The author was a relation of the painter Alfred Wallis and the title story in this collection describes graphically and with humour the boy’s fraught relationship with the old man: “Lovely fish,” I said sincerely. I didn’t think much of the boats, for they were of a kind I’d drawn when I was much younger … “I’ll tell’ee something about them fish”, Alfred said. He lowered his voice, glanced towards the stairs that led up to the bedroom. “I don’t want she to ‘ear. She’s up there, you knaw. They do all think she’s dead but she edn’t” …’
‘That celebrated painter, Alfred Wallis, has inspired his stepson’s grandson Albert Rowe to write The Boy and the Painter. Now and again one picks up a gem of a book which, despite its modest size remains in one’s mind for weeks. Rowe is a superb writer, writing not only in the dialect of the ’20s and ’30s but under the influence of the mindset of the time. Thus something which is dated becomes dateless.’ CornishGuardian
Among early, widely praised titles from Tabb House are biographies including THE SLENDER TREE: a Life of Alice Meynell by June Badeni; also A RADICAL ARISTOCRAT: Sir William Molesworth of Pencarrow by Alison Adburgham (republished in paperback in 2007); and MUSIC IN THE AIR, the memoirs of a classical musician, Clifton Helliwell.