Sonnets for Yorkshire Stars

This collection of 100 sonnets is dedicated to some of the county’s most outstanding achievers. The list of names was assembled with real appreciation for our own Yorkshire success stories. You’ll find artists, musicians, politicians, sporting personalities and writers here: Yorkshire’s finest, all celebrated in fourteen-line verse. There are six categories of stars in the book, whose names are listed below, along with details of how to get hold of your own copy.

"The sonnet is a hard form to pull off and to pull off well. Sometimes the form overwhelms the content and sometimes the content struggles to do justice to the form but these sonnets hit the nail on the head, telling perfectly crafted stories that brim with rhythm and dance with rhyme."

Ian McMillan

"So honoured that you chose to write of me and am delighted it was in the form of a poem and not a puzzle! Warmest good wishes."

Baroness Betty Boothroyd

Introduction on youtube

This short film features readings of poems about Ian McMillan, Berwick Kaler, Percy Shaw, Chris Rea, Fred Trueman and Jo Cox.

Stars of sagas and stories

Kate Atkinson, Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett, Brontë Sisters, Roy Clarke, Barry Hines, Winifred Holtby, Ted Hughes, Ian McMillan, Bill Mitchell, Amanda Owen, Gervase Phinn, Sally Wainwright, Alf Wight

Stars of screen and Stage

Mark Addy, Keith Barron, Sean Bean, Brian Blessed, Jeremy Clarkson, Judi Dench, Adrian Edmondson, Brian Glover, Harry Gration, Paul Hudson, Berwick Kaler, Charles Laughton, Maureen Lipman, James Martin, James Mason, Michael Palin, Michael Parkinson, Patrick Stewart, Alan Titchmarsh, Richard Whiteley, Jodie Whittaker, The Yorkshire Vet

Stars of skill and style

Joseph Bramah, Robert E Fuller, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Graham Ibbeson, Ashley Jackson, Henry Moore, Joseph Rowntree, Joseph Terry, Joshua Tetley, Paul Theakston, Robert Thompson

Stars of sound and song

Mel B, Corinne Bailey Rae, Janet Baker, John Barry, Paul Carrack, Tony Christie, Jarvis Cocker, Joe Cocker, Lesley Garrett, Robert Palmer, Mick Ronson, Kimberley Walsh

Stars of sport and spirit

Nicola Adams, Dickie Bird, Geoffrey Boycott, Brownlee Brothers, Beryl Burton, Brian Clough, Hannah Cockroft, Lizzie Deignan, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Len Hutton, David Seaman, Harvey Smith, Fred Trueman, John Whitaker

Stars of state and standing

Alcuin, Old Amos, Betty Boothroyd, William Bradley, Caedmon, Kit Calvert, Alastair Campbell, Cartismandua, James Cook, Jo Cox, Edwin, Guy Fawkes, William Hague, Roy Hattersley, Hilda of Whitby, George Hudson, Amy Johnson, Harry Ramsden, Richard III, Titus Salt, John Sentamu, Mother Shipton, Thurstan, Gary Verity, William Wilberforce, Harold Wilson

"I feel flattered to be portrayed in verse."

Peter Wright, The Yorkshire Vet

"Many thanks. Very interesting to read about my fellow Yorkshire folk."

Dickie Bird

"reet grand"

Alastair Campbell

"A genuinely surprising and novel idea. Julian has succeeded in encapsulating the lives and achievements of dozens of Yorkshire greats, creating bite-sized biographies in the style of a Shakespearean sonnet."

Adrian Braddy, Editor, Dalesman


If you'd like to purchase the book, you can do so in most of the retail outlets across the county where our books are stocked, or from at this link. Customers in the USA or overseas, please click on this link.

You can also buy the book in electronic format from the iBooks Store (this is the cheapest way to get a copy and it includes audio recordings of all the poems).

Get it on iBooks