Stuart Walton - Editor
Stuart Walton is an established writer and editor who has had sixteen books published, and has been a senior writer and inspector on the Good Food Guide for thirty years.
Stuart Walton is a writer and editor who has had sixteen books published. These range from a history of intoxicants, Out of It (now in its second edition), to critical studies of the emotions and the five senses, as well as a debut novel, The First Day in Paradise (2016). His most recent work is an inquiry into mayhem and disorder, An Excursion into Chaos, published by Bloomsbury in 2021. He has been translated into twelve languages.
As well as being a prolific book critic for, among others, the TLS, the London Magazine, the LA Review of Books and Review 31, Stuart is a Royal Literary Fund Tutorial Fellow at Plymouth University. In his early career, he wrote on food and wine, co-edited the Hachette Wine Guide and has been a senior writer and inspector on the Good Food Guide for thirty years. He was educated at Manchester University and Lincoln College, Oxford, and holds the Oxford Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing.
Find Stuart on Twitter here: @stuartwalton1
- Kirsty M.
WHY WE LOVE STUART
In an industry that is more intensely competitive than ever, Stuart believes that aspiring writers need all the constructive and objective help they can get. His subject-lead non-fiction prowess is primed and ready to give you just that. Stuart is scrupulous in his examinations and will tentatively probe any areas of weakness, including both the effectiveness and clarity of your argument. Eyes like a hawk, he will sense check each chapter and ensure you are making the most of your research – and, most importantly, that your prose is comprehensible to your reader. We spoke to Stuart about his editing practises here.
WHAT STUART SAYS ABOUT EDITING
Neither commissioning editors nor agents have the time to offer the kind of detailed feedback in which we specialise at Jericho Writers, and yet nurturing the next generation of authors, whatever their age or background, has never been more essential.
I do believe in the old-fashioned virtues of clear, precise English, constructed of flawless grammar, spelling and punctuation, but I am always inspired too by genuinely stylish and energetic writing. Discovering and facilitating that makes me very happy. What we will aim to do is make your work not just saleable, but distinctive. I specialise in non-fiction proposals, particularly historical, theoretical and biographical work, and am well-versed in the standards of presentation required by academic publishers. My attention to detail is such that I am open to line-editing work as well as overall assessment.
What Stuart works on
Genres Stuart specialises in
Stuart's published books
The First Day in Paradise
The First Day in Paradise tells the story of a young orphaned family who have been passed on from one set of relations to another, and whose eldest sibling, Adam, becomes enthralled by the impending opening nearby of a gigantic and beautiful shopping-mall by a flamboyant entrepreneur. To the consternation of his aunt and uncle, who run a small business, he joins the staff of one of its stores, and begins a dizzying ascent through the ranks, until circumstances induce him to question whether his entire value-system has become corrupted. Functioning both as social-economic critique, and as a personal moral fable about the conjuration of ambition from present-day consumer culture, The First Day in Paradise is an engrossing and layered tale loosely modelled on Dante’s Paradiso, but most of all it’s simply a great read.
Neglected or Misunderstood: Introducing Theodor Adorno
While Theodor Adorno has continued to be influential since his death in 1969, his very centrality has led to the left simplifying his ideas while the right placed him at the center of a myriad of wild conspiracy theories, all of them filed under the category of Cultural Marxism. Adorno has wrongly been blamed for everything from the Beatles to postmodernism, but he has continued to be read, if read badly.
Stuart Walton’s introduction to Adorno attempts to explain how this idiosyncratic thinker reframed elements of the Hegelian-Marxist dialectical in the fields of philosophy, sociology, politics and aesthetics and to rectify some of the major misunderstandings about Adorno and the Frankfurt School. When Walton began studying Adorno at Oxford in 1983 he felt that Adorno was nowhere in the English-speaking world, but that he should be everywhere. Now Adorno is everywhere, but hardly anywhere sufficiently or deeply understood.
The Devil’s Dinner: A Gastronomic and Cultural History of Chili Peppers
The Devil’s Dinner is the first authoritative history of chili peppers. There are countless books on cooking with chilies, but no book goes into depth about the biological, gastronomical, and cultural impact this forbidden fruit has had upon people all over the world. The story has been too hot to handle.
A billion dollar industry, hot peppers are especially popular in the United States, where a superhot movement is on the rise. Hot peppers started out in Mexico and South America, came to Europe with returning Spanish travelers, lit up Iberian cuisine with piri-piri and pimientos, continued along eastern trade routes, boosted mustard and pepper in cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, then took overland routes to central Europe in the paprika of Hungarian and Austrian dumplings, devilled this and devilled that… they’ve been everywhere!
Intoxicology: A Cultural History of Drink and Drugs
Intoxicology is an addictive investigation into the history and culture of Narcotica – from the everyday use of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco to the illicit realm of opiates, amphetamines, and hallucinogens. The book is a witty and provocative look at why intoxication has always been a part of the human experience – from our earliest Stone Age rituals to the practices of the ancient Greeks and Romans, right on up through the Victorian era and ending with a flourish in modern times – and why the use of mind-altering substances is, and will continue to be, an essential part, however transgressive, of civilization.
An Excursion through Chaos: Disorder under the Heavens
From its original meaning as a gaping void, or the emptiness that precedes the whole of creation, chaos has taken on the exclusive meaning of confusion, pandemonium and mayhem. This definition has become the overarching word to describe any challenge to the established order.
In his incisive new study, Stuart Walton argues that this is a pitifully one-dimensional view of the world, as he looks to many of the great social, political, artistic and philosophical advances that have emerged from periods of disorder and from the refusal to think within the standard paradigms.