Saturday, 19 June 2010


I don't really know where, or if, this is going. I came up with a fun thought experiment. There's a couple more floating around in my head (which is, like my imaginary world, fairly hollow and so easy to fill with stuff) - so have a look at Unlikelihoods. Hope you like it. That may be the only post I ever make. But I doubt it...

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Newcomer's Wife

This is a poem I have known for a while, which popped up on the side bar of the Lost in Wessex blog.  One of those poems that in many ways remind us of other days, this - and yet also has resonances for all people that discover something they didn't want to know. I post the link so that  this Thomas Hardy poetry blog gets a few of the visitors it deserves, hopefully.  Go on, read it.  You know you want to!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

What I read on my Holiday

Just back from a week in Holland.  And I did a lot of reading.  That was the good side.  On the downside, I didn't do any of the proof-editing of "Moonrise over Crawley Crossing" that I was hoping to do. So publishing the rest will have to wait until another day.

But I spent the time doing some research on Victorian times and the church - and some Hardy.

Leaving poor old Gabriel Oak still struggling with burning ricks and dodgy female farmers in Far from the Madding Crowd, I read "Desperate Remedies".  Hardy's earliest published novel, could best be described as promising.  A wildly over-blown melodramatic pot-boiling murder mystery.  And including something quite like a lesbian  love scene - at least by respectable 19th century standards.  I pinched one or two of the characters from the novel and put them in "Lost in Wessex". Whether the mysterious Aeneas Manston turns up in a year or two waits to be seen.

The other books - Jeremy Paxman's book on The Victorians, through their paintings, is a really good description of the Victorian world.  Ralph Whitlock's Victorian Village is one of yer slice-of-life real people books, but interesting for its detective work and that it's rooted in one, real place where Whitlock's family come from.  And Owen Chadwick's The Victorian Church (Part 1) is a brilliant read.  Meaning only to pick through it, I ended up living with its anti-Popery riots, Catholic Hierarchies, Puseyites, Ranting Prims and the rest all the way.  A fascinating study of Establishment, Non-conformite, ideas and government - some of which we're still working out today.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Archdruid no More

Somewhere in a different reality, something stirs.
Eileen has made contact.... But what has she done with the Beakers?
Welcome to one of the few blogs written by a time-travelling Archdruid caught in a fictional 19th Century.