Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Writing - There is culture in the North.

There seems to be a belief in the media and those who live in the south east corner of the UK that the north is full of cultural philistines. This blog will go some way to prove them wrong. Seaham Harbour, now just known as Seaham lies on the coast 6 miles south of Sunderland. It had a very famous visitor a few years ago and has erected a statue to commemorate that association.

Image result for Seaham sculpture of Lord Byron
Lord Byron, Seaham

The 9ft-tall wooden figures depict the Romantic poet and Annabella Milbanke dancing at their wedding at Seaham Hall in 1815. The couple separated in 1816.
Given a permanent home between Byron Place Shopping Centre and Church Street, the public art was created by local artist David Gross.
Historian Carol Hindmarch said the time Byron spent in the town 200 years ago was "very important" to the area.
She said: "Although Lord Byron wasn't in Seaham for a particularly long length of time, whilst he was here he wrote some of his most important pieces.
"He wrote what was called the Hebrew Melodies... I'm sure he was probably inspired by the landscape while he was here for some of that writing."
Born George Gordon Noel, Byron was the ideal of the Romantic poet but also gained notoriety for his scandalous lifestyle.
The Hebrew Melodies is a collection of songs and poems written by Byron and the songs set to Jewish tunes by Nathan Isaac. Published by John Murray in 1815 at the high price of 1 guinea, it sold over 10 000 copies.

Examples

 She walks in Beauty, like the night
     Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
  And all that’s best of dark and bright
     Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
  Thus mellow’d to that tender light
     Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

Then there is huge cultural influence on all of us from the north west of the country. Beatrix Potter was ignored by traditional publishers and ended up publishing her works herself. It was then rather annoying that some 'bright young thing' of the publishing world was waxing lyrical about the discovery of a recently discovered Potter manuscript. They will publish it in September.

Image result for beatrix potter

The new story, Kitty-in-Boots, was written over 100 years ago. Quentin Blake, the Roald Dahl illustrator, is to illustrate this story. She sent the story to her publisher in 1914, saying it was about "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life".
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots also features an appearance from an "older, slower" version of Peter Rabbit.
Such is the ageing process.
Although BP was born into privilege she was educated as a governess and worked in Scotland and the Lake District. She made enough money to buy Hill Top Farm in the latter at Near Sawrey. As she became more wealthy she purchased more farms to preserve the countryside in her area and much of that is contained in the Lake District National Park. She left much of her property to the National Trust.

So you southerners, read this and weep!

God Bless