THE discovery of the first book ever published by Portsmouth’s answer to JK Rowling has been hailed as the ‘holy grail’ of local children’s literature.
A unique copy of Percy Westerman’s swashbuckling boys’ adventure A Lad of Grit – which included a dedication to his son Jack – has just had its first public outing thanks to the perseverance of a local enthusiast.
Nigel Gossop wanted information for a seminar at Portsmouth Grammar School – where the author was a pupil.
And he was lucky to attract the attention of children’s literature expert Dennis Butts, who had the rare book in his possession.
Mr Gossop, 57, a lecturer at South Downs College, said: ‘This is the most exciting find to date.
‘When I picked up the book it was like holding the holy grail.’