Words & Pictures book club (21st April, 2023): “A Month in the Country” by J.L.Carr

Join us for this month’s Words & Pictures book club

on Friday 21st April, 2pm (for an hour or so)

at the Pebbles Community Cafe (the old Havens, Hamlet Court Road)

to discuss “A Month in the Country” by J.L.Carr [Penguin Books]

In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside.

One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave. Out of their meeting, comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War. 

The uncovering of the Church wall painting is described magnificently, both as a practical project and a complex symbolism underpinning the story. In the “Foreword”, Carr notes that the church he has in mind is in Northamptonshire. Might it be the Church of All Saints in Croughton? Certainly the great scholar of medieval wall paintings, Ernest Tristram had been there in the 1920s – his drawings are now at the V&A (click on the link here) – very much worth looking at (though the Doom is not illustrated), eg. figures from the painting of Christ’s Betrayal (museum no. E.215-1925). The drawing was made in 1924; the original wall painting around 1300.

Happy reading!


About TheCommonViewer

Independent Researcher: gently exploring the art and artists of early 20th century Britain (with forays elsewhere, in particular Russian Art History); the Art, Books & History Group meets monthly in Southend-on-Sea Twitter: @TheCommonViewer

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