Monday, September 15, 2008
St. Ethan's Etchings
Google failed me.
I must have used up the last of my google-fu looking up Japanese poetry forms and copying a few down to show Bill. I know he’s sick to death of writing sonnets but frankly, his limericks are terrible. Perhaps the short forms of the haiku and senryu with rid him of his verbose tendencies.
I had been looking up – or rather trying to – anything involving St Marple’s in the news – something upon which to pin a preservation order. There was noting online but records of its existence and notice of the intent to demolish. Finding nothing (even an image search showed only a couple of random tourist photographs on Flickr) I sent Devious down to the stacks to look for any mention of it. Like any good underling (and he’d make a teriffic henchman if I cared about him enough*) he set Delirious and John, his two sons, to work while he sat back with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.**
It was John who found it. Unsurprising, really, as he’s the most familiar with the stacks, having spent the last two years in the scriptorium. Delirious is more of a general dogsbody*** in the shop. Delirious brought it up to me, claiming credit.
It was a book about a local man in the first quarter of the last century. Ethan Postwaithe had been a local printer who had made a series of etchings of the town, three of which were of St Marples (though they were marked up as ‘Caulder’s Folly’). The fascinating point is that thanks to some selfless work during the war, Ethan was sainted seven years after his death in 1929. That gave the mock-church a historical footing in the town.
Also, it turns out that Harold’s uncle Frederick wrote about the place in some of his poems. Though not as useful as Ethan’s etchings, we might be able to re-issue a book with Frederick’s poetry as a commemoration.
*or at all