This is a book for people who are interested in statues . . . and for people who aren't. It explores those immortalised in marble and bronze - and what the rest of us think about them.
As Roger Lytollis travels Britain he encounters a man at Liverpool's Beatles statue convinced that Rod Stewart was in the Fab Four. In Edinburgh he walks into a row over Greyfriars Bobby's nose and in Glasgow learns why the Duke of Wellington wears a traffic cone on his head. London brings a controversial nude statue and some hard truths about racism.
Elsewhere, Roger sees people dancing with Eric Morecambe, finds a statue being the backdrop to a marriage proposal and, everywhere he goes, pigeons. Always pigeons.
On a Pedestal is the first book to examine public statues around the nation. It looks at their emergence onto the front line of our culture wars; the trend for portraying musicians, sports stars and comedians rather than monarchs, politicians and generals; the inspirational stories of many of those commemorated on our streets, such as suffragettes and the only soldier awarded a Victoria Cross on D-Day.
The book features interviews with sculptors including Sir Antony Gormley telling the stories behind some of our most popular modern statues.
Part history book, part travelogue, On a Pedestal discovers Britain through its statues. It's a book that, ultimately, is more about blood than bronze.
As an award-winning feature writer of many years standing, Roger Lytollis brings a lively eye to a subject that in many respects remained frozen in time until the recent removal of Edward Colston's statue from its pedestal in Bristol.
Brisk and entertaining. A very readable love letter to a disappearing world, told with verve and tenderness.
Praise for Panic as Man Burns Crumpets: For those who know about provincial newspapers, this will be a classic and a gem. Those who don't know will envy what they have missed.
ROGER LYTOLLIS is the author of Panic as Man Burns Crumpets: The Vanishing World of the Local Journalist and On a Pedestal: A Trip Around Britain's Statues. Since 1995 Roger has been a feature writer and columnist for some of the UK's best local newspapers. He's a three-time winner at the Regional Press Awards. And a twelve-time loser at the North West Media Awards. He isn't bitter about that at all. Roger lives in Cumbria. Twitter: @rogerlytollis