George Orwell is on the Scottish island of Jura writing 1984, smoking roll ups and trying to shake off tuberculosis.
William Hershel, professional musician, amateur astronomer, discoverer of Uranus, built a telescope in Slough so huge it remained the biggest in the world for fifty years.
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in Bath. Jane Austen was there only a few years before. Maybe the two crossed paths.
The Cornish pastiche: Tintagel, a castle on a rocky outcrop, is this Camelot? No, it’s not.
The Omphalos, Sandycove, near Dublin, is a Martello tower and the setting of the opening chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses. ‘Omphalos’ is the Greek for ‘navel’, the centre of the ancient world. Ulysses is a navel novel.
Reg Presley, suddenly rich from the proceeds of a hit song, devotes his money and time to uncovering the secrets of the Warminster Triangle: UFOs, crop circles and the changing shape of planet Earth. Reg is voiced by Long John Silver.
Kathleen Schlesinger, born in Holywood, Belfast, in 1862, was a music archaeologist who published a major study of the ancient Greek wind instrument, the aulos. Her fascination with tuning systems led to lifelong collaboration with Australian microtonal composer Elsie Hamilton.
Thanks to Kate Bowan for sending me a copy of her article ‘Living Between Worlds Ancient and Modern’.
Silbury Hill – the largest man made mound in Europe – a solemn dome, a green whale, an alien submarine. Is it the Great Goddess? A watchtower? A swollen node on a ley line? No, it’s a big cake.
A cuttlefish squirts sepia ink and creates a pseudomorph of itself to divert predators. With a little more know-how it could manufacture 3d sepia images of Weston’s Grand Pier, its Big Wheel or Helicopter Museum.
Acton, London W3, where I discovered Welsh writer Arthur Machen in the library, slightly dishevelled, jacket all ripped.