Memorialisation option

Charles Cowling

Edward John Trelawny’s Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author is, according to blogger Pykk:

a gossipy, wayward, autobiographical book by a moustach’d Romantic who tracked down both poets in 1822 and stayed with them for a while by the Mediterranean. He was still there when Shelley died, and alert enough to rescue the poet’s unburnt heart from his funeral pyre. The cremation, though romantic on paper, was not a romantic gesture; the body had to be carried from the shoreline where it was found to Rome for burial, and the authorities, fearing infectious disease, weren’t going to let them travel through the countryside with an intact corpse.

“In snatching this relic from the fiery furnace,” Trelawny writes, “my hand was severely burnt; and had anyone seen me do the act I should have been put into quarantine.” The heart was passed on to Mary Shelley, who wrapped it in a copy of her husband’s Adonaïs and deposited it in a box on her desk.


6 thoughts on “Memorialisation option

  1. Charles Cowling
    Kathryn Edwards

    And Charles: only you could have hosted this exquisite exchange!

    Greetings and love to you, Rupert.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    Only she could have asked that and only you could have said that.

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    Rupert Callender

    Thank you Kathryn. When we met, the only time we met, you asked a question that stays with me still: “Who are you really burying?” The answer being, my mother and father. Cleared my vision. Thank you.

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    Kathryn Edwards

    Rupert: you are laugh-out-loud funny.
    I always enjoy your contributions.

    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    gloria mundi

    If “pyromaniac” describes someone who is helpless before his mania for starting fires, is there a special derivative of the term for Rupert and his twitchy zippo? And much as I admire his commitment to alfresco cremation, I note that the onlookers/mourners in this painting are careful to stand upwind….

    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    Rupert Callender

    You know my position on this Charles, already absent mindedly flicking the lid of my zippo on and off, and much as I love this picture, (I used it as the invite for my fortieth) clearly a botched job. Not enough wood by a long shot. I have bigger fires than that in my hearth.

    Charles Cowling

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