Friday, 20 July 2012

Small World

Well, I'll be... There I was this morning, enjoying Frank Key's Dabbler post on the Muggletonians - and there I was, a little later in the day, reading Byron Rogers' The Last Englishman: The Life of J.L. Carr, when I came across this:
'When I called to interview him for the Telegraph magazine, Mr Carr talked about Ludowicke Muggleton, an industrious local nutter and the only man to be given the job description heresiarch by the Dictionary of National Biography. In the seventeenth century Muggleton held that the sun went round the earth and that heaven was a room six miles up in the sky, where women became men as soon as they entered. This, according to Jim Carr, accounted for the number of his female converts. The last Muggletonian was still alive, he volunteered, though when he came to write his last novel, he said the man had died in Chichester in 1943. He urged me to find him, for we all had to make a living, he said...'
Rogers continues: 'After lunch there was the statutory guided tour of 27 Mill Dale Road [Carr's home in Kettering], meaning I was shown the back bedroom from which I was allowed to view the garden. He told me he opened this to the public on one day a year, which I found astonishing, as the garden seemed to consist entirely of undergrowth out of which small stone totems appeared and into which paths disappeared. But I did not have much time to look, for the tour of the back bedroom was under way. This was the size of a large larder and housed, he told me, his accounts department, his editorial offices and acted as his warehouse...'
I've only just started The Last Englishman, but already I have laughed aloud several times. This doesn't often happen with a biography. I think I'm going to enjoy this one...