Saturday, 12 September 2015
Jan Morris singing.....
So much of Scraps of Wool is created by writers and other correspondents revealing the passages that have inspired them. Often it is one of the very first books that they read.... for example....Jan Morris contacted me yesterday (I hope, Jan, you do not mind me relating this tale of our talk, but it was so endearing as well as entertaining).
First she said she did not like travel books and that she did not write travel books, only books about cities (ask the 1953 Everest team if they agree with that). Then she relented and started to tell me favourites which include Kinglake's Eothen mainly for his self-deprecating humour 'not a quality of many adventurers' ; Huckleberry Finn (read when she was 10) and the late 19th C classic, Arabia Deserta, by Charles Doughty. She had bought this when in the army in Palestine from Steimatzky's bookshop in Jerusalem. She says she does not know anyone who has read it cover to cover (I have not either) but 'open it any page and you will find something interesting'.
She has a favourite passage.....Scraps of Wool will reveal.
She likes it so much that she sings it to herself. And then she sang it to me over the phone.