Download e-book for kindle: John Aubrey: My Own Life by Ruth Scurr

By Ruth Scurr

ISBN-10: 1448190878

ISBN-13: 9781448190874

John Aubrey enjoyed England. From an early age, he observed his England slipping away and, opposed to outstanding odds, dedicated himself to maintaining for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and lifestyles tales. His [Brief Lives might redefine the paintings of biography but he released just one rushed, botched publication in his lifetime and died fearing his identify and achievements will be forgotten.

Ruth Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly mind's eye: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s personal phrases, showing his distinct voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey observed himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing earlier, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. yet he used to be additionally one of many pioneers of recent writing, a journalist sooner than the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil conflict and the good hearth of London within the corporation of a few of the influential women and men, low and high, whose lives he might make his legacy.

John Aubrey’s personal lifestyles was once a poignant own and monetary fight to list the doings of serious males and the relics of antiquity, the behavior of Christopher Wren, Isaac Newton and Thomas Hobbes, the stones of Stonehenge and the stained glass of forgotten church buildings. during this genre-defying account, wealthy with the London taverns and elegiac landscapes of an England he helped to maintain, Ruth Scurr has resurrected John Aubrey as a powerful spirit for our personal time.

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Sample text

Aunt Ivy, another of my grandfather's daughters, worked at Player's factory, and being unmarried had a boyfriend called Ernest Guyler, who was to die of tuberculosis. A tall, thin, sprucely dressed man, he used to come up the lane to call on her. The first love of my life was the fair and stately Queen Alexandra, whose picture was on a card Ernest gave me from his cigarette packet before walking with Ivy towards the wood. Ivy, and her sister Emily, who was also unmarried, ~·ould occasionally take down the long tin bath and set it under a plane tree between the back door and the coal house.

A tall, thin, sprucely dressed man, he used to come up the lane to call on her. The first love of my life was the fair and stately Queen Alexandra, whose picture was on a card Ernest gave me from his cigarette packet before walking with Ivy towards the wood. Ivy, and her sister Emily, who was also unmarried, ~·ould occasionally take down the long tin bath and set it under a plane tree between the back door and the coal house. Showing reluctance- to say the least - with regard to water, even after they had pulled my clothes off, I wriggled out of their grasp and ran away .

Such speculations must have tormented him for the rest of his life, though with diminishing force, for I believe that in happier moods he was certain enough that we were all his. And yet the episode seemed to have broken his spirit, in that he tried harder to get work. The fights at home did not decrease, however, because there was never enough money for cigarettes, and my mother still went out now and again with her sister. In the first ten years my father was employed for a total of just over six months.

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John Aubrey: My Own Life by Ruth Scurr


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