THE HISTORY OF DIADEM BOOKS
The story of its founder, Dr Charles Muller
Diadem Books was founded in 1994, but its story begins much earlier than that. It is a story of apartheid and escape, a story of diamonds and the Scottish highlands, retirement to Spain and a renewal in the North East of England.
Dr Charles Muller was the CEO of Diadem Books from its inception in 1994 up until his retirement in August 2019. He founded the company whilst running a small hotel in Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders. In his 25 years as CEO he was the means of publishing a substantial number of books (novels, Memoirs, poetry collections) from an eclectic assortment of authors, using the POD (print on demand) digital and eBook system.
Before then he was Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of the North (now University of Limpopo) in South Africa for ten years, and Senior Lecturer in English at the University of South Africa before that. While Professor of English at the University of the North he introduced a method of cross-cultural teaching where the mainly African students became participants in the teaching process—which is the main theme of his D.Ed thesis The Teachings of English Literature to African University Students.
During this dreadful period of apartheid (a dangerous time for a man promoting cross-cultural education) he became fearful for his safety and that of his family – we must not forget that during this time it was not uncommon for those who opposed the unspeakable treatment of others to simply disappear. He dreamed of a new life in Scotland with his British wife Joanne, but escape was not easy. Any attempt to transfer his funds could alert the authorities and he would face losing everything he had worked for - or worse. He turned his assets into jewellery and diamonds, which he could easily travel with, and for this purpose created a business called Diadem Marketing – which, eventually became Diadem Books; appropriate, a diadem being a crown, often studded with diamonds.
In 1988 he left his academic career in South Africa to move to Scotland where he acquired a small hotel – the Kenmore Bank Hotel in Jedburgh, fifty miles south of Edinburgh – which he and his wife Joanne ran for eleven years. During this time he founded his editing and publishing business, Diadem Books where others could tell their stories.
He is the author of numerous academic textbooks and literary studies published by Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill and Macmillan, and was editor of Unisa English Studies andCommuniqué, literary journals of the University of South Africa and the University of the North. He has since written a number of novels (A Slip in Time, Release of the Dove, Wheel of Destiny, An Elusive Sanctuary, and under the pen name of Callum Gunn, Circle of Deceit). With his wife Joanne he co-authored two novels (Ocean Rapture and Spirit of Joy). He wrote the inspirational work Steps to Success. He also edited a collection of testimonies titled Touched by Angels. He has lived in the Great Glen of Scotland, Clashnessie in Sutherland, in Nova Scotia (Canada), in New Zealand, and the Kingdom of Fife—locales that feature in his travel memoirs, Waipori Reflections: Contemplations in Three Locations. He published many of his autobiographical memories under the title Bragleenbeg Reflections, and recently republished his academic study of Charles Kingsley: The Christian Teachings of Charles Kingsley. More recently he moved to Spain where he continues to write and where he has retired as CEO of Diadem Books.
His nephew, Ian Turner, based in the North East of England (not too far from the location of Diadem Books’ origins) has proudly taken on the role of Chief Editor and CEO.