Richard Sullivan is the Marketing Director for the Osprey Group. Any of you who read this blog on a regular basis will know Richard from his blogs on this site. As my boss, he has the unenviable task of keeping me in line, which he does rather successfully. As well as having an overall eyeball on our Marketing plans throughout the year, Richard is also heavily involved in product development here at Osprey. He was a champion for the new Weapon series, and has been at the forefront of our recent forays into the wargaming market with Field of Glory Renaissance and Ambush Alley.
As my direct boss, I of course have to be very polite about Richard, but I can't help that point out that the photo he supplied for this blog is a picture of him in a suit of armour at the London Book Fair a few years ago. Richard, Phil and I took it in turns to each do a day in the armour. Phil and I both lasted for the better part of the whole day. Richard let us down though and retired much earlier in the day!
Richard is another of the office Twitterers (is that a word?) and you can follow him on @OspreyRich
When I asked Richard to write me a blog about his favourite Osprey book, this is what he jotted down:
"I\'ve worked at Osprey for a good few years now and still I\'ll walk into the stockroom and a book from the past will catch my eye. Did we really do that?
When this job was first advertised I could not believe my luck. I\'d been marketing a variety of things before Osprey including books on \'Equine Artificial Insemination\' and conferences on \'Warehousing in Central & Eastern Europe\'. I\'d always joined a company and then had to take a crash course in the topics I would be writing copy and talking confidently on.
Then I started at Osprey and I didn\'t have to learn anything. I could talk about redcoats, chainmail, tower muskets, phalanxes, falchions, facings, forced marches, cuirassiers, chieftans and cruisers all day long. In my third week editorial and marketing had a discussion about their favourite tank. Everywhere I looked was another book about some aspect of military history.
And still these books I never knew existed would pop up. One morning I was heading from my desk to the kitchen when this one - Napoleon\'s Hussars by Emir Bukhari leapt off a spinner and I was taken back to my childhood in the seventies and to a shop just off the marketplace in Romford. Like the smell of the brewery (long since turned into a shopping centre), the evocative Angus McBride artwork really took me back to that Beatties, full of Airfix models, Humbrol paints and various other bits of kit associated with modelling and games. I loved that shop and the Osprey spinner was a part of it full of wonderful books like this one.
Angus captured not only the glorious uniforms with their jaunty shakos and colourful pelisses but also the swagger and confidence of these elite cavalry. His illustrations were an entry into the text by Bukhari which covered the Hussars in huge detail for such a short book.
Other books remind me of my youthful attempts at casting and painting toy soldiers. On Sunday evenings I would be in the kitchen spilling solder over the stove, chopping bits out of my fingers or getting slightly high on the smell of little tins of paint before proudly presenting a set of appallingly painted British redcoats for inspection.This lasted a few years until I decided that really I had neither the talent or the patience for it and decided that a passive appreciation of military history was better. But whenever I see the two volumes on Wellington\'s Infantry by Bryan Fosten I am transported back to that time. Incidentally the theme tune from Poirot also has the same effect, Mum would be watching it next door as I painted away. Now whenever I see a beautifully rendered Private of a British line regiment in belgic shako and short jacket, or a Chosen Man of the 95th Rifles in dark green I still get that thrill. My absolute favourite volumes are probably the ones from Mike Chappell on Wellington\'s Peninsular Regiments. Perfect!
OK I seem to have picked more than one book. And they seem to be out of stock. Over the last year we have increased the number of older titles available by huge amounts. But there are still some to go. Watch out for these on a reprint list soon. If I have anything to do with it."