|Sea-Coopering, Fishing Up Christmas Cheer (1894) Stuart Henry Bell|
It reminded me of a story from my home town, Devizes in Wiltshire. If you were born in Devizes, you were called a 'Moonraker' after a little incident with smuggling. Somewhen in the 18th century, smugglers were bringing barrels of brandy through Wiltshire when they were caught up with by the Excise men in Devizes in the middle of Wiltshire (although other places in Wilthsire claim the story too). There is a giant pond in the town called the Cramer, so the smugglers dumped the barrels in there. When they tried to retrieve it later, the Excise men caught them. The smugglers were holding giant rakes (which they were using to fish out the barrels) and when asked what they were doing they replied they were raking the round cheese off the water (the reflection of the moon). The Excise men assumed the smugglers were harmless idiots and went away, leaving the smugglers to get their brandy back and scarper.
Having spent some time in Jamaica Inn this summer, the history of smuggling is very unpleasant indeed and not the cuddly, 'Robin Hood' stuff stories and paintings tell us, but you can't help but smile at the fishermen catching brandy instead of fish for Christmas.
here), and she was kind enough to let me use her drawing of Fanny Cornforth in Stunner. Heaven and the Dead City is a Victorian adventure of magic and witches, and a cracking good read. Raine is a brillint writer as well as being a fabulous artist and her work is always entertaining. I thoroughly recommend!
See you tomorrow for another review and another blogvent.
No peace for the wicked!