A WORLD-TRAVELLING author from Williton will return to West Somerset College in Minehead to give a talk about his new book.

Dr Dean Allen, who was educated at the College, has written a new book called Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa about the workings of the British Empire and the adoption of the game in Southern Africa.

Dr Allen has already been interviewed on Simon Mayo's BBC Radio 2 show, and has been invited to talk on BBC Radio 4's Test Match Special during the England versus South Africa Boxing Day match in Durban. 

He will be returning to the College to talk about his book and his experiences at a free public event on Wednesday, December 2 at 7pm. 

Having grown up in Williton and been educated at West Somerset College, Dean went on to study at the prestigious Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

It was during research for his Masters Degree that Dr Allen first visited Matjiesfontein, a perfectly preserved Victorian town in the South African semi-desert Karoo region, and a fascination for the history of cricket and this area led to a PhD that was completed in 2008. 

His book is about James Douglas Logan, a successful young British entrepreneur and politician who was instrumental in the development of cricket in his adopted country and the story is illustrated with rare photographs and documents.

Set during a time when the country was heading towards war with the British Empire, the book explains how Logan was instrumental in arranging some of the first-ever international matches between England and South Africa, hosting a number of these at Matjiesfontein, the town he founded.

"The book is filled with colourful characters, political intrigue and fascinating history, all with the theme of cricket running throughout," Dr Allen said.

Until recently a lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Dr Allen has lectured in South Africa, Australia and Northern Ireland before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University.

During the day Dr Allen will give a talk to the Year 11's and Sixth Formers about his experiences and having aspirations outside of West Somerset.

"As well as the evening talk, which is open to all, I am really looking forward to returning to my old college and engaging with the young people there," he said.

For further details of the event on Wednesday, December 2 or to contact Dean directly visit his website www.deanallen.co.za