The Stone Book Quartet


I’ve come by a circuitous route to Alan Garner. His books weren’t a part of my childhood or adolescent reading and though I’ve had a 1970’s (?) copy of The Stone Book for many years, I’d never previously got around to reading The Stone Book Quartet – until now.

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Great Grandad Slater outside Rutland Cavern

I believe wherever dreams dwell the heart calls it HOME. So may you untangle yourself from the twist of melancholy and let your thoughts carry you back to the birthplace of your truth. Dodinsky, In the Garden of Thought

A battered foolscap envelope called Bub. It’s filled with old photographs. One of my thin Objects.

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Book Review: The Beauty Things by Mark Edmonds & Alan Garner

Edmonds, M & Garner, A (2016) The Beauty Things Group VI Press ISBN 978 0 946722 28 0


A creative act of bringing the past into the present.

The Beauty Things is a record of conversations between Mark Edmonds (Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of York, who has a particular interest in arts-based approaches to the interpretation of history) and author Alan Garner. Alan Garner draws much of the power of his writing from his sense of place and history, and that of his and his family’s history within that place.

And from objects.

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Thin Places


It was looking at a set of postcards that set me off on this particular train of thought. I wondered why I’d come to collect specific sub-sets of postcards of certain sites and not others. I tend to collect postcards of The Matlocks in Derbyshire – but not any postcard – only certain sites; the Wishing Stone in Lumsdale, the riverside promenade around Pic Tor, the chapel of  St Johns, the rock outcrop of High Tor. What, I wondered, privileges one particular site over another and what was prompting my choices. Aesthetics perhaps? Some of the sites are certainly photogenic, but not all. It seemed something else was at work then… something thin.

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The Ghurr & Thurr of the Underbath!


To understand the mystery of the Underbath, what lies beneath the surface, requires a flight of imagination towards facts that are stranger than fiction and a science predicated on imagination and observation as Geology as a science did not exist before the latter half of the eighteenth century.

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‘Underbath’ – an introduction


Inspired by a book – Ted Nield’s Underlands – the next part of my journey into the history of Matlock Bath and my family’s connection to it will take me below ground, into geology and mineralogy, into caverns and mines, to help me understand the foundations upon which the town grew and lives were lived.

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