Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Great Lover (and Others Not So Good?)

Image of Jill Dawson by Tim Allen
The Great Lover by Jill Dawson, 2009, Hodder and Stoughton centres on Rupert Brooke through the eyes mainly of a young maid at The Orchard Tea Gardens near Cambridge with the poet regularly lodging nearby. The casualness with which Jill Dawson allows Brooke and cronies to spurn the law and convention feels real. But can you imagine a clique of academics as the celebrities of their time?  Personally, I can. I think she got it right.

Rupert Brooke
Image by Wikipedia
Brooke had charisma and you are alienated from him at first by his awareness of it. Then you realise it wasn't his fault. He was just being realistic.  Remembering that there was no television and such instant recognisability then: public wasn't quite so public. However, Brooke still seems vain and his clique arrogant. But he did have talent.

"If I should die, think only this of me ..."