,000 words)
A novel by George Macpherson

'Okavango – Another Life' is a tale of adventure and love in Botswana, when the historical prejudices and injustices, still entrenched in all its neighbours, were being challenged as the new African nation emerged in 1967. The dangers of wild animals, power of traditional beliefs, hatred and love between races and tribes, as well as the hazards of international politics, helped make Botswana a social, political and commercial melting pot for the Africa of the future.

Alan Black is a third generation Rhodesian starting his career in Botswana's Ngamiland, one of the world's last unspoiled habitats encompassing the vast Okavango Swamps. His job is to work with the newly independent Batswana people, in this vast area of the Northern Kalahari, to achieve higher incomes and standard of living from their livestock and crops.

He becomes close to an Afrikaner family whose safari company faces radical challenges; and to a beautiful African woman whose natural boldness has been given the extra confidence of university education. Together they experience success in their work and their passionate relationship: but how can it all end? There's someone else in Alan's life with whom he seems inevitably and mysteriously linked.

This is African enchantment in the most exotic of settings, in which love challenges racial boundaries breached only by the few despite the conflicts of religion, politics, race and class.



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ISBN 978-0-9566386-1-8
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A story of Africa

(Approx 112,000 words)
By George Macpherson

In 1961 newly-independent Tanzania is set for change – Africans are taking power, They intend to raise people out of poverty, combat witchcraft and stamp out corruption. A few disgruntled whites are leaving for Rhodesia and South Africa. Other more dedicated ex-patriates stay on. In the villages little has changed in half a century but newcomers from Europe and Asia are arriving in this tropical setting of contrasting lifestyles, keen to contribute. They have a lot to learn about ‘maendeleo’ - development.

Two young people from contrasting backgrounds become entangled in this melange of language, work and cultures. Charles Johnson, product of a typically English public school is, despite his veneer of confidence and boyish enthusiasm, still unsure of who he is or what he wants from life. Leaving his first love, Carol Libby, in England has been a wrench but they both know that his restless nature needs wider vistas than those offered by a Cornish fishing village.        
In Northern China, Yi Zhang Li is training as an anthropologist. Her interest in prehistoric wall paintings leads to her to help plan a railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia.

She has much to lose if she fails to uphold Communist Party principles but her natural charm and classical beauty ensure her acceptance amongst villagers, officials and fellow workers.

One person who desperately seeks her attention and approval is Charles. To Zhang Li he appears to be a conceited young ‘foreign devil’.


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ISBN: 978-0-9566386-0-1
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Expressions of Love 
(Approx 95,000 words)
a novel by George Macpherson

Is it possible for people to meet as children, grow up together, marry and live happily ever after? One small girl, Harriet, decides it is and sets out to make it happen, despite the opposition of her aristocratic Roman Catholic family – and despite it being Jeremy, the boy she's chosen in the village. He is from 'the wrong background' – his father is a carpenter  –  and worse, his parents are Church of England. Later, in his teenage years he has sexual hang-ups.

Set in mid-20th Century in rural England, sex before marriage is taboo; homosexuality is scorned and illegal; and the barriers of class and religion – not to mention the dangers of pregnancy and 'VD' – weigh the young people down with damaging inhibitions, yet Harriet and Jeremy become close and learn to keep their relationship secret. His ambition is to be a farmer: her chosen career is that of a violinist. Their mutual love of music contributes to their finding ways round the limitations and obstacles that stand between them and eventual happiness?  

Harriet's sunny self-confidence is dangerously challenged and Jeremy, as he works his way up the land management ladder in Oxfordshire, comes to her rescue. Meanwhile he has to face the guilt that has weighed him down for so long.

Their bonding with each other transcends a series of dramatic events that threaten their careers and life together. This novel shares their emotional development through love, sexuality, guilt, serenity, the transcendence of music and the joy of enduring affection.


Publisher's summary


By George Macpherson

 In the years after World War Two a Dorset boy finds himself a victim of class prejudice in his village at an early age when the daughter of the manor decides he is what she wants. Both children are heirs of their history. Harriet is one of several sisters in a family of landed gentry whose fortunes are crumbling. Jeremy, the son of a respected craftsman and a local school-teacher pursues a career in farm management. As the love for each other develops they meet obstacles – but only from one side. Despite devout parents governed by tradition, sexual inhibitions and the wide gulf between their classes and religions, their love endures. It shapes their lives and careers. Their passion for playing chamber music brings them friends and some social recognition. They also learn how to give each other what Mother Nature demands.  He learns the cello to be able to join Harriet and her friends playing chamber music. They discover that the dedication and patience needed to perfect their playing of stringed instruments can also be applied to overthrowing the barriers of class and religion. The supreme satisfaction of participating in a quartet is matched in their working lives and personal relationships as the lovers follow their training, logic and natural instincts.


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Amazon ASIN: B004XW2PHC
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US$4.60 in USA and elsewhere


Checkout for fiction books:

For downloading the e-books The Glebe Field - a novel set in CornwallThe Floating Island - a tale of Africa, Okavango - Another Life, or Expressions of Love, click below:


Home-grown energy
from Short Rotation Coppice

Hardback,(214 pages) Published in 1995 by Farming Press Books, distributed in North America by Diamond Farm enterprises. ISBN 0 85236 289 7. With a foreword by Derek Wanless, this is a handbook for those interested in planting, tending and harvesting willow and other woody biomass crops for energy. ‘Wood is the purest fuel in the world’ and there are all kinds of benefits from cultivation of short rotation coppice – such as flood prevention, water re-cycling, sewage recycling, buffer-strips to prevent fertilizer run-off polluting water-ways; provision of wildlife habitat – and basket making uses the same type of willow. The book is generously illustrated with photographs and is of a very practical nature.


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First Steps in Village Mechanisation

Published by Tanzania Publishing House in 1975 when George Macpherson was a UN International Labour Organisation technical advisor to the Government of Tanzania, this is a handbook for those starting a rural workshop using available materials and tools. It begins with basic black-smith skills, and goes on to the design and construction of wheelbarrows, cultivators, donkey and ox harness, and other farm tools and machinery. Illustrated with photos and diagrams.


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Namna ya kujitengenezea gari la gurudumu moja

(How to make a wheelbarrow for yourself)

Published by Tanzania PublishingHouse in 1975 in Swahili, this is a photographic description, with commentary, on how to make a wheelbarrow from pieces of wood and a strip of lorry tyre. It can easily be followed by someone no understanding Swahili.

(Not currently available from Amazon).


Computers in Farm Management
By Barry Wilson and George Macpherson

An early textbook on the use of computers on the farm, this was published by Northwood Books following a series of farming conferences organized by the magazine Big Farm Management, edited by George Macpherson. This book is still available on

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Grande Vigne Press is an enterprise set up in 2010 by former BBC radio producer George Macpherson in the Dordogne, France and publisher Tom Bayliss, in London. In the new world of the Amazon Kindle, Apple Ipad and other digital book readers authors can publish their work in the same way that artists and sculptors can exhibit and promote theirs, without the high associated costs of printing, binding and despatch.

Grande Vigne’s first publication is set in Africa, and has strong farming and cultural connections. George Macpherson, the author, spent many years working in rural development in East, Central and Southern Africa before joining the BBC World Service where he produced farming, wildlife and music programmes.He became head of the Swahili Service before going freelance, producing and presenting farming, music, medical and engineering programmes in Radio Four, World Service and Five Live. He has several non-fiction books to his name.
Tom Bayliss’s background is in marketing and public service



To contact our publishing office email
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To contact author George Macpherson email


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Or write to him at:

31 Hollam Drive

Dulverton, UK, TA22 9EL
Tel: +44 (0)1398 322 962