The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, by G B Edwards is considered one of the best pieces of literature written about Guernsey. It was originally entitled Sarnia Cherie, and its current title was its sub-title.
It tells the life story of a Guernsey man, the Ebenezer Le Page of the title, from his birth in the late 1800s, to his death in the 1960s. It was published posthumously, in 1981, by Hamish Hamilton. If you want to get hold of a modern copy, the most common imprint is that produced by the New York Review of Books.
Although he never married and only left the island once – to visit Jersey – the tale of Ebenezer’s life in the Vale is a deep and engaging one, that chronicles the many changes that the island want through during his lifetime, including, of course, the German Occupation during the Second World War. Several real people pop up within the narrative.
In The Sarnian book 1: Dead in the Water, Remus Carey makes a reference to the Book of Ebenezer Le Page, remarking in his log that he has a copy of it in the wheelhouse on his boat, the Huffin’ Puffin. He mentions it for a second time in book 2, although only in passing.
Author G B Edwards was born on Guernsey, but left the island to study on the mainland, and took several jobs despite being tipped as a future great writer. The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is his only full length completed work, but he didn’t live long enough to see it published (he died in 1976). Instead, he bequeathed the copyright to art student Edward Chaney, who managed to get it published five years later.