Tuesday, December 22, 2009

D.H. Lawrence visits the Stiperstones

Photo by Sabine J Hutchinson

From St Mawr, published in 1925:

They came at last, trotting in file along a narrow track between heather, along the saddle of the hill, to where the knot of pale granite suddenly cropped out. It was one of those places where the spirit of aboriginal England still lingers, the old savage England, whose last blood still flows in a few Englishmen, Welshmen, Cornishmen. The rocks, whitish with weather of all the ages, jutted against the blue August sky, heavy with age-moulded roundnesses.

Lewis stayed below with the horses, the party scrambled rather awkwardly, in their riding boots, up the foot-worn boulders. At length they stood in the place called the Chair, looking west, west towards Wales, that rolled in golden folds upwards. It was neither impressive nor a very picturesque landscape: the hollow valley with farms, and the rather bare upheaval of hills, slopes with corn and moor and pasture, rising like a barricade, seemingly high, slantingly. Yet it had a strange effect on the imagination.

I am not convinced there are any "roundnesses" on the Stiperstones, and I don't know what Mary Webb thought of his trespassing on her manor, but I am glad Lawrence wrote about the place.

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