To deny the muse is to deny life.

Bert Jansch - Living with the Legend



Driftwood sculptor Heather Jansch author of Bert Jansch Living with The Legend

Heather Jansch at home in Devon 2012


According to Bert's manager, Bruce May, Heather was his greatest muse in the late '60s and he dedicated many songs to her.  Apart from the obviously titled Miss Heather Rosemary Sewell, there were also:  Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning, M'Lady Nancy, If You Should See My Love, and Love Anew. They separated the mid 70's but remained friends, not divorcing until 1988. Bert Later married Loren Auerbach who survived him by only three months.  They both died of cancer.


£1 from the sale of every book will go to McMillan cancer support.  To sample pages and buy on line click here 


"Bert's death was not announced on his website but the press had heard rumours and within hours my phone began to ring;  it was obvious that some sort of public statement was needed, writing it released a torrent of memories and our days together came flooding back to me.


Three weeks later at his funeral, meeting people from our past triggered even more recollections. I was still receiving emails and phone calls from people of our generation for whom his passing had left a terrible void asking when my promised autobiography would be published; they assumed I would write about Bert and our years together. It soon became clear that I had enough material for a book that would disclose something of the very private man whose music touched so many; it was not a job to be rushed, I wanted it to be something that would have made him smile, that he would have treasured and liked to hold in his hand. I hope I succeeded. 

Heather Jansch 


December 2013




This is an excerpt from Steve Hunt's February book review in FOLK ROOTS 

Heather and Bert Jansch were married in 1968 and though separated in 1975 remained friends not divorcing until 1988. Heather meanwhile established herself as a sculptor of astonishing skill - in the words of Eden Project founder Tim Smit “a genius...rightly considered one of our country’s finest artists.

The book itself is an objet d'art, printed on high-grade paper and spiral bound in board covers, comparable with the widely-acclaimed Lal Waterson portrait, 'Teach Me To Be A Summer's Morning.' 

'Living with the legend' is as lovely to behold as one could hope for, and the author's writing is both eloquent and gracious. The cover photograph by Hans Feurer shows a smiling recently married Bert and Heather, it is this Bert Jansch  - the bashful, unaffected genius who somehow looked effortlessly cool, who is evoked most memorably in this personal memoir.  

“I hope his fan’s enjoy it and find it a fitting tribute” says the artist formerly known as Miss Heather Rosemary Sewell.  She has exceeded that modest ambition by some considerable distance. 

From a fan: 

Dear Heather

I have received your new book Living with the Legend for Christmas and just wanted to express how much I am enjoying the read. Your writing style is very descriptive and deceives the reader into thinking that they were part of your history.

I too am a Sculptor and live with my family just outside Ticehurst and know the area well - in fact always thought you may have lived in Rosemary Lane!

Will continue enjoying the read!




Excerpt from Mick Houghton’s four star Record collector book review.

Touching tribute to the “silly, complex bugger”

Living With The Legend focuses on their seven heady years together: a productive, hectic time when Pentangle were in full flow, recording and touring relentlessly while Jansch recorded four further solo albums, including Rosemary Lane and LA Turnaround. Heather’s commentary offers a tender, often funny picture of the generous, easy-going but often troubled man she remembers as a “sweet, silly, complex bugger”. There’s also considerable insight into Jansch’s persona, epitomised by her droll description of the couple’s “unrealistic dream” of self-sufficient living in rural Wales. Whatever good intentions he had, Bert was no farmer; instead, Heather would drive him five miles to the nearest pub and collect him later. It was in Wales, however, that Heather, now a successful sculptress, first bred horses, and took to drawing and painting local ponies, which eventually led to her signature life-size sculptures of horses made out of driftwood. This is a gentle, perceptive chronicle of two creative people who inspired one another.


Mick Houghton

From Wizz Jones

Dear Heather

thanks a million for the book...I read it straight away and Sandy has finally got around to it!
We both liked it a lot and thought it to be honest and accurate.

Below is a copy of the text Jan Leman posted on the Acoustic Routes Fleecebook page. 
Bert Jansch ‘Living with The Legend’ by Heather Jansch
This is an exquisite publication and a work of art in its own right. Written by Bert’s first wife, it offers a moving honest insight into who Bert was, what made him tick, and how his life with Heather shaped his music. With rare unpublished photographs, drawings, lyric notes, and contributions from those who were lucky enough to be part of Bert’s incredible journey. 
At one time Bert would have been happy to follow his brother and be a simple gardener in Edinburgh. Instead he built a guitar and reached out to make an indelible mark on the world. 
This is a book written with love about an irreplaceable man who everyone grew to adore.
Jan Leman 
From: Peter Butler 
Towards the end of last year, Heather Jansch (his second wife) published a book about her time with Bert. It's not a kiss and tell, nor are there any guitar transcriptions. Rather it's a delightful love story, with lots of illustrations and photographs in a beautifully bound volume.

10AM Tues July 8th in The Barn Theatre - Heather in conversation with her editor Andy Christian.