Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Memorial to Fife Members of the International Brigades



I knew there was a memorial in Kirkcaldy to the Fifers who had fought in the Spanish Civil War, so I looked out for it when I was there recently. I wished I could have given it a clean up, but you can still make out names and home towns in the photograph above. Touchingly, flowers had been left at the memorial, even all these years later.

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

This is a mystery novel written just after the Second World War. Josephine Tey expertly creates the atmosphere of a small country town, which never again seems quite so cosy to the solicitor hero after an accusation is made against two local ladies. Apart from the odd aside about the "lower orders", the novel is surprisingly modern in tone. Books of the 40s and 50s can often seem oddly old-fashioned to us in language and ideas, whereas Victorian books do not have that same strangeness of tone. Perhaps it is because we expect that difference with the Victorians, but feel that we are close enough in time to the post war world to be surprised how different it actually was.

My book last night was originally going to be The House on the Borderland by W H Hodgson which looks like a fantasy/horror tale ... but I couldn't make any headway with it at all and gave up after the first chapter. Let me know if you think I should have persevered!

Day 132; Book 132