Saturday, 13 December 2014
Bellman And Black.
I learned Dianne Setterfield had also written this; the intriguingly named Bellman And Black. I picked it up thinking it was going to be a ghost story set in a Victorian Flour Mill. It turned out to be so much more. It turned to be the tale of a haunted lifetime. This book was so beautifully composed and almost poetically realised it could not help but impress. The period, the attention to detail, draw the reader into a world now long passed. We also witness the power of self reinvention and the disintegration of a once powerful personality and the harrowing effects caused by delusion and distress.
Rooks, Crows, Ravens, all manner of black winged birds populate the narrative. Caw-cawing their way out of the shadows. After reading this book I feel I know a lot more about birds than I did. Although I now feel I know even more about Victorian funeral arrangements. That vast sense of elaborate mourning.
I may well take to the black to mark finishing this melancholy missive for the life of a man who made death his business.