I've always been a Belloc fan. I would never claim to share any of his genius, but we are both Sussex men, and we both have a strong affiliation with France. I even (wisely) allowed my oldest son to share his name.
Like most people of my age, I first encountered Belloc through his 'Cautionary Tales' (I even own a first edition). Who could forget Charles Augustus Fortescue, Godolphin Horne, or even poor Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was then eaten by that Lion (always keep a-hold of Nurse, for fear of finding something worse). These are poems that follow us through life.
Later I discovered his wonderful book 'The Four Men'; the tale of a journey across Sussex from Robertsbridge in the East, to Harting in the far West. Perfect reading for a Sussex lad.
Strangely, for a Belloc fan, I've only recently discovered that there's a 'Night' (rather like Burns' Night) dedicated to the great man. Annually, on each evening of July 27th (Belloc's birthday), his army of fans gather to read his works; accompanied by bread, cheese, and pickles.
I always seem to be suggesting things, but anyone with small children, grandchildren, or next-door-neighbours of a delicate age (who have NOT had the pleasure of Belloc's 'Cautionary Tales') should buy a copy at once. You'd never regret it!
I remember reading the cautionary tales at my grandma's - I was always fascinated by the drawings - they were pretty horrificReplyDelete
The original Basil Blackwood (B.T.B.) illustrations were the best. Very simple, but to the point!Delete
I just recently met a young girl from Russia newly arrived in Canada. She is using pulp fiction to try and improve her language - I think I will send her your post.ReplyDelete
Many years ago I purchased a first edition of the book. Had never heard of it, loved it to death, read it aloud to friends, and was smug as hell to think I had some kind of really rare book. Ha!ReplyDelete
The age of Google and Wikipedia finally caught up with me and I discovered that what I had was something not so very rare, but much beloved by countless British children and their parents for decades! Of course, I still adore the book and am looking forward to next July 27th. But until then, this evening I shall once again pull the book off the shelf and read with pleasure about dear..."Rebecca who slammed doors for fun and perished miserably"
My copy is back in England somewhere, but me too, I'll read something from the 'net'.Delete