Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wild Edric

Since I mentioned the legend of Wild Edric in Calder's Comfort Farm a couple of weeks ago, two things have happened.

Nigel Sustins has kindly sent me a copy of his Wild Edric: A Narrative Poem, which I shall be reviewing for Liberator.

And I have remembered this stirring quotation from John Wood's 1944 book Quietest Under the Sun: Footways on Severnside Hills:

Though the Stiperstones stand as long as the world endures the doom of the land we love may be inevitable unless the descendants of the Saxons rise and throw off that remaining relic of the Norman Conquest: class privilege based on a superiority that is not of mental nor even physical powers, but merely built up from one generation to another on the continued assumption of usurped authority, particularly associated in the minds of ramblers with the private ownership of uncultivated land.

The day that the English - or Scots or Welsh - tramper can cross the moors of his native Britain without fear of impediment from game-preserving landowners or their hirelings, that day will the Devil be finally foiled and the spirit of Wild Edric be liberated for ever from its dungeon beneath the Stiperstones.

That's the stuff to give the troops.

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