Thursday, April 02, 2020

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Leather made from the scrotum of the Rutland gazelle

I suggested to Lord Bonkers that there was no need to reprint this week's diary here, seeing as everyone can download the whole issue of Liberator free of charge, but he did not see it that way. 

So here we go again...


The authorities emphasise that this beastly new virus is a danger to the elderly, so for the past two weeks I have isolated myself to avoid any risk of infecting them. If it were not for my domestic staff and the secret passage that comes out in the cellar of the Bonkers’ Arms, I should have gone stir crazy by now.

The Library here at the Hall –  I now pass most of the day beside its fire – is justly celebrated. If these were normal times a stream of visiting scholars would be making their way up the drive to inspect my incunabula, but today I am alone with my books.

Among my most prized possessions is a complete run of 400 years of Liberator bound in leather made from the scrotum of the Rutland gazelle. (The Rutland gazelle, understandably, is an elusive creature, which is why you rarely catch sight of it on one of D. Attenborough’s programmes for the moving television.)

I open an early volume and find it simply full of debate between Diggers and Levellers. In those days, of course, a writer who riled the authorities risked having his ears cropped and his cheeks branded with the letters ‘S.L.’ for ‘seditious libeller’ (or possibly ‘social liberal – the sources differ). Funnily enough, I once had to step in to prevent David Steel exacting the same penalty upon this magazine editorial collective.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South West, 1906-10.

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