Re: Avebury, from Experience of Life, Elizabeth Sewell
Sep 15, 2010, 14:09
One would then conclude that one didn’t influence the other in terms of what was said about Avebury, but one supposes in view of what Elizabeth’s novel is known for it could have done in other ways.
Perhaps, though here are a couple more similarities that suggest Mary may have read and been influenced by Elizabeth's book -
My cottage is close to the rectory; close also to the church, which is, however, on the opposite side of the road. It is low, and thatched, covered with creepers, and standing in a little garden, dotted with flower-beds, which it is the delight of the school children to keep in order for me.
Deep hangs the thatch on cottage eaves,
And buried deep in ivy leaves...
And happy children come and go
With rosy cheek and rustic walk,
I have lived there ever since I came to Leigh, and it has become very dear to me, for it is my home, as far as regards this world...
Home of sweet days and thankful nights,
Fair fall on thee the morning light...
They both walk through the churchyard, each reflecting on the gravestones; Elizabeth wishing to be buried in a sunny spot opposite the south porch, soothed in the knowledge that she will be connected to the church and to those she loved in a safe little corner of England. Mary (who had lived through, and would have know of the horrors of the American Civil War where some 620,000 lives were lost) perhaps reflecting more on the transience of life and the anonymity of death.
Sunk in the graveyard plot around,
The moss-grown headstones scarce
Few stoop the lettering to trace
Which time's rude hand will soon efface.