Rum & Gunpowder


In ‘Rum and Gunpowder’ Philip Edwards has created his family history in the format of a PowerPoint presentation, in which he evocatively tells the tale of Rebekha Esmond. Here we speak to him about his writing.

As Philip writes of his ancestor, Rebekha Esmond's life, it was ‘a story that reads like an episode from Poldark or a character from a Thomas Hardy novel’.

Philip’s story is available to read free online – it’s a gripping and poignant read, and we think may inspire others to tell their family stories similarly – perhaps using PowerPoint too.

Philip explains his thinking about using PowerPoint a little further below too:

"When I first wrote Rum and Gunpowder, I wrote it using multi media presentation software because I really wanted to add photographs and sounds.

Results were good but it meant that whenever I tried to share the story, I had to explain to people that they needed to have the software available on their computer. For many, this proved to be a step too far.

I've re-written the story as a simple website using Google Sites. This is a tremendous way for people with no understanding of code to build quite complicated, eye catching websites.

I've even registered a domain for the story.

You can now find it at"

Tip: the music doesn't appear to play if using Apple's Safari browser. However it works when viewing the website using an iPad or when using Chrome.