Betjeman's Cornwall

PDF-file by John Betjeman

Betjeman's Cornwall PDF ebook download Can you be sentimental about a place which you have never visited? I do not know Cornwall, but I know a bit about Cornwall, at least about how it was in a very brief historical period. It has been a core part of the setting of some books I write for some other people who I try not to mention on the blog too much. I know it enough that the names and places and some of the customs are familiar, and I, listening, wish I could see them, even though I have never seen them before. I enjoyed, particularly, the prose portions, which were read by Geoffrey Palmer (Lionel in As Time Goes By).

The poetry is about Cornwall, beset by tourists, who are wrecking the place, as seen by aloving outsider who accepts that he, too is a tourist. When the profound judgement, which he seems to hope for, descends on the tourists and washes away all of their works, he knows he too will be destroyed. In this he reminded me of Corwin from the Amber Chronicles, who, declaiming being a hero, states that on the day of judgement which holy men preach but do not believe, he will be cast into hell, but until then he will be an evil which fights other evils. An odd note to strike, and enjoyable when living in a tourist mecca like the Gold Coast which is debating its identity.

This review originally appeared on book coasters.

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