A Glastonbury Romance.

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
cheltenham, egham, faversham. round here we have -thwaites and -leys which i think are norse.
I think -ley is Old English, but it might be Old Norse as well. At least, it's also fairly common in southern England.

-thwaite is Old West Norse (i.e. Norwegian), so it's more common in the northwest and around the Scottish coast and islands, whereas -by and -thorp(e) are Old East Norse (i.e. Danish), so you get them more in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and East Anglia.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
From the synopsis of the novel on Wikipedia:

John Crow, a young man from Norfolk who is coming to Glastonbury in the opening scene of the novel. He eventually marries his cousin Mary Crow and works for John Geard. A skeptic and cynic himself, he sees his work for Geard as a way of debasing and mocking the very Grail-worship he is supposed to promote.

I love the detail about him coming from Norfolk (and the sly dig about the incestuous marriage). Because, as any fule kno, there is a cline running across the southern half of Britain from the mountainous (or at least hilly), Celtic, mystical West to the flat, stolid, productive, Anglo-Saxon East. Topographical height maps to spiritual loftiness. At one extreme you've got Ynis Mon, the last redoubt of the druids, and menhir-studded, fougou-riddled Cornwall; at the other, the rational, utile, huge flat fields full of wheat and vegetables in East Anglia, where the religion isn't merely Protestant but actively Puritan. (The Plymouth Colony pilgrims had nothing to do with Plymouth in Devon and came from Lincolnshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire; most of the educated ones were Cambridge men.) These two tendencies cross over in the Midlands, where you have all those practical, industrious potteries and breweries, but also the Rollright Stones.
 

luka

Well-known member
From the synopsis of the novel on Wikipedia:



I love the detail about him coming from Norfolk (and the sly dig about the incestuous marriage). Because, as any fule kno, there is a cline running across the southern half of Britain from the mountainous (or at least hilly), Celtic, mystical West to the flat, stolid, productive, Anglo-Saxon East. Topographical height maps to spiritual loftiness. At one extreme you've got Ynis Mon, the last redoubt of the druids, and menhir-studded, fougou-riddled Cornwall; at the other, the rational, utile, huge flat fields full of wheat and vegetables in East Anglia, where the religion isn't merely Protestant but actively Puritan. (The Plymouth Colony pilgrims had nothing to do with Plymouth in Devon and came from Lincolnshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire; most of the educated ones were Cambridge men.) These two tendencies cross over in the Midlands, where you have all those practical, industrious potteries and breweries, but also the Rollright Stones.

Yes there's a lot of play made of the clash between the cynical, even blasphemous Norfolk blood and the myth-drunk somerset blood. Good post. Gold star.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
i've never heard of fougous can you recommend any good ones to visit?
Ha, I dunno if they're "tourist attractions" as such, and I've never been to one myself. You could probably track a few down with an OS map if you don't mind bringing a doormat to get over barbed wire, potentially bellicose sheep and the outside chance of a faceful of buckshot from an angry farmer.
 

woops

is not like other people
From the synopsis of the novel on Wikipedia:



I love the detail about him coming from Norfolk (and the sly dig about the incestuous marriage). Because, as any fule kno, there is a cline running across the southern half of Britain from the mountainous (or at least hilly), Celtic, mystical West to the flat, stolid, productive, Anglo-Saxon East. Topographical height maps to spiritual loftiness. At one extreme you've got Ynis Mon, the last redoubt of the druids, and menhir-studded, fougou-riddled Cornwall; at the other, the rational, utile, huge flat fields full of wheat and vegetables in East Anglia, where the religion isn't merely Protestant but actively Puritan. (The Plymouth Colony pilgrims had nothing to do with Plymouth in Devon and came from Lincolnshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire; most of the educated ones were Cambridge men.) These two tendencies cross over in the Midlands, where you have all those practical, industrious potteries and breweries, but also the Rollright Stones.
tea rewrites prynne! notes on the white stones!
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
All of which is not to say that the Fens aren't spooky as hell, and potentially spiritual places in their own right. Bodies of water are universally sacred, and people three or four thousand years ago people threw swords into lakes and bogs in Germany and Denmark just as they did in Ireland and Wales. East Anglia also has ship burials on headlands, and bone amulets with FUÞORC scratched into them. But if you get lost in the muck, it'll be Grendel you bump into, not King Arthur. It evokes a Dark Age rather than a Golden Age.
 
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luka

Well-known member
"The two extremes of his experience, the anus of an aged man and the wavering shaft of an Absolute, piercing his own earthly body, mingled and fused together in his consciousness."
 

luka

Well-known member
"...and began to tell them, or began to gather himself up to tell them, but by some queer psychological law they seemed inevitably to slip away from him before he had forced them to listen to him."
 

luka

Well-known member
Sam has had a vision of the holy grail and he is trying to tell the people about it, one by one.
 

luka

Well-known member
I've experienced this very thing. There are some secrets you simply can't tell people. They will turn away at the crucial moment, some loud truck will rattle past and your words will be lost, they'll always find some way not to hear it. It's very curious.
 

luka

Well-known member
"There came over Sam just then a desire to laugh aloud. That no one in this town could be brought even to listen to what he had seen seemed like a crazy dream. He felt as if he were living in two worlds at the same time, and one of them, by far the less real and by far the more absurd, was trying to convince him that the other was a fantasy."
 

luka

Well-known member
"'I thought' he said to himself, 'that they'd all cry: 'It's impossible! It's too good to be true!' Instead of which they seemed ready to accept it as perfectly true, but in some way - unimportant!"
 

catalog

Well-known member
Sounds really good actually. My friends got the whole set, plus the last one about merlin, might borrow it.
 

luka

Well-known member
If you have the reading stamina for a 1000 page book I'd say definitely do it. I think it's brilliant. I've got a feeling there's a Weymouth Sands at my mums. If there is I'm going to do that next.
 
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