aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Lessingham's adventure -- and mine

I was about fourteen when I first read The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison. The opening line of that novel begins, "There was a man named Lessingham dwelt in an old low house in Wasdale, set in a gray old garden where yew-trees flourished that had seen Vikings in Copeland in their seedling time."

Well, I've been to Wasdale now three times. This time, we stopped to take pictures soon after reaching Wastwater (on our way to Scafell Pike). We were just below an area called on Google maps, "Copeland Forest." The Forest of Copeland was the designation given in a survey of 1578. It comprised all the lands of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, in Eskdale, Wasdale, and Miterdale.

It pleases me to know that Eddison not only had a particular place in mind to launch his fantasy novel, but may (for all I know) have had a particular house in mind. Everything checks out that I can find. And it further pleases me to have found that place and stood in it, breathed that air and seen those sights. I possess the story more now than when I first read it in the passion of adolescent book hunger.

I am a truly rich man.

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