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links for 2009-07-10

"The Short and Simple Annals of the Poor..."

Thomas Gray, 1750:

Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard":
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the Poor...

The first four or so times I read:

Robert C. Allen: The year 1762 witnessed two momentous changes in cropping [in Spelsbury in Oxfordshire]. First, turnip cultivation was shifted from the sainfoin [grass] enclosure to the open fields themselves.... Secondly, clover was introduced...

the word "momentous" did not strike me as at all out of place or inappropriate or funny...

Should I be alarmed? Or distressed? Or just accept that the particular road I have walked has made me a somewhat strange person?

File:Stoke Poges Church.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St. Giles Church, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, next door (well, only by California standards: an hour ro so by the M40 via Oxford and High Wycomb) to Spelsbury.
(Site of Gray's "Elegy," and also IIRC of the game of Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy in Brave New World, of scenes in the fims Bridget Jones's Diary and Goldfinger, and something to do with Bertie Wooster...)