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On 27 July 2010 10:33, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Just to add, Mike - AFAIK Burnt Norton isn't usually open to visitors - I
> recall once asking in Chipping Campden Tourist Office where it was and I
> might as well have been asking for directions to the far side of the Moon !
>
> Recall tramping up and doen all the estate paths trying to find it, but
> doubtless I was looking for a big house, so missed what is - and looked like
> a smaller (albeit still imposing) private dwelling.
>
> Might be better to try one of the future Summer Schools (cannot recommend
> the experience highly enough).
>
> (Valerie Eliot herself pitched-up at the 2010 official opening, undertaken
> by Tom Stoppard, with whom she's clearly a good pal).
>
> regards
>
> David
>
>
> On 27 July 2010 09:47, Mikemail <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>>  *Thanks for these observations David.  I would have been interested
>> indeed in the T S Eliot room - I should have insisted on finding someone but
>> I felt intrusive anyway reflecting the quiet, spiritual nature of the
>> place.  I can understand that the Eliot connection might well be of less
>> interest to the devotees, after all he was late on the scene!  *
>> *I am interested also in the George Herbert connection, again this was
>> new to me.  My booklet is the guide to Little Gidding - there were several
>> on display - I should have bought the other one which is a more developed
>> work, perhaps you got that one.  I purchased some notelets and a couple of
>> the Wyndham Lewis cards (mine now in poor condition)*
>> **
>> *Burnt Norton is on my list but probably not this trip. I think the Emily
>> Hale lament was discussed in the group previously, I may be wrong, an
>> interesting perspective.  *
>> *I have always felt that although Eliot worshipped at St Stephen's his
>> spirituality was more monastic than High Church. I used to attend there
>> myself, somewhat infrequently, but perhaps the monastic feel was more a
>> reflection of myself, being attached for some years to Ampleforth.*
>> **
>> **
>> **
>> *I value your observations and intend to delve more into the Little
>> Gidding history, incredible that Ted Hughes features.   One of these years I
>> will get early release and attend the convention it seems to have been a
>> wonderful experience.*
>> **
>> *Regards*
>> *Mike*
>>
>> **
>> **
>> **
>> **
>>
>>  ----- Original Message -----
>> *From:* David Boyd <[log in to unmask]>
>> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>>   *Sent:* Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:17 AM
>> *Subject:* Re: Little Gidding
>>
>> Sorry, Mike, just recalling snippets of the day as I write all this.
>>
>> The inmates might indeed all have been at communal prayer - the lecturer
>> on the day mentioned that this, and nightly / early morn. vigils have been
>> observed since Ferrar's original time, especially by Nicholas himself, who
>> was devout in the extreme.
>> But, unlike a monastery or the like, this was always optional, and a
>> strict rota applied to sharing-out the vigils in order to ensure their
>> health wasn't affected.
>>
>> Ferrar himself though, is thought to have worn himself out as a result.
>>
>> By coincidence, Ted Hughes was quite a direct descendant, on his mother's
>> side, of Nicholas Ferrar.
>> On 27 July 2010 08:04, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> Mike
>>>
>>> You probably have the same booklet that I bought, if it contains forms of
>>> application to join the Friends as well as the TS Eliot Society, who were
>>> out in force on 17th. too.
>>>
>>> I was struck by the redevelopment of many of the outbuildings since my
>>> last visit there which may have been 10 years+ ago, but the House looked
>>> essentially the same.
>>>
>>> This is the house that was the former modest Home Farm, the original
>>> Little Gidding House having been a big mansion, now demolished.
>>>
>>> At the time of the Hearth Tax in the 17th Century, apparently the House
>>> was assessed at 26 Hearths, so it was a substantial one !
>>>
>>> There is a dedicated TS Eliot Room within the present house that contains
>>> a library of his works (many first editions) and other artefacts, but I very
>>> slightly get the impression that the Ferrar devotees slightly resent the TS
>>> Eliot notoriety, in that it tends to eclipse their spiritual aims and
>>> purpose.
>>>
>>> But that's only a slight nuance - all seem to get along swimmingly, as
>>> they say,
>>>
>>> I believe it's still possible to stay on a spiritual retreat in the
>>> House, which was converted for this purpose some time ago.
>>>
>>> This is the website for the little Church
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.littlegiddingchurch.org.uk/index.html
>>>
>>>
>>> Please let me know if you need any of the documentation.
>>>
>>> regards
>>>
>>>
>>> David
>>>
>>> ps
>>>
>>> Burnt Norton on the Sunday before was a delight too - again, the original
>>> mansion is long gone, but the descendants of the owners of the estate still
>>> live in a smaller property there, and were most welcoming indeed, on a
>>> beautiful summer day, in idyllic Cotswold surroundings.
>>>
>>> Incidentally, there followed a spirited but I think a bit futile debate
>>> as to the extent to which Eliot's poem might have been something of a
>>> reflective personal lament re Emily Hale - maybe just one possible
>>> perspective, but, even if so, surely just one of very many ?
>>>
>>> pps
>>>
>>> At Little Gidding, the TSE Soc had on sale a new book by Barry Spurr of
>>> Sydney (Oz) Uni. about TSE's AngloCatholicism.
>>>
>>> This was highly interesting to me, as it contains material derived from
>>> the author's interviews with George Every before he died and with Eliot's
>>> buddy co-worshipper at the South Kensington AngloCatholic church he
>>> frequented and where he was a ChurchWarden for many years. It also I think
>>> makes an important point that Eliot's AngloCatholicism is not to be confused
>>> with mere common or garden High Church Anglicanism.
>>>
>>> If anyone else has any comments, would be most interested - Dr Spurr
>>> seems to
>>>
>>>   On 26 July 2010 22:38, Mikemail <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>>  *I thought you might have been there David, I saw the 17th July alas
>>>> too late.*
>>>> * I didn't know about George, I thought Eliot was just inspired when he
>>>> visited there having been asked to criticise a play about Chas1st's visit.
>>>> *
>>>> **
>>>> *I'd be grateful to receive literature on this, to be studied when I
>>>> get back to Saudi in September. I actually have an American colleague now
>>>> who shares an interest.`*
>>>> **
>>>> *The place wasn't closed at all, the church was open, as was the house
>>>> -there weren't any people!  I rang the bell inside etc and bought a few
>>>> things, just left the money, took some photographs. I think now as it was
>>>> about midday that they must have been at prayer, I believe there is hourly
>>>> devotion.  Walked the grounds and spent time in the church.  Magical indeed,
>>>> I bought the illustrated history guide, brief but comprehensive.*
>>>> **
>>>> *Regards*
>>>> *Mike*
>>>> **
>>>> **
>>>> **
>>>>
>>>>   ----- Original Message -----
>>>> *From:* David Boyd <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>>>> *Sent:* Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:07 AM
>>>> *Subject:* Re: Little Gidding
>>>>
>>>> Mike
>>>>
>>>> It was a privilege a week or so ago to be here, as par of the 2010 TSE
>>>> Int. Summer School at London Uni
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> *Saturday, July 17
>>>>
>>>> T.S. Eliot Festival, joint programme: reading of Little Gidding; lecture
>>>> by Dr. Joyce Ransom, "Nicholas Ferrar and Little Gidding",the annual T.S.
>>>> Eliot Society lecture: Jewel Spears Brooker, "Eliot, Wordsworth, and the
>>>> Romantic Imagination"; panel discussion of the T.S.Eliot Editorial
>>>> Project:John Haffenden, Ronald Schuchard, and volume editors; tea; return to
>>>> London*
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> You were unlucky to find the whole place closed on Sunday: I believe the
>>>> church is only used for worship once a month, and there isn't a resident
>>>> warden / caretaker for the house.
>>>>
>>>> But there's an active Friends of Little Gidding organization, whose
>>>> members 'performed' a reading of the poem, before Dr Ransom's lecture, in a
>>>> marquee on the lawn.
>>>>
>>>> I have some literature, picked-up that day, which I'd be happy to scan
>>>> for you - please contact me directly if you'd like a copy.
>>>>
>>>> It's a magical place, indeed.
>>>>
>>>> ps
>>>>
>>>> Although Eliot created the poem, it was from an 'original idea by'
>>>> George Every, then an Anglican Monk at the SSM, Kelham, Notts., where TSE
>>>> regularly visited for spiritual retreats and with whom he very regularly
>>>> corresponded.
>>>>
>>>> Poor old George, sadly, very rarely gets any credit whatsoever in all
>>>> this !
>>>>
>>>> regards
>>>>
>>>> David
>>>> On 26 July 2010 19:54, Mikemail <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>  *I visited Little Gidding on Sunday morning - quite a drive through
>>>>> the villages of Cambridgeshire (Huntingdon).  No one there, even in the
>>>>> retreat house...reacquainted with the history of the Ferrar family and
>>>>> Eliot's visit.  *
>>>>> *I  had not realised there was a stained glass window in Clare College
>>>>> Chapel, Cambridge (visited Saturday) although I had been there before.
>>>>> *
>>>>> *Little Gidding is indeed a place of quietness and spirituality**, and
>>>>> well worth a visit.  I am reading through some of the history.  Perhaps
>>>>> David was there last month?*
>>>>> **
>>>>> *Mik*
>>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>
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