I’m in a Thomas Hardy phase at the moment. Not only am I currently reading (and enjoying) The Mayor of Casterbridge, but this weekend I had the opportunity to visit the author’s childhood home and the impressive house he built for himself once he became successful – both in lovely, scenic Dorset. Which is all very nice, but it’s not my main reason for today’s offering.
It is, instead, a link I discovered between Thomas Hardy and JK Rowling. What I’m about to reveal to the world may be common knowledge to my legions of followers; it was a surprise to me, but then I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter books, I’m afraid. As a fellow children’s writer, there is of course no reason why I should be envious of the multi-million selling and multi-millionaire author JK Rowling. None at all. None whatsoever. “N – O” spells “NO”. And as a fellow crime writer I have even less reason to be envious of “Robert Galbraith”, and I’m sure her books would have been successful even if her agent hadn’t accidentally let it slip that JK Rowling was the author when they weren’t selling so well. No problems with that. Beyond any shadow of a doubt. No, sir.
Er….where was I? Oh yes – Thomas Hardy.
Well, I was reading The Mayor of Casterbridge (which is by a proper, literary author, of course) and I came across two interesting phrases. At one point the eponymous mayor is scolding his daughter for using Dorset country dialect, and these are two of the terms he singles out: the name the yokels gave to the bumble bee, and the one they used for ‘indigestion’, namely, Dumbledore and Hag-rid. I would never accuse JK of lacking in imagination and I’m certain she could have made up her own, original names but simply chose not to. Perhaps she was too busy counting her money or her castles or something – which she has deservedly earned, let me make that clear. We just don’t know, but anyway, that’s where she got them from.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to sell my dog so I can pay the the gas bill.