Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mary Anerley : a Yorkshire Tale - by R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore

Mary Anerley:a Yorkshire Tale (UK Edition) (DE Edition) is a novel from 1880.  Here is an excerpt from the beginning:
The crossing is called the "Seven Corpse Ford," because a large party of farmers, riding homeward from Middleton, banded together and perhaps well primed through fear of a famous highwayman, came down to this place on a foggy evening, after heavy rain-fall. One of the company set before them what the power of the water was, but they laughed at him and spurred into it, and one alone spurred out of it. Whether taken with fright, or with too much courage, they laid hold of one another, and seven out of eight of them, all large farmers, and thoroughly understanding land, came never upon it alive again . . .

. . . Now forty years after that sad destruction of brave but not well-guided men, and thirty years after the chain was fixed, that their sons might not go after them, another thing happened at "Seven Corpse Ford," worse than the drowning of the farmers.
Now doesn’t that sound intriguing?  

If you have read about rural Yorkshire (not the Wars of the Roses), you are reading about a way of life long lost.  The best books have the ability to put you in a place as if you had traveled back in time.  I hope you will find this one of those books.  Sometimes I think we look too much forward and not enough back.  Every generation now lives differently than the one before, but time was there was never a difference from one century to the next.

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