This extract is from the sketch,“Hannah Bint”, included in Some Sketches of English Life and Character, by Mary R Mitford.
Mary Mitford (1787-1855) was a successful author and dramatist whose work is now, unfortunately, little known. She specialised in writing about English rural life.
More on Mary R Mitford – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Russell_Mitford
Image: “A Village by the Sea”, by Stanhope Forbes (one of the Newlyn School); as included in the above book.
ON English Readings a short podcast/microlecture on Thomas Hardy’s poem, “Drummer Hodge”.
A few thoughts about Conan Doyle’s Gothic masterpiece.
“THE INIQUITY OF OBLIVION blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity.” So wrote Sir Thomas Browne, a writer who has not had the full weight of said iniquity fall upon him and managed to remain partly in the light of literary remembrance. Those of us stricken with the vanity that we may be remembered after our death for our poems, novels, plays, paintings, songs or whatever, never find out, of course, though we know the odds are in favour of the poppy.
Such was the case with Brian Higgins (1930 – 1965), poet, mathematician, teacher, rugby player, freelance journalist and dole wallah. Higgins published three (hardback) collections, two of them during his very short life (The Only Need and Notes While Travelling), and one posthumously (The Northern Fiddler). His poems had appeared in reputable magazines and anthologies, including The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse, so he was not exactly an obscure scribbler while alive. His portrait was painted by Patrick Swift, one of the leading Irish artists of the day, and he knew many of the more successful writers of the period. This included George Barker, himself a permanently half-remembered poet, who wrote a foreword to The Northern Fiddler.
Read on at The Fortnightly Review.