Monday, November 09, 2009

Julian Glover quotes Richard Jefferies

In this morning's Guardian Julian Glover writes about one of this blogs heroes Richard Jefferies:

"I became green everywhere in the first spring, after London ended, so that all the country looked alike," wrote Richard Jeffries (sic.) at the start of his entrancing but rarely read novel After London.

He was a Victorian farmer's son who died young, after dreaming his vision of a post-industrial England drowned by noxious floods and strangled by forests. He predicted environmental apocalypse as modern climate scientists do: but in his world some undescribed calamity had ended urban civilisation and nature had overcome the cities.

Yes, he misspells Jefferies' name throughout the article, but then another of my heroes, Malcolm Saville, made the same mistake three times in different books while attempting to pay tribute to him. I have written about After London here myself.

Glover's point, that we must defend the countryside against government-sanctioned development, is spot on. It will be particularly perverse if worries about environmental catastrophe are used as an excuse for the industrialisation of the last wild places in Britain.

Later. The spelling has been corrected on the Guardian website.

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