The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
You'll soon come to find that I am avid lover of poetry. Well, let me qualify that. I am a fan of the period of poetry portrayed so brilliantly in Harold Bloom's The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost.

Some of my favorite poets, just to mention a few, include Shakespeare, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, the Brownings, Christina Rossetti, Tennyson, Dickinson, Yeats, and Hardy. I also have an affinity for some of the Russian poets, particularly Anna Akhmatova.

Anyway, I will always be posting poetry here. Also, I would like to see if there's interest in discussing and evaluating some of these poets and their work, and relationships to the literary and cultural movements and events of their time. I think we'll all be quite amazed at the connections that we'll discover.

I would like to have a regular weekly feature -- "The Poem of the Week." Where a poem is selected and those interested can dissect, analyze and discuss it at will. I hope that some of you will suggest some of your favorite poems for discussion.


message 2: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 01, 2010 12:12AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Thankyou Chris - a lovely idea!

Although I would not describe myself as an avid lover of poetry or a regular poetry reader, I do turn to it for solace from time to time and particularly to the English Romantics. I look forward to reading everyone's contributions and comments here and to learning more about poetry from other countries.

As this bookclub was opened when August waned and September beckoned, in the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', I would like to start this thread with one of my favourite poems, Autumn by John Keats. I particularly love the alliteration and slow rhythm of this poem. The website also has an evocative print of Hampstead in Autumn, much as Keats might have seen it when he lived there:-

http://www.artofeurope.com/keats/kea1...


message 3: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Aug 31, 2010 07:43PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "Thankyou Chris - a lovely idea!

Although I would not describe myself as an avid lover of poetry or a regular poetry reader, I do turn to it for solace from time to time and particularly to the Eng..."


Great minds do think alike, Madge! I just finished posting Keats' Bright Star! Is that too cool, or what? Lovely to see you here, my friend, truly lovely! Cheers! Chris

P.S. That is such a beautiful poem, and Grimshaw's painting is stunning! Thank you for sharing both!


message 4: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments To celebrate Kester joining the group and to keep on the Keats theme, here is a poem which mentions Keats, from the book Midsummer by the well known Caribbean poet from St Lucia, Derek Walcott:-

Perhaps if I'd nurtured some divine disease,
like Keats in eternal Rome, or Chekhov at Yalta,
something that sharpened the salt fragrance of sweat
with the lancing nib of my pen, my gift would increase,
as the hand of a cloud turning over the sea will alter
the sunlight - clouds smudged like silver plate,
leaves that keep trying to summarize my life.
Under the brain's white coral is a seething anthill.
You had such a deep faith in that green water, once.
The skittering fish were harried by your will -
the stingray halved itself in clear bottom sand,
its tail a whip, its back as broad as a shovel;
the sea horse was fragile as glass, like grass, every tendril
of the wandering medusa: friends and poisons.
But to curse your birthplace is the final evil.
You could map my limitations four yards up from a beach -
a boat with broken ribs, the logwood that grows only thorns,
a fisherman throwing away fish guts outside his hovel.
What if the lines I cast bulge into a book
that has caught nothing? Wasn't it privilege
to have judged one's work by the glare of greater minds,
through the spool of days that midsummer's reel rewinds
comes bobbling back with its question, its empty hook?


message 5: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Christopher wrote: "You'll soon come to find that I am avid lover of poetry. Well, let me qualify that. I am a fan of the period of poetry portrayed so brilliantly in Harold Bloom's [book:The Best Poems of the Engli..."

That's a book I don't know. My favorite anthology is the original, Quiller-Couch edition of the Oxford Book of English Verse.


message 6: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 05, 2010 01:54AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments That is my favourite anthology too Everyman - my children bought it for me about 40 years ago. My favourite poem in it is The World is Too Much with Us. I like it for the same reason that Wordsworth wrote it:-

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world...

(My favourite calypso, Progress, which I have posted elsewhere, also has the same sentiments.)


message 7: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Excellent poem Madge...and every bit as relevant two centuries later...when will we ever learn?....


message 8: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Jan wrote: "when will we ever learn?....

Not until all the flowers have gone?


message 9: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Now I've started singing again...


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Jan wrote: "Now I've started singing again..."

There is very little in life better than singing to and for yourself.


message 11: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 05, 2010 07:53PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Jan wrote: "Now I've started singing again..."

There is very little in life better than singing to and for yourself."


I have recounted this elsewhere, but I am known in my neighborhood for walking on the paseos (lovely trails that wend and wind through the homes) reading my favorite poets aloud. The ability to feel and hear the metre and rhyme is the grandest thing with poetry. I do, however, get many strange looks from those who know me not.


message 12: by Jan (last edited Sep 05, 2010 07:51PM) (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I love reading aloud! Not just poetry. In 1989 I travelled around Australia with my husband and two boys, then aged 8 and 10. It was a four month trip. As we covered the vast distances, I used to read aloud...David Copperfield. Children that age would not read it for themselves, but they can comprehend a lot more if it's read aloud, with expression.
Reading while walking, I've heard of before...I think I saw a website or a blog or something(there's a job for Madge)...not quite game to try until my arm mends...can't risk falling...but reading aloud while walking...hmmm...are you a little eccentric by any chance, Chris?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "I love reading aloud! Not just poetry. In 1989 I travelled around Australia with my husband and two boys, then aged 8 and 10. It was a four month trip. As we covered the vast distances, I used to r..."

"...are you a little eccentric by any chance, Chris? Uh, yes, I am considered quite eccentric; by my wife, and by my closest friends and peers at work. I believe (quite honestly) that they all consider me to be a 'lovable' eccentric though.


message 14: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Likewise I'm regarded as 'quirky' in the best possible way.


message 15: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Jan wrote: "I love reading aloud! Not just poetry. In 1989 I travelled around Australia with my husband and two boys, then aged 8 and 10. It was a four month trip. As we covered the vast distances, I used to r..."

A website about what Jan - you have lost me here (again). Try more tea. :D.

I love the idea of you dramatically reading aloud to your kinds whilst travelling. It would have been even better if you could have waved your withered arm around whilst reading the first few pages of Great Expectations: 'Hold your noise!' cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from the graves at the side of the church porch. "Keep still you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!'. Just the thing to read to naughty little boys:D.

I am a little bit quirky but in a genteel British way:D.


message 16: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments About reading while walking.


message 17: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Was it this one:-

http://www.wikihow.com/Read-While-Wal...

Listening whilst walking seems as dangerous:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10463227


message 18: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 08, 2010 09:45AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments As we are about to read George Eliot's Adam Bede, and although it is not about the countryside, I thought I would post this cute little BBC video about George Eliot's poem In a London Drawing Room about the London fog. The video of an actress playing George Eliot shows the London of her day and gives some of her views about pollution and about the purpose of poetry:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/cli...


message 19: by Historybuff93 (new)

Historybuff93 | 287 comments An old favorite of mine:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: --
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.


message 20: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 08, 2010 08:26PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Historybuff93 wrote: "An old favorite of mine:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of da..."


Absolutely beautiful poem, Historybuff! One of my faves from Wordsworth too. It is a cup that just overflows with joy! Thanks for posting this gem for all of us to enjoy! Cheers!


message 21: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Beautiful,one of my favourites as well...think of it every time I see daffodils...


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "As we are about to read George Eliot's Adam Bede, and although it is not about the countryside, I thought I would post this cute little BBC video about George Eliot's poem In a London Drawing Room ..."

Madge, this was terrific! Wherever do you find these things? You simply never cease to amaze me. I enjoyed this very much!


message 23: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Thanks Hbuff - one of my favourites too. I love Wordsworth and I love the part of the country he comes from, The Lake District, Cumbria in the north of England. I hope these lovely video clips work for you - they aren't working for me today!

http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/index/...

This isn't too bad:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIfQUJ...

http://www.wordsworthcountry.com/maps...

My eldest son lives just south of Coniston Water in Ulverston.


message 24: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Christopher wrote: "Wherever do you find these things....."

I thought you would like that Chris:). I just say to myself 'I wonder if.....' and then click around:).


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I thought to myself, what's the point in having a favourite poet or two if you never share your delight in them. So I thought I'd post this wonderfully evocative poem of my country of birth.


Welsh Landscape by R S Thomas

To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And the hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,
And thick ambush of shadows,
Hushed at the fields’ corners
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
David, this is an amazing poem! In a sense, it seems to paint the entire history of Wales and the Welsh--

"Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
...
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song."

Bitter-sweet perhaps, but powerfully beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am going to look up more of Ronald Stuart Thomas' poetry.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
David, I have just added The Poetry of R. S. Thomas to my shelves and 'wishlist.' Are there any other good collections of his poetry that you would recommend? Thank you! Cheers!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Fantastic David, thank you! I've never heard of R.S. Thomas, but that's beautifully poignant. I shall have to familiarize myself with him :)


message 29: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Beautiful and very sad David:(. 'Mouldering quarries and mines' of course brings back memories of Margaret Thatcher's 'crusade' against coal miners and the closure of many pits in mining areas like Wales, which led to the high unemployment we can still see affecting those areas today:(. There is no wonder that Welsh Nationalists, of which Thomas was one, are still 'worrying the carcase' of those times and other times of English injustice.

There is a nice little quote by him here, about the writing of poetry, which Jan may like, as well as a little biog:-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/9427...


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Christopher wrote: "David, I have just added The Poetry of R. S. Thomas to my shelves and 'wishlist.' Are there any other good collections of his poetry that you would recommend? Thank you! Cheers!"

Chris, if you peruse my shelves entitled 'poetry', 'biography' and 'autobiography', it'll give you an indication of some of what is available. There has recently been much more memoir and criticism published since he became a 'national treasure'.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

MadgeUK wrote: "Beautiful and very sad David:(. 'Mouldering quarries and mines' of course brings back memories of Margaret Thatcher's 'crusade' against coal miners and the closure of many pits in mining areas like..."

Yes, the nationalists are inclined to dwell on past injustices, however I feel that Wales has to move on and give the world something other than smouldering resentment, male voice choirs, teachers of English and beautiful rugby. Typecasting is not good for making progress.


message 32: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 12:58AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments True, although the male voice choirs are wonderful:). What do you see for Wales in the future David? Is progress entirely necessary for a particularly beautiful little country with a rich musical and poetic heritage - can't it just be an oasis in the midst of consumerism/capitalism gone mad?


message 33: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 12:59AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Picking up on Jan's wise words in another thread 'I'm wishing mankind would be rational, compassionate and intelligent', here is a (translated) little verse from the Bangladeshi poetess Sri Anandandamayi Ma:-

'I find one vast garden spread out all over the universe.
All plants, all human beings, all higher mind bodies
are about in this garden in various ways ,
each has his own uniqueness and beauty.
Their presence and variety give me great delight.
Every one of you adds with his special feature to the glory of the garden.'


message 34: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments That's beautiful, Madge, I'm going to copy it into my paper notebook with a real pen. And did you know...
I have a vast and beautiful shell collection...and I keep them scattered on the beaches of the world.


message 35: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments And I have smooth stones and pebbles on those same beaches Jan:).


message 36: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments All pure white sand here.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

MadgeUK wrote: "True, although the male voice choirs are wonderful:). What do you see for Wales in the future David? Is progress entirely necessary for a particularly beautiful little country with a rich musical ..."

Progress is most definitely not a retreat to xenophobic nationalism, progress for me is allowing Wales to help the rest of the United Kingdom to survive in a globalised world, maintaining the current freedoms we currently enjoy and developing good and meaningful relationships with the rest of the world.

No country can entertain delusions of staying a quiet backwater, isolated from the rest of humanity, that is the route to poverty. The current 'One Wales' administration, a coalition of Welsh Labour and Plaid seeks create an 'otherness', to build a real border between Wales and England in place of the notional one, seeks to force the language on people, seeks to deny people access to health services in England even where that is more convenient for them, seeks to deny children in Wales access to schools in England where that is more convenient for them.

Sorry, you've stuck a raw nerve here, best not to continue with this,


message 38: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 03:37AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Not at all David, I entirely agree with you. I was just being my dreamy, Utopian self for a moment:). I abhor Nationalism, wherever it crops up, and like to think of myself as a European and Internationalist, not an Englishwoman (nor a Yorkshirewoman:D).


message 39: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Back to the beaches and the gardens and the poems, please! I came upon this little gem of Hardy's today.

Faintheart in a Railway Train

At nine in the morning there passed a church
At ten there passed me by the sea
At twelve a town of smoke and smirch
At two a forest of oak and birch
And then on a platform,she.

A radiant stranger, who saw not me
I queried,'Get out to her do I dare?'
But I kept my seat in my search for a plea,
And the wheels moved on. O could it but be
That I had alighted there.


message 40: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 02:45AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, that is very Hardy, always the womaniser:).

Another Wordsworth:

To a Butterfly (1801)

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!--not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister's flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3154/2...


message 41: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments This seems a good place to introduce Hardy's poetry. This one is sweet:

A Thunderstorm in Town

She wore a 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
We sat on, snug and warm.

Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain,
And the glass that had screened our forms before
Flew up, and out she sprang to her door:
I should have kissed her if the rain
Had lasted a minute more.


Here's a companion piece for FFtMC:

The Farm Woman's Winter

If seasons all were summers,
And leaves would never fall,
And hopping casement-comers
Were foodless not at all,
And fragile folk might be here
That white winds bid depart;
Then one I used to see here
Would warm my wasted heart!

II

One frail, who, bravely tilling
Long hours in gripping gusts,
Was mastered by their chilling,
And now his ploughshare rusts.
So savage winter catches
The breath of limber things,
And what I love he snatches,
And what I love not, brings.

His total oeuvre is here:
http://www.poemhunter.com/thomas-hardy/


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Rochelle, I almost fell out of my chair with surprise when I encountered your posting of the two Hardy poems. Here's why-- http://lonebearimagesprose.blogspot.c...

I have been featuring the poetry of Thomas Hardy for a while all summer on my literary blog. "A Thunderstorm in Town" is a poem that reflects Hardy's romantic interest in his 'BFF' Florence Henniker. Apparently, she did not share, nor return, those particular affections, although they remained best friends for over thirty years. ;-)

Here's another Hardy poem that always reminds me of "Far From the Madding Crowd"--

In a Eweleaze near Weatherbury

The years have gathered grayly
Since I last danced upon this leaze
With one who kindled gaily
Love's fitful ecstasies!
But despite the term as teacher,
I remain what I was then
In each essential feature
Of the fantasies of men.

Yet I note the little chisel
Of never-napping Time
Defacing wan and grizzel
The blazon of my prime.
When at night he thinks me sleeping
I feel him boring sly
Within my bones, and heaping
Quaintest pains for by-and-by.

Still, I'd go the world with Beauty,
I would laugh with her and sing,
I would shun divinest duty
To resume her worshipping.
But she'd scorn my brave endeavour,
She would not balm the breeze
By murmuring 'Thine for ever!'
As she did upon this leaze.

(1890)

This is No. 47 in the variorum edition of Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems, edited by James Gibson, Palgrave, 2001.


message 43: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments I believe this was written for Florence too:

A Broken Appointment

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness' sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
-I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "I believe this was written for Florence too:

A Broken Appointment

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Th..."


...and I had attached the link to that poem in my blog too! ;-)


message 45: by Linda2 (last edited Sep 10, 2010 09:07PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments Just a coincidence. I never saw your blog till just now.

Is there an index other than "Older Post" and "Newer Post"?


message 46: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 10:02PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I will take this opportunity to post again the photos from Eweleaze Farm, Dorset which evoke 'Hardy country' so well and which I know Chris liked:-

http://www.eweleaze.co.uk/gallery.htm

I mentioned to Chris, when he first posted the Thunderstorm poem, that the line 'and the glass that had screened our forms before/Flew up' sounds strange unless we know that the glass being referred to is isinglass, which was a form of gelatine made from fish bones and was then used for blinds. It is mentioned in Oklahoma where the 'Surrey with the fringe on top' has 'isinglass windows you could roll right down/in case there's a change in the weather'.


message 47: by Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.), Founder (last edited Sep 10, 2010 10:12PM) (new)

Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "Just a coincidence. I never saw your blog till just now.

Is there an index other than "Older Post" and "Newer Post"?"


No, there isn't, Rochelle. However, you can use the longish column on the right side of the blog that is labeled "Labels" to browse by topic. I actually use that quite a lot myself. I am actually pretty ruthless at attaching 'labels' or 'tags' to each of my postings. The bigger the font is, the more postings related to that particular subject. I hope this helps, and thanks muchly for stopping by for the visit. Cheers! Chris


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "I will take this opportunity to post again the photos from Eweleaze Farm, Dorset which evoke 'Hardy country' so well and which I know Chris liked:-

http://www.eweleaze.co.uk/gallery.htm

I mention..."


Madge, I'm going to say it again too--but I am already planning a trip to this property for a several-day stay. I truly want to hike around here, and just relax and read some Hardy fiction and poetry! I adore this website!


message 49: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 10, 2010 10:47PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments You will certainly be seeing some of the best of English countryside Chris (apart from Yorkshire of course:)). There are some excellent walks around Osmington and it is well known for its excellent geological sites:-

http://www.walks4softies.co.uk/Jwa05/...

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/osblack.htm

This map gives its location in relation to 'Hardy Country' and the places mentioned in his books:-

http://www.itraveluk.co.uk/maps/engla...

Book early - it is a very popular place!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "You will certainly be seeing some of the best of English countryside Chris (apart from Yorkshire of course:)). There are some excellent walks around Osmington and it is well known for its excellent..."

Awesome! Thank you for that last map, that is terrific! I can take off for day trips north, NE, east, NW, and west and see most, if not all, of Hardy's Wessex. I can't tell you how excited I am. And don't you worry, I am coming up your way too, for a couple of weeks. I have always wanted to spend time on the moors, the dales, and the lake district. I also want to lay my hands on some portion of Hadrian's Wall.


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