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Wherein Weasel channels Madame Blavatsky

I feel a little mean poking fun at this enormous, shabby floral crown. It was undoubtedly done up for the Jubilee in June and I’m sure it was lovely and not at all huge and tacky. Something of the Delta Dawn/Miss Havisham about it today, though.

We took a picnic to Bateman’s today — the house Rudyard Kipling lived in for the last thirty plus years of his life. It’s a 17th Century pile built for an ironmaster. Kipling loved the place at first site. It’s all paneled in rough-hewn old oak paneling and stuffed full of beautiful period antiques (pretty much as Kipling left it).

And yet…I really don’t like the place. This is the second time we’ve been, and we didn’t like it the first time, either. I’m about as psychic as a potato, but there is something very sinister about that house.

So I was surprised and not surprised to read this in his Wikipedia entry:

[Kingsley] Amis and a BBC television crew went to make a short film in a series of films about writers and their houses. According to Zachary Leader’s ‘The Life of Kingsley Amis’:

‘Bateman’s made a strong negative impression on the whole crew, and Amis decided that he would dislike spending even twenty-four hours there. The visit is recounted in Rudyard Kipling and his World (1975), a short study of Kipling’s Life and Writings. Amis’s view of Kipling’s career is like his view of Chesterton’s: the writing that mattered was early, in Kipling’s case from the period 1885–1902. After 1902, the year of the move to Bateman’s, not only did the work decline but Kipling found himself increasingly at odds with the world, changes Amis attributes in part to the depressing atmosphere of the house.

No, I wouldn’t like to spend 24 hours in Bateman’s, either.

sock it to me

August 22, 2012 — 10:36 pm
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