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Well, I kind of knew it was going to be an unusual funeral last Saturday, when we finally managed to squeeze into the beautiful, small All Saints Church in Raheny to hear "As so many of you will have missed it while trying to get in, Jacinta will now sing the 'Ave Maria' again for us all."  Not unusual in most churches in Ireland, perhaps, but in a Church of Ireland one?  Decidedly.  Much more importantly, it was one of the most moving funerals I've ever attended.  Along this lines:

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
(Raymond Carver, "Late Fragment")

Still feeling all over the place, and have left gaps in LJ and blog reading which may have to remain gaps now, as I can't imagine I'd manage to wade through the read posts in order to get back to older unread ones (Bloglines - down to 450-some unread!).  So if I've not replied to something I should have, please forgive the unintentional ignoring, which really is unintentional.

First two books of 2008 couldn't have been more dissimilar - well, given that they're both fiction, in English, and for children/teens - and yet could both be called historical fiction.  The two are Philip Reeve's Starcross (2007) and Hilda Lewis' Harold Was My King (1968). Before putting the usual babbling about the two behind a cut, I want to quote from the letter to the dedicatee of Harold Was My King - presumably her grandson (after I'd looked up her dates, [personal profile] steepholm lifted my fog by pointing out that Daniel Lewis could hardly have been her son).
In this tale the character of the Conqueror and his deeds are drawn largely from old manuscripts.  Some of them were written by Normans, some by Englishmen; so you can understand that William will appear in a different light according to whether the writer is Norman or English.

One day you will, very likely, read the old chronicles for yourself and make up your own mind.

Will try to get in at least one more book talk before (HOPEFULLY) heading off to Bristol on Thursday.  Last year's attempt to get there for [personal profile] steepholm's birthday ended in sorrow (mine), A&E and vomiting (Older Daughter's), so I'm more nervous than normal even, which is saying a lot...


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