Britocentric fantasy

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Fri Apr 16 23:20:06 EDT 2004

>I sent _Deep Secret_ out on a BookCrossing book-ring a while ago, and it 
>was universally loved.  A few people had minor quibbles with the book 
>however, and one of these concerned the hiding of 'deep secrets' in the 
>nursery rhymes.  At the time I didn't think that much of this, but it 
>occurred to me when Charlie brought up this question.  The person is 
>Portuguese and said that she'd never heard of the nursery rhymes, and felt 
>that the whole idea was flawed to her by this lack of universality.  (This 
>person is a good friend and someone whose opinions I respect greatly - as 
>well as a fan of *all* the best authors, btw. :) )

An interesting point, since the myth in question has been taken up by other 
literary authors, not just DWJ. So maybe it's a question of what else this 
person has read? I just found "Up-hill" by Christina Rosetti when I was 
looking for poems for my class this afternoon:

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
 From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.


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