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Sunday, 6 September 2015

The World according to Molesworth


 One of Ronald Searle's sublime illustrations for the Molesworth books by Geoffrey Willans

I met somebody a couple of days ago who had just been to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.  He had two main gripes -- one, that it cost a fortune for he and his family to get anywhere near the old ruin, and two, that there was only one narrative, represented as "the truth" -- involving, of course, the heroic carting about of bluestones by our heroic Neolithic ancestors.

Not having been to the new Visitor Centre, I can't comment on the accuracy or otherwise of the comments related to the narrative.  But it brought to mind some words from my "grate hero" Nigel Molesworth -- philosopher, social commentator, goriller of form 3B and destroyer of the English language.

On one of his daydreams (of which there are many), Molesworth transports himself back to the Middle Ages and imagines himself in an academy being taught (as usual) by an ignorant psychopath who should have been doing something else.  Pupil Molesworth puts up for a while with a lesson about the flat earth, and then, being a bright sort of fellow, explains patiently to the teacher, with reasoned evidence, that the earth is actually round.  The response of the teacher is to become furious and to give Molesworth six of the best, as a punishment for "having the temerity to disturb our ignorance....."

And that was the parable for today.

1 comment:

TonyH said...

This likeness of Molesworth by Ronald Searle bears a striking resemblance to Josh Pollard, READER in Archaeology at the University of Southampton, and trusted right - hand - man of MPP (and all his chums). He is a well - respected archaeologist around the Avebury part of the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site, as well as having been a leading light of the Stonehenge Riverside Project. I have met him several times and found him to be down - to - earth (no pun intended).

Perhaps Josh needs to do a little more READING aROUND (pun!) the totality of ALL the environmental factors contributing to the formation of the landform known as Rhosyfelin. Thus, he may serve as a wise counsellor to others who perhaps are inclined to making over - hasty judgements. Is a Minority Report in order, chaps and ladies? Whisper the key word.....ice.