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Leaves of the English Countryside

David's post "All these I learnt" reminded me of Margaret Drabble's book A Writer's Britain. Margaret reminded me of Nickolaus Pevsner writing about the carvings (1295-1300) in the chapter-house at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire. The carvings lovingly depict hawthorn, vine, oak, ivy, maple and hop leaves. In The Leaves of Southwell, Pevsner writes:

"And is not the balance of Southwell something deeper too than a balance of nature and style or of the imitative and the decorative? Is it not perhaps also a balance of God and the World, the invisible and the visible? Could these leaves of the English countryside, with all their freshness, move us so deeply if they were not carved in that spirit which filled the saints and poets and thinkers of the thirteenth century, the spirit of religious respect for the loveliness of created nature?"

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