Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-03-31 - 7:59 a.m.

It was a light sunny evening and so I stopped twice on the way home – first at Honiley where it occurred to me that this is the “land” referred to in Puff the Magic Dragon. The atmosphere is suitably magic with the the buildings from around 1700 set out neatly around the site of a mystic well which must go back to celtic times. The church location – like Hampton in Arden the other side of the watershed – is thoroughly celtic. I couldn’t do much with the alignment visually – you can see Kenilworth in the distance but it looked a bit of a blur. I’d probably do better with some field glasses.

And then I stopped at the Saxon Mill on the Avon which has just been refurbished as a bar and restaurant. The mill is on an old path which crosses the river and then goes up to Milverton and Leamington. So you can take your drink and sit on a terrace which extends quite a way out into the river. The mill as it stands is a bit of a conceit like the next one up the river at Hill Wooton – a kind of eighteenth and nineteenth century fantasy. But they have seen fit to stick the date 1061 on the outside and there may be some evidence to justify this.

I sat and went through editing my notebook from a year ago – with a lot of the contacts that I made in NYC in it – including the Coventry film makers who I really ought to do something about.

Looking downstream one can see Guy’s Cliffe which merits its own entry in Pevsner. The Cliffe is made out of some hard rock which forces the Avon to loop to the south. Somewhere in the cliff is a cave (which you can’t see from the mill) which attracted hermits including the 10th century figure Guy of Warwick. A chapel was located there to celebrate Guy and this was rebuilt in the 15th century by the Earl of Warwick.

None of this is visible from the mill – but what you can see very clearly are the ruins of the Palladian house built in 1751. Of course you don’t expect ruins to be in a Palladian style and it is hard to see the mathematical form in what is left. There were various Victorian additions.

The site is an odd mixture – Pevsner says that there are several artificial caves in the cliff which he dates as 13th century. The cave in which Guy died has a suitable inscription.

I have seen a riverside cliff hermit cave in Northumberland but nothing this far south before although there is said to be a chalk cave near the source of the Wandle just outside Croydon. (Paul Wheeler was educated in Croydon at the Archbishop’s school - located on the river flood plain in a typical Norman fashion. The Wandle has a great deal going for it – William Morris’ mill near the ruins of the monastery which educated Thomas Beckett and gave its name to the first college at Oxford – and downstream from that Young’s brewery. The Wandle flows round the block of high land which encloses the other posh school in the area - Dulwich - where Nick Totton and Ian Macdonald went.)

Paul Bell phoned – he will be in the area on Thursday night. Paul went to a school which is on the high ground above Merton - Kings Wimbledon. Jon Cole and Andy Powell went to that one.

I drove home and worked on my new recipe – kippers marinated in red wine with orange peppers, mushrooms and French bread. So far so good. I listened to Sodding Spring Again which threatens to be eclipsed by the new multi-loop piece which hasn’t got a name.

The student bought his Squire Tele and Pandora digital multitrack office. The Pandora really looks something for the money and is conveniently fitted with a USB port. The Tele was interesting – I have never played a Squire before (I have a Squire Duosonic which is a very different proposition). The Tele has a new bridge pick-up fitted and there are six individually adjustable bridges which rather complicates the set-up. The body is in good condition but the beck needs to be cleaned and the strings need to be selected with care to get a balanced sound. It was quite fun to play. Like most Teles it demanded to be played its way – they are pretty uncompromising guitars in my view.

I did a small presentation first thing which incorporated some of the concepts from the Leicester research I studied over the weekend. The final flip chart seemed to do the business. That contract still isn’t in the bag.

Here's the 1911 Britannica entry on that Guy:

GUY OF WARWICK, English hero of romance. Guy, son of Siward or Seguard of Wallingford, by his prowess in foreign wars wins in marriage Felice (the Phyllis of the well-known ballad), daughter and heiress of Roalt, earl of Warwick. Soon after his marriage be is seized with remorse for the violence of his past life, and, by way of penance, leaves his wife and fortune to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After years of absence he returns in time to deliver Winchester for King /Ethelstan from the invading northern kings, Anelaph (Anlaf or Olaf) and Gonelaph, by slaying in single fight their champion the giant Coibrand. Local tradition fixes the duel at Hyde Mead near Winchester. Making his way to Warwick he becomes one of his wifes bedesmen, and presently retires to a hermitage in Arden, only revealing his identity at the approach of death. The versions of the Middle English romance of Guy which we possess are adaptations from the French, and are cast in the form of a roman daventures, opening with a long recital of Guys wars in Lombardy, Germany and Constantinople, and embellished with fights with dragons and surprising feats of arms. The kernel of the tradition evidently lies in the fight with Colbrand, which represents, or at least is symbolic1 of an historical fact. The religious side of the legend finds parallels in the stories of St Eustachius and St Alexius,2 and makes it probable that the Guy-legend, as we have it, has passed through monastic hands. Tradition seems to be at fault in putting Guys adventures under IEthelstan. The Anlaf of the story is probably Olaf Tryggvason, who, with Sweyn of Denmark, harried the southern counties of England in 993 and pitched his winter quarters in Southampton. Winchester was saved, however, not by the valour of an English champion, but by the payment of money. This Olaf was not unnaturally confused with Anlaf Cuaran or Havelok (q.v.). The name Guy (perhaps a Norman form of A. S. wig= war) may be fairly connected with the family of Wigod, lord of Wallingford under Edward the Confessor, and a Filicia, who belongs to the 12th century and was perhaps the Norman poets patroness, occurs in the pedigree of the Ardens, descended from Thurkill of Warwick and his son Siward. Guys Cliffe, near Warwick, where in the 14th century Richard de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, erected a chantry, with a statue of the hero, does not correspond with the site of the hermitage as described in the Godfreyson (see HAvEL0K). 2 See the English legends in C. Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, Neue Folge (Heilbronn, f881). The bulk of the legend is obviously fiction, even though it may be vaguely connected with the family history of the Ardens and the Wallingford family, but it was accepted as authentic fact in the chronicle of Pierre de Langtoft (Peter of Langtoft) written at the end of the 13th century. The adventures of Reynbrun, son of Guy, and his tutor Heraud of Arden, who had also educated Guy, have much in common with his fathers history, and form an interpolation sometimes treated as a separate romance. There is a certain connection between Guy and Count Guido of Tours (fi. 800), and Alcuins advice to the count is transferred to the English hero in the Speculum Gy of Warewyke (c. 1327), edited for the Early English Text Society by G. L. Morrill, 1898. The French romance (Brit. Mus. Han. MS. 3775) has not been printed, but is described by Emile Littr in Hist. litt. de Ia France (xxii., 841-851, 1852). A French prose version was printed in Paris, 1525, and subsequently (see G. Brunet, Manuel du libraire, s. v. Guy de Warvich ); the English metrical romance exists in four versions, dating from the early 14th century; the text was edited by J. Zupitza (187.51876) for the E.E.T.S. from Cambridge University Lib. Paper MS. Ff. 2, 38, and again (~ pts. 1883-1891, extra series, Nos. 42, 49, 59), from the Auchinleck and Caius College MSS. The popularity of the legend is shown by the numerous versions in English: Guy of Warwick, translated from the Latin of Girardus Cornubiensis (fi. 1350) into English verse by John Lydgate between 1442 and 1468; Guy of Warwick, a poem (written in I617 and licensed, but not printed) by John Lane, the MS of which (Brit. Mus.) contains a sonnet by John Milton, father of the poet; The Famous Historie of Guy, Earl of Warwick(c. 1607) by SamuelRowlands; The Booke of the !vfoste Victoryous Prince Guy of Warwicke (William Copland, no date); other editions by J. Cawood and C. Bates; chapbooks and ballads of the 17th and 18th centuries: The Tragical History, Admirable Atchievements and Curious Events of Guy, Earl of Warwick, a tragedy (1661) which may possibly be identical with a play on the subject written by John Day and Thomas Dekker, and entered at Stationers Hall on the 15th of January 1618/19; three verse fragments are printed by Hales and Furnivall in their edition of the Percy Folio MS. vol. ii.; an early French MS. is described by J. A. Herbert (An Early MS. of Gui de Warwick, London, 1905). See also M. Weyrauch Die mittelengi. Fassungen der Sage von Guy (2 pts., Breslau, 1899 and 1901); J. Zupitza in Sitzungsber. d. phil.hist. KI. d. kgl. Akad. d. Wiss. (vol. lxxiv., Vienna, 1874), and Zur Literaturgeschichte des Guy von Warwick (Vienna, 1873); a learned discussion of the whole subject by H. L. Ward, Catalogue of Ronrances (i. 47 1-501, 1883); and an article by S. L. Lee in the Dictionary of National Biography.

In a Round Britain Quiz kind of way one can go from Guy to his 14th century romance to Caius to Cathy Bell, Paul Wheeler, Steve Pheasant and Robert Kirby.

Come to think of it, Cathy's research at Caius is into aspects of medieval english poetry.

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