Sunday, April 27, 2014

Books




This morning I cam across Eddie Procter's excellent essay The Last Fields in England when he reminiscences on the field across the River Wye that can be seen from Chepstow Castle, and  I was again transported back to the historical legends  that fill every footstep of this country both in time and space. Cornwall has gripped me in the same way for the time being, following the life of either the eccentric Reverend Hacker or Daniel Gumb, and the past unfolds its story.
The rumbustious nature of 'Jamaica Inn' the killing grounds of the Cornish beaches as the sailors lured in by false lights were then drowned by the smugglers, are echoed in the records of Hacker, as he accompanied the dead bodies of the sailors, carried by the village men, up the steep cliffs to Morenstowe church, fact not fiction and when I get round to reading the records online, I might even cover this more thoroughly.....


So as I consign these two books to the untidy region of my bookshelves with a certain sadness that they are finished, I pull out one of the books Procter mentioned,  'The Plot' By Madeleine Bunting, a small piece of land that her father bought deep inside the Yorkshire countryside, it had a part ruined building upon it, which her father turned into a studio for his work as a sculptor, and also the family gatherings and picnics that happened in this wild piece of nature.




So what am I about to read (when it finally arrives from Waterstones), well another tale or tales from Cornwall, this time Derek Tangye, The Minack Chronicles read many years ago from books through the library, I shall now add a paperback or two to my over full shelves..  They have been out of print for sometime, but according to the radio last week on the Tangyes' the books are now to be reissued.  A lost world is also caught up in these books, donkeys, daffodils and cats, if I remember rightly.  There was apparently somewhat of a scandal round Derek, he seems to have been accused of being a spy at one stage, whether that was because of his near neighbour John Le Carre I am not sure.


These two book shelves are my 'good' books, the shelves behind me in this room are even more untidy....

8 comments:

  1. I am in the midst of culling my bookshelves. I have three floor to ceiling ones, all full to overflowing. I am going through them all and removing any which I feel I shall not read again, and taking them to a charity shop. It hurts like mad but it sure makes the rooms look tidier.

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    1. Hi Pat, Yes getting rid of books and actually tidying the shelves up helps. Looking at a Kindle yesterday, but my heart says no, there is nothing quite like picking up a book, looking at its cover and illustrations and the feel of it, so culling is one of those trips you have to take every few years.

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  2. Snap Thelma - I was looking at some of the old Derek Tangye books when I was in Booth's in Hay last Friday, but they were asking too much for very shabby old paperbacks. I half-read The Plot (got distracted by something else loaned me) and have re-read Jamaica Inn recently too. I take it you saw it on tv - what did you think?

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    1. Hi Jennie, Envy you the bookshops of Hay-on-Wye, I expect Derek Tangye's books will be more expensive.
      Jamaica Inn; Was disappointed in the programme, putting aside the sound quality, and I feel sorry for Sean Harris who played Joss, the director was too blame I think, the 'telling of the tale' was too jumbled. I wanted more tor and the rough pitted surface of Bodmin Moor. But basically the third part retrieved it somewhat slightly, for instance Mary our heroine is described as an 'ass-kicking female in one of the papers, not sure that is how Du Maurier painted her... But that is of course nit-picking ;)

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  3. I'm a great culler of books but sadly M is not and he keeps adding to them! I do like the look of 'The Plot'.

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    1. I think though when you do consign books to charity shops, they remain with you in memory;) sorry that is just my mean spirit....

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  4. I had a look at alibris a month or so ago thinking to find some Tangye--the books are still there as about that time I realized we have yet another house move coming up. I also need to read the Polkard series again--my books are the smallest of paperbacks, quite battered--so I haven't had the courage to tackle them.

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  5. Owning books is always difficult, and paperbacks suffer with age sadly, come back 10 years or later and they have yellowed and the pages fall out of the spine - not a good read.

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