Thursday, December 11, 2014

England Have My Bones

   When I began reading England Have My Bones I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was written in the form of a diary or journal (and I LOVE reading diaries!). The first section chronicled a fishing trip to Scotland, and brought back happy memories of reading The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton. I'm also enjoying White's observances on birds while he's out and about.

   The section about White's lessons in learning to fly an airplane was interesting. In the middle of recounting his hours in the air towards getting his pilot's license, one reads this: "The Shire still possesses some of its oldest families. The best of them has continuously occupied the same house for five hundred years. I should like to see the inside of such a place. It seems that the lived-in-ness of the antiquity gives it a startling reality, a feeling of time telescoped and eternity. I dare say you would find a pair of crusader's boots under your bed, owing to the boot-boy having muddled them, and probably there are a couple of battle axes or rapiers mixed up with the umbrellas in the hall."

   I finished England Have My Bones by T.H. White last night. I think it was his first published book. I realized that I'd read other books by White decades ago, and that my tastes have changed. This is not fiction, so it appealed to me for that reason (and the diary form) and for the depiction of country life in the England in the mid-1930's.

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