Tuesday, 1 April 2014

"B" is for Books, Bede, Byron and Bees

Early books were handwritten by Monks and beautifully decorated. They were valuable items in themselves not only because they were rare but the covers could be encased in gold, silver and jewels. 

We have the "Ecclesiastical History" written by Bede who lived from 673AD to 735AD, and which I've looked at in the research I've been doing for my novel. 

We are fortunate now to have the choice of so many  books to read and, as a poet, one of my favourite writers has to be George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824). I also enjoyed reading his biography by Edna O'Brien, "Byron in Love". 

Byron was undoubtedly a great poet and an extraordinary man, with an enchantment which seemed hard to resist. One of his many well known lovers was Countess Teresa Guiccioli. He met the 20 year old wife of Count Guicciola in April, 1819 and they are said to have fallen in love.

Byron's whole life was a story of passion, love, poetry and ultimately tragedy when he met his death in Missolonghi, aged only 36 years, dying of swamp fever on his way to join the Greek War of Independence.   

I particularly like this inspirational quote from "Don Juan":

"But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
falling like dew upon a thought, produces
that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."

There's the fascination too I have for Bees, hearing their distinct buzzing on a summer day, and the familiar sight of them amongst the flowers in the garden is truly beautiful.