Sunday, 20 February 2011

Lancashire, where women die of love.

I'm currently reading a book with this implausible title, by Charles Nevin.

It's a wryly entertaining love letter to the county where, like me, Charles was born and spent his formative years. We English tend to be fiercely loyal to the county (state) of our birth and nowhere more so than in the distant counties north of the influence of this London-centric land.

The attention grabbing title is something more than a gratuitous nod to the marketing people. Apparently,it’s a quotation from a female character in Le Leys dans la Vallée by Honoré de Balzac.

It would be churlish to disagree with her...

After his post graduate cadetship on what was then my local newspaper, the Southport Visiter, Charles went on to greater journalistic endeavours. He is a regular contributor to The Independent, The New Statesman and other quality journals.... … his columns always cheer me up no end.

His writing is so transparently good-natured that only the most curmudgeonly could possibly take offence. His delight in the eccentric, the unlikely and the just plain odd is hilarious and life-enhancing.

This engaging book is one of the best antidotes I know of to 21st Century blues. In it you can (among other things) learn how Napoleon III modelled the grand boulevards of Paris on Southport (maybe), why Butch Cassidy spoke with a Lancastrian accent (perhaps) and why Lancashire was and continues to be the birthplace of such a stunningly high proportion of the country’s comedians (definitely).

This blog is self indulgent I know....but perhaps that is what reading a book through rose tinted spectacles does to one.

I can offer no apology...lol.

It's good to be back.

21 comments:

  1. Aren't blogs, by their very nature, self-indulgent. It isn't as if some editor in chief has sent us out on assignment to please viewers or advertisers.

    Interesting your comment about loyalty to county/state especially given their distance from London. We see that here in the outlands of the American West. Probably most greatly in my New Mexico as most of the other 49 don't even know we are one of the 50. I, frankly, am encouraging that view.

    It is an intriguing title. May have to look it up.

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  2. What a great post to come back with!

    Although I lived in the white rose county for several years, my paternal roots will always take me proudly back to the red rose county where I went to boarding school.

    Does one still need a passport for anywhere north of Luton???

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  3. Welcome back. The rose tint suits you so well. Me, too. I rather like this Charles guy's view. Sounds like a good read.

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