BRITS WEEK IN REVIEW
Due to the enticements of summer, this was a slow week blog-wise. We saw some rare things, however, and mentioned them to you.
These included William Hooker’s and Charles John Robertson’s watercolour drawings of fruit for the Horticultural Society in the early 19th century. Their watercolours are but a few of the 22,000 in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Library in London.
Henry Fielding’s classic Tom Jones is an entirely different work of art, but the same ripened skill, love of material and wisdom are evident in his book, which has remained a bestseller since 1749. Wonderfully, Fielding’s aim in his picaresque novel was to show the naked beauty of virtue.
This week the Lincoln Society in New York is celebrating 14 British films released by Woodfall Film Productions, which New York considers revolutionary in their approach. Tony Richardson directed many of them, including Tom Jones.
British system of justice
The British people’s development over the centuries of laws to protect the innocent and deliver fair judgements where wrong had been done may be harder to see than a watercolour or a book, but in our opinion they, too, are a work of art, perhaps the most beautiful of them all. The creation of book and watercolours and movies, libraries and sporting fields, and dinner in a restaurant and a peaceful sleep at home all depend on the fairness and equity and strength of a system of justice, and the justice system depends on the support and respect of the people.
Happily for Americans, Common Law and juries were exported to America. Less happily for Lord Black, he found himself facing one in Chicago.
Alan Dower Blumlein
We also wrote about, Alan Dower Blumlein, one of the millions of Brits who helped to win World War II. His scientific contributions were essential to winning the Battle of Britain against the Nazi German Luftwaffe and the Battle of the Atlantic against U-boats.
This is one of the reasons for this site – to remember those who might otherwise be forgotten. Having just learned that the government has deleted Winston Churchill from the secondary school curriculum, our work is cut out for us.
Rescuing Britain from the EU
Many people and groups are gathering to resist the EU treaty that is but another name for the EU constitution. With the constitution the EU becomes a superstate and all the peoples living inside it become increasingly subjugated to laws and bureaucrats they never freely chose. The last time the British people voted on joining a common market was in 1972, more than 35 years ago. Unbelievably British leaders with the minds of old men – Gordon Brown, Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine, Ming Campbell – refuse to allow the British people to vote on whether they wish to lose their country and their system of laws and protections and become a region of the EU.
In pleased and excited tones the current EU President called the EU an empire in the making. He is right. Those who want to live in a free country of their choosing must impress on Members of Parliament the need to leave the EU and negotiate a new, free relationship with Europe.
British sportsmen and swans
In other news, British sportsmen brought happy news from the river, the golf course, and the tennis court. In the forest we brought you a very beautiful photo and news about the work to increase the network of forest paths and lands in Britain’s largest community forest. On the Thames we found swan upping, which shows that the conservation work of The Queen and the Vintners and Dyers proceeds quietly, effectively, and lyrically.
We also brought you Edwin Muir’s poem The Castle, which describes with great beauty the treason within that betrays rare, beautiful things. Britain’s liberty is one of those rare beauties. We noted, too, that in her Harry Potter books JK Rowling sees private initiative as a great force for good.
May it be so, and may your week be good.