The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift

September 21, 2008

This book was Book of the Week on Radio 4 a month or two ago. It was abridged of course so it is much better to buy it, as I did. It is a hardback with an ENVIABLY attractive cover so is well worth ten pounds. It is about gardens, yes, but so much more. A little journey with a mind of large compass. What could be more satisfying? Being a gardening fanatic I went to The Dower House of Morville Hall to see the garden, whose evolution Dr Swift writes about so alluringly. It did not disappoint. If weeds upset you, don’t go. It was romantically wild but you could still see what its creator had in mind. That is what I liked so much, the divurgations of a mind stuffed with interesting facts and associations laid out in flower beds, hedges and trees. I could  imagine its creator lying in bed watching the dawn creep in, thinking ‘Yes, the path shall be like this. I shall plant that there. When money permits I shall build a temple, a canal, a fountain.’ It is not a large garden, perhaps an acre and a half, so easily held in the mind in detail.  As it was raining I had a cup of tea in the kitchen. Dr Swift made me a pot of Lapsang Souchong. An absurd English reserve came over me. I was too shy to say I had read the book and enjoyed it for fear of being the hundreth person to gush in the identical words and phrases, which was silly of me. An author can never have too much praise! Instead we had a brief chat about roses and I resolved to make another visit. I do hope I will.

2 Responses to “The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift”

  1. NC said

    can’t spell divagations either

  2. Annie Czuchra said

    Dear Victoria,
    I devoured “The Morville Hours” at Easter last year and it was one the best books I read in 2009.
    I’d also like to say I am completely enchanted by your own books. I’ve read them all and am eagerly awaiting your next one. I was also wondering if any of them have been translated into Polish? I’d love to recommend them to my Polish friends whose English is not quite up to reading them in the original!

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