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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Alfred Wallis, Fake Artworks

Duke's Auctioneers fined over Alfred Wallis fakes, BBC Dorset

"A Dorset auction house has been ordered to pay more than £18,000 after advertising fake artworks it claimed were by Cornish artist Alfred Wallis. Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester admitted eight charges under unfair trading regulations. The prosecution was brought by Dorset County Council's Trading Standards over fakes shown for sale in a brochure and on its website".

The Durotriges Project

From Bournemouth University, The Durotriges Project

"Of all the Iron Age tribes identified from pre-Roman Britain, the Durotriges are the most culturally distinct. Roughly occupying an area that equates with modern Dorset, together with significant parts of southern Wiltshire and south eastern Somerset, the pottery, coinage, settlements and burial practices of the Durotriges clearly marks them out from their contemporary tribal neighbours the Atrebates, Belgae, Dumnonii and Dobunni".

Ptolemy's Δουρóτριγες and Δοúνιον.

Thomas Hardy Funeral, Stinsford, Dorset (1928); BRITISH PATHÉ FILM SEQUENCE; and a "Tweet"

A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ. "Heart of Thomas Hardy laid up to rest among his Wessex folk in Stinsford - his beloved 'Mellstock' of the novels. Dorset".

"The heart of Thomas Hardy flew out of Stinsford churchyard....
There, in the heart of the nimbus, twittered the heart of Hardy..."

From The Heart of Thomas Hardy, by John Betjeman

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Fiddler, Thomas Hardy; Thomas Hardy's Violin

The Fiddler

The fiddler knows what's brewing
        To the lilt of his lyric wiles:
The fiddler knows what rueing
        Will come of this night's smiles!

He sees couples join them for dancing,
        And afterwards joining for life,
He sees them pay high for their prancing
        By a welter of wedded strife.

He twangs: ‘Music hails from the devil,
        Though vaunted to come from heaven,
For it makes people do at a revel
        What multiplies sins by seven.

‘There's many a heart now mangled,
        And waiting its time to go,
Whose tendrils were first entangled
        By my sweet viol and bow!’

Thomas Hardy

The Casterbridge Band

Oyster Girl

Oyster Girl (2)

Bob the Fiddler, William Barnes

To my Father's Violin, Thomas Hardy

At The Railway Station, Upway

'There is not much that I can do,
    For I've no money that's quite my own!'
    Spoke up the pitying child--
A little boy with a violin
At the station before the train came in,--
'But I can play my fiddle to you,
And a nice one 'tis, and good in tone!'

    The man in the handcuffs smiled;
The constable looked, and he smiled, too,
    As the fiddle began to twang;
And the man in the handcuffs suddenly sang
           With grimful glee:
           'This life so free
           Is the thing for me!'
And the constable smiled, and said no word,
As if unconscious of what he heard;
And so they went on till the train came in--
The convict, and boy with the violin.

Thomas Hardy

UK: Waste Recycling - What Happens to Our Waste? BBC Radio 4

Where Does Our Waste Go? BBC Radio 4 - "Where do the contents of our bins end up? Tom Heap lifts the lid on the recycling industry to find out what happens to our waste beyond the kerbside collection".
"What does 'recycling' mean? Are bottles and tins and plastic packaging recycled when they're collected from our homes? They might well be taken to the local MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) and separated out into different waste streams, but what happens then? Embarking on a road journey along the recycling chain, Tom Heap tracks his own domestic recycling refuse to find out how much - or how little - of it is actually recycled".

Corfu, Greece: Hydrocarbon exploration west of Corfu; Ionian Sea; Oil and Gas Exploration

Signing ceremony for hydrocarbon exploration west of Corfu to take place on Tuesday, eKathimerini

"The signing ceremony of the contract granting rights to the consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Edison and Greece’s ELPE to explore for, and exploit, hydrocarbons in plot 2 in the Ionian Sea in western Greece will take place on Tuesday at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in southern Athens.
Greece and the three companies have already signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in a sea area west of Corfu".

Greece Signs Lease for Oil and Gas Exploration in the Ionian Sea, Greek Reporter

It's not very long since the tanker Agia Zoni II sank off Salamína island, with an environmentally catastrophic oil-spill around Athens’ Argo-Saronic gulf...

A poem I wrote at Easter, 1967, after the wreck of an oil-tanker between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in March 1967. The oil reached the island of Guernsey a week later.

At The Time Of The Wreck Of The SS Torrey Canyon

the easter-bordered year
is closed

the door is

                  are telegrammed

                  we won the race
                  we played the game

forget the oil-slicks moving in

Reading Greece: Richard Pine on Greek-Irish Encounters; Greek Writers; The Eye of the Xenos

From Greek News Agenda

"Not only do non-Greeks want to read the 'great' or 'classic' novels that they already know about (Kazantzakis, in particular) but they are now discovering what a huge wealth of literature exists. And if you look for example at the novels of Konstantinos Theotokis (recently translated by my friend Mark Davies, including Slaves In Their Chains) or the stories of Alexandros Papadiamandis, you realise that although they were written a century ago they are still vibrant indicators of modern Greece and of all societies emerging from the mysteries of the past into the mysteries of tomorrow".

The Eye of the Xenos, Richard Pine, eKathimerini, 8 February, 2018

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Italy and "Amoral Familism" (Family Centrism)

A concept that keeps recurring: "amoral familism".

How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centrism -A Watershed Study Connects Nepotism to Poverty, Distrust, and Neglect of the Public Good, Zocalo

Any enduring truth in this 1950s political/social science theory, or relevance today?

It's mentioned in the essay on Italy by Giovanni Levi, in Histories of Nations, How Their Identities Were Forged  (2012):

"The concept of 'amoral familism' has often been used to describe the strong attachment to the family, the over-protective role of the mother and the near-absence of the father. But these features are the consequence of a perverse tendency to take refuge in familial solidarity, clientelism, and informal and fragmentary institutions in the face of dysfunctional political and religious institutions".

See Edward C. Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society, 1958.

On Edward C. Banfield and his thought (Contemporary Thinkers)

Edward C. Banfield, An Online Resource

William Barnes Society on Twitter

The William Barnes Society is doing a great job on its Website, on Facebook and on Twitter!

Congratulations to Mark North and Marion Tait.

Tourism: Cruise Ships and the Impact on Islands and the Environment

From BBC World Service, AKA Mystery Island, A Radio Documentary about the Cruise Ship Industry, Listen here

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Perceptions of Maiden Castle

Bill Brandt, Maiden Castle, Thomas Hardy's Wessex, Lilliput, May 1946

British Movietone, Maiden Castle Site,

William Barnes, from Dorset Folk and Dorset:

Arthur Mee:

“Here are 100 acres as thrilling as any piece of English earth, the home of thousands of people thousands of years ago, with a story unfolding itself in dramatic chapters which must move the mind of an Englishman with a sense of mystery almost too deep for words”.

Frederick Treves:

Maiden Castle – the Mai-Dun or Hill of Strength…remains to this day the most stupendous British earth-work in existence”.

Thomas Hardy:

“Acoustic perceptions multiply to-night. We can almost hear the stream of years that have borne these deeds away from us. Strange articulations seem to float on the air from that point, the gateway, where the animation in past times must frequently have concentrated itself at hours of coming and going, and general excitement. There arises an ineradicable fancy that they are human voices; if so, they must be the lingering air-borne vibrations of conversations uttered at least fifteen hundred years ago.”

John Cowper Powys

“It is hard to believe that objects of frantic invocation, however weird and monstrous, do not release, when freed from their long imprisonment, something of the magnetic potency that the minds of their far-off worshippers communicated to them as they prayed”.

Hardy and Barnes on Maiden Castle

See also, William Barnes, Earthworks of the Britons. from Notes on Ancient Britain and the Britons (from page 90)

A British Earthwork (An Archaeologist Speaks), William Barnes

(First Stanza)

The grassy downs of Dorset,
        Rising o’er our homes of peace,
E’er teem with life and riches
        In the sheep and precious fleece;
And charm the thoughtful roamer
        When, like us, he climbs to scan
Their high-cast mounds of war – the works
        Of Britain’s early man,
Whose speech, although here lingers yet
         His mighty works of hand,
Has ceased a thousand years to sound
         In air of this green land,
And startled may it be to hear
         The words of British kin —
                An gwaliow war an meneth
                An caer war an bryn...

(“The ramparts on the mountain, the stronghold on the hill”)

Paul Nash, Maiden Castle, watercolour

Paul Nash, Maiden Castle, 1943

Paul Nash, Maiden Castle, Photograph (No, 23)

Paul Nash, Tate negative

Another Tate negative

Ronald Jesty print

Walter Tyndale (includes Maiden Castle) - ninth illustration

Thomas Hardy, from Ancient Earthworks at Casterbridge:

Thursday, 26 October 2017

John Free, An Early Dorset Dialect Poem, 1757; Letter to an Absent Vicar

"I do fear you've zet your aim on
Naught in the world but vilthy mammon".

Not all vicars were as reliable, dedicated or diligent as The Rev. William Barnes! 

Deportee: Interpretations of a Woodie Guthrie Song Lyric

I was chatting to Neil Harris at Dorchester market yesterday, and we talked briefly about the songs of Woodie Guthrie (as one does). Later, I thought about the closure of Portland's IRC (Immigration Removal Centre) - and some past incidents there that have been reported over the last three or four years.

'Extraordinary' number of detainees sent to mental health hospitals from the Verne, inquest hears, Dorset Echo

Home Office letter tells EU citizen to ‘go home or go elsewhere’, The Observer (update)

It made me go back to Woodie Guthrie's poem, Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).

Here are various interpretations of the poem/song-lyric, as set to the melody by Martin Hoffman, on YouTube:

Cisco Houston 

Arlo Guthrie and Hoyt Axton

Arlo Guthrie with Emmylou Harris


"The story of Woody Guthrie’s transformation from a youthful Oklahoma racist to the anti-racist champion who risked his life holding the line against American fascism during the notorious Peekskill riots of 1949".

See also, Billy Bragg (Burton Bradstock resident), Mermaid Avenue

I am going to hear Billy Bragg at the sold-out Bridport Literary Festival event on Sunday night, on "Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World".

Woodie Guthrie and Skiffle:

Rye Whisky, Woodie Guthrie

Worried Man Blues

Hard Travellin'

Dead or Alive

The Grand Coulee Dam

So long it's been good to know you

Lonnie Donegan, Hard Travellin'

Lonnie Donegan - So Long 'Medley' (Rare Stereo Mix - 1958)

Lonnie Donegan and Woodie Guthrie songs

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Fats Domino

Fats Domino, New Orleans rock'n'roll pioneer, dies aged 89, The Guardian

Fats Domino: Rock and roll legend dies aged 89, BBC

Some of his greatest recordings:

Fats Domino, Blueberry Hill

Fats Domino, My Blue Heaven

Fats Domino, Blue Monday

Fats Domino, I'm Walking

Fats Domino, Walkin' to New Orleans

Fats Domino, My Girl Josephine

Fats Domino, I Can't Go On (Rosalie)

Fats Domino, Red Sails in the Sunset

Fats Domino and his Orchestra, Jambalaya

Fats Domino, Jambalaya (original single) 

Elvis Presley/ Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill/ Love Me

Dorchester, Dorset: Further archaeological exploration work in Fairfield long stay car park

From Meghan Hindley, Dorset Echo

"Archaeology, the future of the market, parking, environmentally sustainable development and ensuring a strong retail offer are considered the most important features of a new master-plan, according to residents".

I'm glad to see that the importance of archaeology has been prioritised.

Remembering Britain’s WWI Muslim Soldiers; Tracing Ancestors; British Indian Army; David Rennie; 1843 Magazine, The Economist;

A project is helping to remind Britons that multi-racial, multi-faith armies fought to preserve their freedoms

YouTube video  - The story of Britain's WWI Muslim soldiers; tracing British Indian Army ancestors

HM Government's Pre-Referendum Booklet

For those who didn't bin the booklet as soon as it came through letter-boxes in June 2016, here is a reminder of some of the pages, and some of the reasons the British Government gave for urging everyone to vote "Remain":

The Government made it very clear in the booklet that the UK would not have full access to the Single Market - "less access to the Single Market...including for services, 80% of the UK economy", if the vote was to be to leave the EU.

Did anyone read the warnings?

A view from the New Statesman - How Brexit has made Britain the new sick man of Europe

Learning Greek Through Rebetika Songs (The Nifi)

From The Nifi blog, Linda Fagioli- Katsiotas:

Linda in Margariti and Vitsa:

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

VOA Issues in the News, Moderator David Rennie

Listen here, October 20, 2017, VOA

Prominent Washington correspondents discuss topics making headlines around the world . Join moderator David Rennie of The Economist, along with our panelists, Thomas DeFrank of the National Journal and Dan Raviv of i24 News

Dorset's Convicts in the Australian Colonies; Transportation

I shall certainly be buying the November 2017 issue of Dorset Life, if only for the three-page article by John Wright (read today in the County Library, but apparently not available in W.H.Smith or other retailers for a couple more days).

Many years ago, when living in Australia, I became very interested in the grave-stones of two Wessex convicts in Port Arthur's Island of the Dead, Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), Edward Spicer, from Poole, Dorset, who died, aged 47, on 19 January 1854, and Australia's first novelist, the convicted Somerset forger Henry Savery.

Edward Spicer

Affliction sore
Long time I bore
Physicians were in vain
Till God did please
That Death should ease
Me from my pain.

Here's what I jotted down around the time of my visit to Port Arthur:

Port Arthur: Island of the Dead

The first two stones we're shown
When we've been transported
To the Island of the Dead -
They stand alone on the lower ground -
Commemorate two convicts
Who had creative flair.
From Poole in Dorset,
Edward Spicer,
Who penned his moving epitaph,
Soon to disappear,
By erosion of the sandstone face;
Henry Savery,
A Somerset man,
Inveterate forger -
Remembered by a modern stone,
A forgery itself,
As befits the maker
Of Australia's first novel;
He cut his own throat,
And died of a "stroke".
They are part of a long tradition,
Death in custody, dishonourable graves;
From Rottnest Island
To Tasman Peninsula
The story's much the same.
The stones of soldiers, officers, guards
(Those on higher ground, along with wives and children),
Face North, not East:
Face not the rising sun, but Home.
The convicts' headstones do not mark their graves.
But somewhere hereabouts, a few paces more or less,
Two sons of Somerset and Dorset share
A common plot

Of broadly




William Barnes' poem on free (economic) migration from Dorset to Van Diemen's Land

On Long Novels; John Cowper Powys; Maiden Castle; Dorchester.

Dorset County Museum display case

Originally published in an abridged version in 1936, I doubt that JCP's Maiden Castle has won many devoted fans.

It starts well, in this unabridged version (The Overlook Press, 2001). Here's the first page:

For me, it's largely downhill from then on in, apart from the descriptions of the ascent to Maiden Castle itself (Chapter 6) and of the mighty, cold, mysterious and wayward wind that arises to buffet the walkers around what the Powys Society describes as "the looming fortress of Maiden Castle" (the Overlook Press book cover blurb puts it like this" "It is the looming fortress of Maiden Castle that exerts the otherworldly force that irrevocably determines the course of their lives").

"The wind seemed to be dividing him in half just now like a sharp sword".

There are certainly passages of powerful nature-writing, in places, and some evocative descriptions of Dorchester, Maumbury Rings, and Maiden Castle itself. See, for instance, Chapter 8, Midsummer's Eve, page 378:

I have to confess that it is a novel that I shall never be able to get into or to read right through. I have tried several times, as with James Joyce's Ulysses. 

Perhaps that's why Maiden Castle was first published in an abridged form. Even then, it is for me a novel for occasional sampling, for random dipping into. Some more early extracts:

"He had decided to come to Dorchester for several reasons, but as he pondered over his motives now, he tried to idealise them into a longing to solve, if he only might, on the spot where his own dead lay, the ultimate meaning of death itself….‘ “Dorchester” means’, he thought, ‘the town of water”.’ And then he thought, ‘How queer that sorrow and sacrifice in men and women should draw water from behind the eye-sockets of their skulls!’
…And there came over him, as the sun of this pet day once more shone into his room, the old dark Homeric conception of death, with that terrifying multitude of the spirits of the dead surrounding us in their pitiful half-life and liable, on this day of their Cimmerian remembrance, when the minds of the living turn so desperately towards them, to rise thronging up, ‘ethnea myria nekrōn, the myriad tribes of the dead, with a terrible cry!
…The caretaker was one who understood the needs of the living as well as the needs of the dead. He suddenly stopped short. ‘Do ‘ee see thik ‘ooman, sir, down there?’ he said. ‘’Tis she’s young ‘un her have got down there, and a fine lad a’ were – I knowed ’un, to pass the time o’ day to, afore a’ fell sick. ’A used to come by here to school; and a’ used to ask I about they circuses – I do mind o’ he whenever I do hear ‘un.’"

I may try to read it once again - but generally, long and complex novels such as this hold little appeal for me. Life's too short - and one could be walking through the beautiful Dorset countryside, or up on Maiden Castle!

John Cowper Powys, Maiden Castle

Mapping the Wessex Novel, Landscape, History and the Parochial in British Literature, 1870-1940, Andrew Radford, Bloomsbury, 2010 (pages 105-115 can be read online).

A.D. Miller on the American Porch ( "Southern Comfort", The Economist, 1843 Magazine)

Read this feature in the Economist's 1843 Magazine - A. D Miller: "In its history and associations the porch is paradoxical".

Walter Lassally, Cinematographer; Crete

My favourite cinematographer, unforgettable black and white films. Walter Lassally has died, aged 90:

Oscar-winning cinematographer Walter Lassally dies on Crete, eKathimerini

Obituary, Telegraph

From Greek Reporter

Walter Lassally in Sydney,
 supporting a UK-Australia film student exchange

The great film director Michael Cacoyannis once told me,
 in the course of a long interview, why he had chosen Walter Lassally
as cinematographer and cameraman for Zorba the Greek.

"I had seen some of the documentaries he had made..."

See also, a fascinating book by Walter Lassally:

Voula Papaioannou, Greek Photographer; Βούλα Παπαϊωάννου, 1898 – 1990

Βούλα Παπαϊωάννου, from The Story of Photography blog

Βούλα Παπαϊωάννου: η φωτογράφος του ’40 και της κατοχής, Simantron

A striking Voula Papaionnou photo which appeared on Facebook today

Benaki Museum collection - 476 outstanding photographs. A brilliant photographer, a selection:

Fisherman on the Lake of Ioannina. Epirus, Greece, circa 1950 Voula Th. Papaioannou

Lake. Ioannina, circa 1950 Voula Th. Papaioannou

Lake. Ioannina, circa 1950 Voula Th. Papaioannou 
Orphan girl. Athens, 1945-1946 Voula Th. Papaioannou

Old women carrying firelighters. 1945-1947 Voula Th. Papaioannou

Girls at "Saint Andrew" queen's relief fund. Attica, 1949 Voula Th. Papaioannou

Greece: Life in the Village; Classic Photographs from the Past

Exceptional colour photographs

Life in the Village, as it was

See also, Facebook pages,

Monday, 23 October 2017

Comparing Canyons: Vikos Gorge, Grand Canyon

From Vikos Gorge... Grand Canyon

Which is deeper, the Grand Canyon or the Vikos Gorge?

My daughter will report back!

Purse Caundle, Dorset; Song of The Blackmore Vale; Local History; Bishop's Caundle

Bishop's Caundle, William Barnes

"In Caundle, vor a day at leäst,
You woudden vind a scowlèn feäce
Or dumpy heart in all the pleäce"

When Dorset Went to Waterloo, Dorset Life, June 2015, by David Callaghan

A fascinating history of Purse Caundle, Dorset, by Ronald D. Knight, from May, 2010:


Whatever your views on fox-hunting, this song is a valuable document of local history, quoted by Ronald. D. Knight

December, 1930

"Sometime around this period the following hunting song was written by a John Budden, with music by Ashworth Hope, published by Leonard, Gould and Bottler, 47 Poland Street, London W.1. It was dedicated to Lieut-Col. F. J. B. Wingfield Digby D.S.O., M.F.H., Master of the Blackmore Vale Hunt".



There be doughty men in Dorset,

There be boys of bone and brawn,

Who work and smile and sing all day

In the land where they were born.

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn,

As away down the vale they run;

There's a splash and a thud, and a roll in the mud,

And fine old Dorset fun,

Then there comes a crash! of the old Blackthorn,

The rend of the rasping rail,

Oh! the sound of the hound and the huntsman's horn,

The Song of the Blackmore Vale.


When a man goes out from Dorset,

Out to the far, far west,

He longs for his lanes and pasture land,

And the songs that he loves the best.

There's the song of the kine in the cow-yard,

And the song of the nightingale,

But the song that dwells with a Dorset lad,

Be the Song of the Blackmore Vale.

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn, etc:


A man comes back to Dorset,

Back from the lands afar.

No need to yearn for the old milk churn

And the song of the swingle bar

Now shall he bide in Dorset,

Or once again set sail?

When there comes the sound of the huntsman's horn

Away in the Blackmore Vale

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn, etc:

Sweden: Equal Rights for Women - Rallies

From Euronews - Rallies calling for equal rights for women take place across Sweden

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Concert at St. Peter's Church, West Knighton, Dorset; Wind Serenade; Artsreach, Principal Winds Quintet, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Hardy would have enjoyed the concert at St. Peter's Church, West Knighton, a church (a Grade I Listed Building) which was configured and restored under his personal architectural supervision. His brother, Henry, did much of the work.

It was a wild, windy and rainy evening, but the small church was packed; much of the music had a festive character, played by an ensemble of  five of the principal wind-players (and horn) of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It proved to be an inspiring venue, not least for the stunning Norman arch which held my gaze as much as the roof beams, whilst listening to the music.

I particularly enjoyed Ferenc Farkas's Early Hungarian Dances, and Claude Debussy's Syrinx.

Flavours of Hungary and Ancient Greece in a Dorset village!

Artsreach, the BSO and the local organisers, are to be congratulated on bringing such small-scale concerts to the villages and rural communities of Dorset.

Most of all, thanks to Anna Pyne, Edward Kay, Kevin Banks, Tammy Thorn and Edward Lockwood, the five outstanding musicians.

"Debussy’s Syrinx for solo flute was composed as incidental music for the final act of Gabriel Mourey’s dramatic poem Psyché and will be performed by BSO Principal Flute, Anna Pyne. This beautiful and intricate melody was written as the last music the mythical Pan played before his death and despite being the briefest of pieces, it has become an iconic work in the solo flute repertoire. It is also notable for being the first solo piece composed for the modern flute, using the Böhm system of keys and construction" - BSO Press Release.

"In 1893 the Church again underwent a restoration, this time under the direction of Thomas Hardy, who was working simultaneously as an architect and novelist. Hardy approached the work with great care and he was responsible for replacing the gallery at the west end of the nave, new tracery in two windows in the north wall of the nave and a completely new window in the tower. Whilst engaged in this work, he was also writing his last published novel, ‘Jude the Obscure’, whose hero is a stonemason" - Dorset OPC.

More information, about recent restoration work.

The Young Glass-Stainer

"These Gothic windows, how they wear me out
    With cusp and foil, and nothing straight or square,
    Crude colours, leaden borders roundabout,
    And fitting in Peter here, and Matthew there!

    "What a vocation! Here do I draw now
    The abnormal, loving the Hellenic norm;
    Martha I paint, and dream of Hera's brow,
    Mary, and think of Aphrodite's form."

    Nov. 1893. Thomas Hardy

Quoted by Furse Swann in the leaflet
Thomas Hardy and West Knighton Church