Friday 28 June 2019

Samuel Beckett, Style Icon

I've always admired Samuel Beckett's style, in every sense of the word and every department of life, but I've only just discovered that in the early Seventies he used to sport an 'iconic' Gucci hobo bag as his all-purpose manbag. In this picture, he's wearing it well, with a rugged sweater and corduroy trousers, and looking very sharp indeed as he examines his dark glasses.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

A Painted Lady Summer?

It's beginning to look as if this might be a bit of a Painted Lady summer. Not on the scale of the legendary summer of 2009, when an estimated billion Painted Ladies swept the land (as far north as St Kilda) and it was almost impossible to go anywhere, even in central London, without seeing them. A glorious sight they were, too...  This year I saw my first Painted Lady on Saturday, and since then have seen eight individuals – which might not sound like much, but in several recent years I have only seen one in the whole season. There were several to be seen on Ashtead common yesterday, where (on a warm but cloudy afternoon) I also saw my first White Admirals of the year – always a high spot for me.
  As it happens, the Painted Lady graces the cover of the Summer edition of Butterfly magazine, which also includes a rare good news story, reporting on last year's amazing summer. 'Heatwave  hastens butterfly recovery,' says the headline – but, alas, you don't have to read too far down to hit the less good news (statistically 2018 only ranked 18th best summer in the 43-year series) and the bad news (grassland species well down – though they'll surely be recovering this year, after all the rain we've had). Anyway, wherever you are, keep your eyes peeled for Painted Ladies...

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Eyvind Earle

I came across this striking image – reminiscent of a Paul Nash landscape, but in a different register – by chance, while doodling about on the internet. It's by an artist I'd never heard of, called Eyvind Earle. With a name like that, I was hoping he'd be a Norwegian (Nigeness is still weirdly popular in Norway), but it turns out he was an American artist and illustrator (1916-2000), who, for his sins, did a lot of work for Disney, creating backgrounds and styling the look of animated features such as Sleeping Beauty (where the backgrounds are indeed preferable to the stuff going on in the foreground). Happily he devoted his last thirty years or so to full-time painting. Here's another of his sharply lit, long-shadowed landscapes.

Sunday 23 June 2019

On an Overgrown Path

Yesterday I had the agreeable task of taking a sunny walk in the Surrey countryside, under the Hog's Back, to check whether a route I had planned for next month's outing with my walking friends was feasible.
  It all started so well. Things were going according to plan and the timings and distances were working out just fine – until I strayed into the grounds of a certain Elizabethan stately home. I knew the house was closed for a wedding, but I had cheerfully assumed I could skirt its immediate purlieus and unobtrusively make my way out of the grounds by a reasonable route. Alas, I had reckoned without the stringent demands of the modern country house wedding, which apparently involve banning even innocent solitary walkers of blameless character from every part of the grounds. A woman who looked (a) official and (b) like trouble strode purposefully up to me and told me in no uncertain terms that I must return immediately to the public footpath and vacate the estate. This I duly did, feeling a little sore, but confident that the walk would continue as smoothly as it had begun.
  My mistake was, a little later, to take to a public footpath elsewhere on the estate, some way distant from the house. This, according to the map, skirted a couple of fields before joining another footpath that led to the road I was aiming for – simples. The path began as something well maintained and walkable, but I was not very far advanced into the first field when things changed, and very much for the worse. These fields were planted with oilseed rape, an odious crop which, once it has formed its pods, tends to fall over in heaps, creating dense mats of vegetation several feet deep. When it has been planted to the edge of the field, where it joins equally matted growths of bramble, goosegrass and nettles, the result is terrain that is effectively unwalkable. The only way to get through, I found, was to disentangle the rape plants to the point where they could be pushed down low enough – just –to be stamped down, and so proceed one painful and exhausting step at a time, with the goosegrass and brambles forming lassos around my feet and trying to pull off my boots at every opportunity, and the nettles stinging every exposed part of me. It took me an hour to fight my way along two sides of the first field and to enter the second, hoping against hope for better going.
  It was not to be. After a precious few yards of maintained path, I was once again wading painfully slowly through the familiar jungle growth of oilseed rape, bramble and goosegrass. To make matters worse, I could see a clear and walkable field just the other side of the spinney that skirted the field I was in. Unfortunately a deep ditch lay between that field and my personal hell. At one point I became so desperate that I bashed my way through the spinney and swung myself down on a tree branch into the ditch, which had only a little water in it. My plan was to climb up the opposite bank and into the clear – but alas, the other side was completely overgrown with stinging nettles as far as the eye could see. I hauled myself back onto the ill-fated route and waded on, breast-high amid the alien rape, fighting the temptation to sit down with my head in my hands and just give up. After another ten minutes or so of ever more laboured progress (I was becoming worn out by now, as well as having grave doubts about whether I was anywhere near my intended route), an amazing sight appeared to my left – a perfectly maintained stile leading, like the gateway to paradise, onto a clear, wide footpath that led to the road I wanted to be on. I gave thanks to the Lord God of Walkers for this deliverance, and happily the rest of the walk went as smoothly as the early stages.
  Needless to say, I shall be modifying the route when we walk it next month. When it comes to footpaths, you just can't rely on the map, even in the relatively domesticated countryside of Surrey.

Saturday 22 June 2019


Seventy-three-year-old rock millionaire Dave Gilmour sells his guitar collection for £17 million (with the 'legendary' Black Strat alone fetching £3.13 million, for which sum you could buy several decent Strads) and, inspired by the testimony of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, donates the proceeds to a 'climate change' charity whose avowed aim is to stop any more coal-fired power stations being built (even in China – good luck with that), thereby ensuring that the world's poor stay that way. Did ever a single news story so perfectly illustrate the various follies of the age?

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Little Elegies

I've written before about the strange notion that in former times parents felt little or no grief at the loss of a child. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary in church monuments – and also, of course, in poetry.
Ben Jonson wrestles with his grief in his On My First Son

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; 
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy: 
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, 
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. 
O could I lose all father now! for why 
Will man lament the state he should envy, 
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage, 
And, if no other misery, yet age? 
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, "Here doth lie 
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry." 
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such, 
As what he loves may never like too much.

In Shakespeare's King John, Constance, believing her son Arthur to be dead, is distracted by grief, and gives one of the great descriptions in literature of the first agony of grieving. In response to Cardinal Pandulph and King Philip, who both reproach her with being overfond of grief, she replies:

Grief fills the room up of my absent child, 
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, 
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, 
Remembers me of all his gracious parts, 
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form: 
Then have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I, 
I could give better comfort than you do...
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!

It's hard to believe Shakespeare didn't have the loss of his own 11-year old son, Hamnet, fresh in his memory when he wrote those lines.

And then there's this little elegy, which I came across the other day. It's by Katherine Philips, a 17th-century poet who was known as 'the Matchless Orinda' and highly thought of in her time. She wrote two poems in memory of her lost son, of which this, with its fine closing quatrain, is the better:

Epitaph. On her Son H.P. at St. Syth’s Church where her body also lies Interred
What on Earth deserves our Trust?
Youth and Beauty both are dust.
Long we gathering are with pain, 
What one Moment calls again. 
Seven years Childless Marriage past, 
A Son, A Son is born at last: 
So exactly limn’d and Fair, 
Full of good Spirits, Meen, and Aier, 
As a long life promised; 
Yet, in less than six weeks, dead. 
Too promising, too great a Mind 
In so small room to be confin'd: 
Therefore, fit in Heav'n to dwell, 
He quickly broke the Prison shell. 
So the Subtle Alchymist, 
Can’t with Hermes seal resist 
The Powerful Spirit’s subtler flight, 
But ’twill bid him long good night. 
And so the Sun, if it arise 
Half so Glorious as his Eye's, 
Like this Infant, takes a shroud, 
Bury'd in a morning Cloud.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Jewel of Suburbia

Having been on the look-out since mid-May, I'd more or less given up hope of seeing a Lime Hawk Moth this year. This unexpected jewel of suburbia is a sight I associate with warm evenings in late May or early June – certainly not with a grey, rainy afternoon in the second half of June. But, as I trudged through the park in a steady drizzle this afternoon, I spotted this beauty, spreading its handsome wings low down on a lime tree bole. A cheering sight – and a lucky one; when I passed back the same way ten minutes later, it had already flown.
  And yesterday, on a tiny triangular nature reserve where two local railway lines meet, I saw my first Marbled Whites of the year. I wonder if these beautiful downland butterflies (not Whites but Browns, fact fans) might have the potential to extend their range further into suburbia, as the Orange Tip and Common Blue have done. It would be a great gain if they did...

Sunday 16 June 2019


if Seize the Day is, as I opined in the last post, 'one of the great short novels of the 20th century', what are the others?
Here's my provisional top ten (of novels under 200 reasonably spaced pages that aren't long short stories) –

Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness
Henry James The Beast in the Jungle (other prime contenders are disqualified by date)
Willa Cather The Lost Lady
Flannery O'Connor Wise Blood
Vladimir Nabokov Transparent Things
Muriel Spark The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea
J.L. Carr A Month in the Country
Penelope Fitzgerald The Bookshop
Samuel Beckett Ill Seen Ill Said

Actually, with Seize the Day, that would make 11. Never mind.
Any thoughts?

Saturday 15 June 2019

Seize the Day Again

Seize the Day was, I think, the first Saul Bellow I ever read. This would be back in the Seventies some time, when Bellow was little more than a name to me (though, years before, I had noticed my intellectual uncle reading Dangling Man). I was certainly impressed by Seize the Day – impressed enough to read Mr Sammler's Planet when I came across it. And after that I rapidly became a devoted reader, devouring all the novels and most of the short stories, and finding the experience hugely exhilarating. However, I have reread less of Bellow than of most of the novelists I've loved; some of his longer works seem frankly daunting now, demanding a lot of intellectual energy and readerly stamina (indeed some, I think, could profitably have been trimmed down). However, Seize the Day I have certainly reread more than once – most recently in December 2008, as I know from a barely legible restaurant receipt I found, serving as a bookmark, in my Penguin Classics copy (Introduction by Cynthia Ozick). And now I have reread it again. 
  Suffice to say, it did not disappoint. It is surely one of the great short novels of the 20th century. The failed and fading charmer Tommy Wilhelm, whose day of reckoning the novel chronicles, is one of Bellow's most compelling creations, and he is well balanced by his vain, successful and self-protective father, and the philosophising con man, 'Dr' Tamkin, whose strange charisma Tommy cannot resist, though he knows him to be a fraud. The Fifties New York settings against which the action plays out are vividly evoked in some of the most extraordinary passages of the book, the whole of which is infused with tremendous, passionate, but always controlled energy, driving events to an unforgettable climax. It's a wonderful read, a wonderful reread, I think a true classic.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Joad Again: Scrambling

I can't seem to escape the long (pot-bellied, pipe-smoking) shadow of the egregious Professor C.E.M. Joad, erstwhile celebrity intellectual (see here and here). Browsing in The View from Devonshire Hill, a memoir by the unjustly forgotten Elizabeth Jenkins, I was startled to come across the dread name again. Jenkins knew the great man in the late Thirties, and give this account of his notorious ticket-dodging activities, which casts now light on the sordid business...
'Coming up to London by rail as he often did, he realised that the London express made a stop for a few minutes at a point on the line below a steep bank that led out of some fields. By posting himself on the bank at a given time, he was able, when the train paused, to scramble down the bank, wrench open a carriage door and seat himself inside. This meant that he made the journey to London without a ticket. This curious practice is hard to account for in a man who made a comfortable income ... At the terminus he would wait, inconspicuously, until the crowd at the exit had dispersed, and then wander about as if he were looking for someone, before walking calmly out. Finally an inspector on the train saw him coming in at the carriage door, and exclaimed: 'This train doesn't stop here, sir!' To which Joad responded: 'Then I'm not on it.' [Ever the philosopher!] This was a neat reply, but it was a mistake: it called public attention to his practice. I think he must have been a marked man for some time. He came before a magistrate and was found guilty of cheating the railway company.'
The image of the rotund philosopher scrambling down the bank and hauling himself aboard a train is one to cherish. 

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Futile Gesture of the Day

So, the 'government' is going to be chucking away a trillion quid of our money on a futile gesture, a work of supererogation that takes the whole notion to a new level of fatuous virtue signalling. You couldn't, as they say, make it up. What's interesting is that the same people who declare, with absolute conviction, that a no-deal Brexit will be economic suicide are applauding a declaration that amounts to a national suicide note. Still, suicide has been the prevailing mode of this country and much of the West for decades now, so we might as well hand over the reins of power to Greta Thunberg...
  However, the BBC News website also carries the cheering story of Norman Borlaug, whose work on disease-resistant wheat saved millions from starvation. Mentioned towards the end is Paul Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb asserted that it was inevitable that 'hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death' – a Population Emergency, you might say. Like today's ecowarriors, he was convinced he knew what the future held. He was wrong.

Monday 10 June 2019

Excellent Women

In a fascinating post, Patrick Kurp today quotes a typically pithy, gossipy life from John Aubrey's Brief Lives. It reminded me of a passage from Aubrey that I came across while researching my book. This was his thumbnail sketch of a kinswoman of his, Elizabeth Danvers (née Neville), who had 'prodigeous parts for a Woman. I have heard my father’s mother say that she had Chaucer at her fingers' ends. A great Politician; great Witt and spirit, but revengeful: knew how to manage her estate as well as any man; understood Jewels as well as any Jeweller. Very Beautiful, but only short-sighted. To obtain Pardons for her Sonnes she maryed Sir Edmund Carey, cosen-german to Queen Elizabeth, but kept him to hard meate.'
  The last phrase, I guess, means that her marriage to Sir Edmund was a mariage blanc. The sons whose lives she saved by this alliance had been obliged to flee the country after a feud with a local family ended in murder. One of them was later beheaded for his part in the Essex rebellion. Lady Carey died in 1630 at an advanced age, having already secured herself one of the most beautiful monuments of its time, carved by the great Nicholas Stone. (It stands in St Michael's, Church Stowe, in Northamptonshire, and is well worth seeking out.)

  The early seventeenth century seems to have been remarkably rich in women of great talent and practical ability. As I researched my book, I kept coming across them. One was another, later Elizabeth Carey (Lady Berkeley), who also has a notably beautiful monument by Stone. This Lady Elizabeth was a scholar, poet and patron of the arts from an early age – and proved also to be a woman of great practical ability, taking over the running of her wildly extravagant husband's estates and managing to pay off his huge debts. She died on her estate as Cranford, Middlesex (where she is buried), having lived her latter years 'amongst her thousands of books'.

Then there is Mary Browne, the much misused wife of the Second Earl of Southampton (who seems to have preferred men to women), who cut her out of his will and decreed that her children be taken from her. Mary, refusing to take this lying down, fought a successful battle to have this will overturned, regaining her status and rights, and having her children returned to her. What's more, she ignored her late husband's expressed wish to have his own monument, with a separate one for his parents (and no trace at all of his wife). Mary ensured that a single monument was built (at Titchfield in Hampshire), with her mother-in-law in pride of place, and her own name and lineage conspicuously displayed.
  One of Mary's sons was Henry, who became the Third Earl of Southampton, dedicatee of Shakespeare's narrative poems and very probably the Fair Youth of the Sonnets. It was to him, as it happens, that Elizabeth Danvers' sons fled after the murder, claiming his protection before they crossed to the Continent. And it was he who commissioned one of the most touching monuments to a dead child – his daughter, Lady Mary Wriothesley, who died in 1615 aged four years and four months. This monument (also at Titchfield) is unusual for its time in showing a child who looks like a child rather than a miniature adult, and might well have been made by the legendary Epiphanius Evesham.

  Mention of Evesham leads us to another redoubtable woman, Lady Frances St Pol, who, having been widowed, was relentlessly courted by the odious Third Baron Rich (they are both portrayed in a memorial tondo by Evesham at Snarford in Lincolnshire). Rich had divorced his first wife, the beautiful and gifted Lady Penelope Devereux, whom he married by force, and now he intended to get his hands on the wealth of Lady Frances, 'a person of shining conversation and eminent beauty' who was also one of the richest women in the county. Happily, by the time Rich married her, the resourceful Lady Frances had so arranged her affairs as to put her wealth beyond the reach of her avaricious husband. He died, disappointed, within three years of the marriage, and she spent the rest of her life doing good works in Snarford and farther afield. Another excellent woman.

Saturday 8 June 2019

Tomorrow's Headlines Today

Here's an exclusive preview of the Sunday papers...

'My Drugs Hell' by Jacob Rees-Mogg

'Crystal Meth was Serious Mistake' admits Philip Hammond

'I Deeply Regret Shooting Up in the House' says Iain Duncan Smith

'My Glue Sniffing Days Are Over' pledges James Brokenshire

'I Once Took a Puff of a Cigarette' admits Theresa May

Kibber or Sibber

Just now I was wondering if the surname Cibber – as in the much-mocked poet Colley Cibber and his sculptor father Caius Gabriel Cibber – was pronounced Kibber or Sibber. As if it mattered.
It's not a name I often have occasion to utter, but as Caius Gabriel features in my book, I thought I'd make sure. So I decided to look online, as the answers to every question live out there in cyberspace. Sure enough, there were websites queuing up to enlighten me on this vital question. The first one I tried nearly made me jump out of my skin. Brace yourself...
I'm not going to forget that in a hurry.

Friday 7 June 2019

His Funkitude

Today comes news that Doctor John (Malcolm John Rebennack), the  erstwhile Night Tripper, has gone to join the ever growing celestial Wrecking Crew. Last year his birthday was declared Dr John Day in New Orleans, celebrating the fact that he 'rose to international recognition for his musical funkitude in performing, writing and producing', and he was recognised by the State of Louisiana for 'embodying the culture of the state, from New Orleans to the Bayou'.
Here he is in full funky flow at SXSW a few years ago – try sitting still through this...

Thursday 6 June 2019

Dialogues and Dandies

Nabokov's brilliant study of Gogol ends with a dialogue between author and publisher, which begins

' – "Well," – said my publisher, – "I like it – but I do think the student ought to be told what it is all about."
 I said ...
 – "No," – he said, – "I don't mean that. I mean the student ought to be told more about Gogol's books. I mean the plots. He would want to know what the books are about."
 I said ...'

Those are eloquent dots, and there are more of them as Nabokov tries, apparently in vain, to get his publisher to understand what he has already written, with luminous clarity, in the book.
 Nabokov appends this dialogue as a way of explaining why he has added a Chronology that he clearly thought unnecessary, though it is well worth reading, indeed is a little masterpiece in itself.

I had just (re)read the last pages of Nikolai Gogol when, loitering in one of my favourite charity shops, the volume illustrated above caught my eye. They'd knocked the price down to a quid, to get rid of it, so naturally I snapped it up.
 Opening it, I discovered that the entire book consists of a dialogue between the author and his publisher... The latter thinks highly of the author's MS, but regards it as hopelessly uncommercial: 'I am sure we should not dispose of a hundred copies of your book.' However, when the author declares that 'I perfectly see the force of your observations, and so far as circulation goes, I may as well throw the MS in the fire!', the publisher insists that he shouldn't do any such thing, as 'there is still an interest in writing for the few'. From there the conversation drifts off into the changes that the years have brought, and so, easily enough, into the author's memories of the personalities and events of his younger years. The conversation becomes the book – a 200-page memoir in dialogue form.
 Alexander, Lord Lamington (to give the simplest form of his triple-barrelled name), was a prominent member of the wonderfully romantic Young England party that flourished in the 1840s, and for decades an ornament of high society and the literary world. In the Days of the Dandies began life as a series in Blackwood's Magazine – a series cut short by Lamington's death in 1890. The book version was published in 1906, and my copy once graced the shelves of the W.H. Smith subscription library on the Strand. It's printed on thick, flannel-like paper and is surprisingly readable – thanks in part, I'm sure, to the dialogue form. As a straight memoir, it might, I suspect, be rather wearing.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

A London Mystery

Following the recent demise of Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain (of which I never heard a good word), Mr Appleyard remarked that it might have had something to do with the fact that, in his experience, the staff seldom got round to taking your order, however long you sat. I think he's put his finger on an interesting phenomenon of our times – the reluctance of serving staff in our trendier establishments to make themselves known and offer to bring you something in the way of food and drink in return for money.
  I experienced this in extreme form recently, when my cousin and I, weary after a long London walk, in desperation dropped in on achingly trendy cafe/eaterie/bar near St Pancras. We knew it was a mistake as soon as the wall of sound met us – loud and unpleasant music plus a hubbub of voices worsened by atrocious acoustics. Various young hipster types were milling about, chatting with each other, sauntering to and fro to no obvious effect, sitting down and standing up, wandering out and back in again. No uniforms, needless to say, so no way of telling if they were on the staff or just acquaintances passing the time of day. Similarly, of course, there was no indication of whether table service was on offer (it seemed unlikely) or it was a case of ordering at the bar, when there happened to be someone there. At least there was a menu, and on it a range of teas were listed – including, I was glad to see, Keemun, which I rather fancied. After much mystified waiting and speculation, I spotted a young man who, from his position behind the bar, I felt fairly sure must be a member of staff. He was indeed – though, when I approached to make my order, he reacted as if this had never happened to him before and he was none too pleased at the impertinence. Bellowing over the background noise, I managed to get him to understand that I was after a pot of Keemun tea. 'No,' he declared firmly, 'we don't have it.' I was too far gone by now to protest and draw his attention to the menu. We settled on another tea, which was eventually brought to us by a young woman who was presumably a waitress. We did not linger long over it.
  Experiences like this make London seem ever more mysterious to me. Not that long ago, it was a city I felt perfectly at home in. Now, if I stray from familiar haunts, I find myself increasingly unable to make head or tail of the place. Maybe it's just age – we must remember that oldsters like me and Bryan are invisible to the hipster eye.

Monday 3 June 2019

NO ai Grandi Navi!

Yesterday's news of a gigantic cruise ship crashing into a smaller tourist boat and the dockside in Venice  – read all about it here: – renews the hope that something will finally be done about the blight of the grandi navi. These floating hotels should never have been allowed into Venice in the first place, and Venetians regularly protest against their presence and the damage they are doing to their city. I gather that, if it was down to the city authorities, they would have got rid of them, but they have been overruled by the regional government. Perhaps now minds will be concentrated and something decisive will at last be done. The Mayor has called for 'urgent action' to divert cruise ships away from the Giudecca canal, and the Infrastructure Minister has declared that 'we are finally close to a definitive solution' – the kind of words you hear all too often from the dilatory Italian authorities. Let's hope, though, that this time they mean something.
  Meanwhile, on a more cheery note, here's a Venetian scene painted by Raoul Dufy, who was born on this day in 1877. Not a cruise ship in sight...

Sunday 2 June 2019

Notes from North Wales

You don't often come across a church monument that makes you smile, but I found one such in the church of All Saints, Gresford, in Denbighshire. The monument to John Trevor (who died in 1589) irresistibly suggests, to modern eyes, the stage illusion in which a conjuror 'saws a lady in half'. At one end, an unconcerned John Trevor rests his head on his hand – an early example of the popular 'toothache' pose – and clutches the hilt of his sword, the rest of which emerges at the other end of the monument, along with his feet. The dark middle section bears a long inscription, now barely discernible. There's another, later monument elsewhere in North Wales that follows this curious design, but clearly it never caught on.
  Gresford church is a gem, with a wonderful array of carved screens and a beautiful angel roof.

The personal highlight of this tour, though, was a visit to the former lead-mining village of Gwernaffield in Flintshire. The Victorian church is not very distinguished, but in the churchyard stands a stone erected by my great-great-grandfather, William Jones, in memory of three of his children.

The inscription is in Welsh, and in translation (I am told) reads:

'Here lies AMELIA, daughter of Will'm and Marg't Jones, Pen y Fron, who died October 7 1838 at 5 weeks old.
      I am the first (child) to be given (the name)*
      (In a coffin of two shaped trees)
      I am wise where I will be wise
      Until my soul calls me to the south
      Although my body is weak and buried
      In the cold soil alone,
      A little girl is singing aloft
      Among the heavenly host and their music.
Also EMMA their daughter who died February 5th 1864 at 20 years, also Edwin their son who died February 21 1864 at 16 years.

* A later daughter was also christened Amelia.
And another later daughter went on to marry my philoprogenitive great grandfather (born 1808), who was undeterred by the fact she was his son's fiancée when she caught his eye – just like Miles Mowbray in Ivy Compton Burnett's A Father and His Fate.