Monday, 2 July 2012

Those blue remembered hills…

It's often forgotten that Housman's blue-remembered hills were glimpsed by a narrator standing in Herefordshire, using the Shropshire hills on the horizon to reflect on lost - possibly homosexual - love.

Here's the Guardian's video about this beautiful (though Tory-infested) county's literary history, 'the nearest earthly place to Paradise', according to Wodehouse. I'd recommend small doses of Mary Webb, large ones of Lorna Sage (lived on the Welsh side of the border but educated in Shropshire). What the county lacks is true darkness - there's lots of rural romance but not a lot of grit. It's good to know that nasty Wycherley was from Shropshire though. And of course Philip Larkin's misanthropy was fuelled by a few years as librarian in Wellington.

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