Good morning! I am not actually awake yet, because it's 5am and I need my sleep, and I will be mostly unable to join in the readathon until this afternoon. But here is the post where I will make updates. I'm supposed to answer these questions: 1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Sunny California! Emphasis on the "sunny"--after a nice cool spring it's in the 90s now. I live in the rural northern part above Sacramento that everyone forgets about--we hold 2% of the total population of California. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? It's a smorgasbord of delight! I don't even know. 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? ...you think I'm well-prepared, don't you? I have a bag of sunflower seeds/Craisins/almond M&Ms, and I'm thinking quite seriously about treating myself to Indian food tonight. That's all I've got. 4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
"The Four Ages of Poetry," by Thomas Love Peacock I am becoming fond of Thomas Love Peacock. Besides his unbeatable name, he was a lot of fun. Peacock was a minor literary figure of the early 19th century; he tried his hand at poetry but mainly succeeded in satire. I read his short novel Nightmare Abbey last year, but at the time I didn't know that the young hero of the story, Scythrop, was modeled on Peacock's good friend Percy Shelley. He and Shelley were quite close and Peacock was the executor of Shelley's will. Thomas Love Peacock Percy Bysshe Shelley "The Four Ages of Poetry," a tongue-in-cheek essay on the history and development of poetry, was published in 1820 in a new magazine called Literary Miscellany , which promptly died. It would probably have been completely obscure and unknown--it nearly is anyway--but for Shelley. Peacock sent a copy to his friend, who I guess didn't really have much of a sense of
Isn't this a great drawing? Oh boy, I think this is a great story! It must be one of the most famous MRJ tales. Two scholarly gentlemen are taking a seaside holiday at Seaburgh (a lightly disguised Aldeburgh, in Suffolk), and meet another, younger man who is strangely anxious and relieved to have a bit of company. This fellow is named Paxton and he has a weird tale to tell; he heard a local legend about ancient crowns buried on the coast to protect England from invasion. Two are lost, but he managed to figure out where the third crown would be and actually discovered it. Now he is haunted by the crown's guardian, and he must put the crown back. Even so, he knows he has committed an unforgivable crime and he'll have to pay. I just love ancient legends like this, so I hunted around a little for information about the crowns. Did James make it up or does it have roots in reality? I'm having a hard time finding solid information, actually; I might need to go