Friday, August 19, 2016

Out and about, getting somewhere

I've been on two trips recently to spend more time in places that will figure in the new book. Firstly down south, among the black rocks of St Guenolé, initially given cultural reference by Chaucer in The Franklin's Tale, when Dorigen paces the coast at Penmarc'h, fearful for her husband's safe return to such a treacherous shore. It's a dangerous spot, with many fatalities to this day as foolish spectators of the high tides edge out to risk their lives for more dramatic photos. In fact the flat shelving of dark rock, completely hidden when the tide is up, is somehow more frightening and sinister than the gigantic stone pinnacles with iron railings to cling onto in the hope of avoiding being swept away by a freak wave. This was, in fact, the fate of the Prefect of Finistere's family as they enjoyed a leisurely picnic in 1870. Several of the bodies were never recovered.

This week I was in north-west Finistère, watching the estuary tides on the Aber Wrac'h for my chapter on Pont Krac'h, the Devil's Bridge. There was also time to hop over to Landunvez for some coastal reflections around the chapel of St-Samson, the scene that figured on the cover of my cultural history of Brittany, and one which will also appear in the new book.
At last I feel I'm getting somewhere in terms of completing this work. Delighted to say that Lynette Hardwick, an illustrious illustrator, will provide line drawings for my text, so we have also been working on those, and the page lay-outs - and the French version is also underway. Now all I have to do is finish the text....