Recording Britain - Vol. 4

Recording Britain - Vol. 4

Recording Britain - Vol. 4

Recording Britain - Vol. 4

Excerpt

Artists

BERNARD ADAMS

L. ROME GUTHRIE

GEORGE BISSILL

THOMAS HENNELL, R.W.S.

A. C. BOWN

VINCENT LINES, R.W.S.

RAYMOND T. COWERN, A.R.W.S.

FREDERICK MAGER

FERDINAND GRAY

W. P. ROBINS, A.R.W.S.

THE Admiralty, the War Office, and the Air Ministry composed their rivalries and, like the linked figures in an outfitter's advertisement, stood in united and non-cultural guardianship against recording in Hampshire. They did not bar the whole county, and forty-seven paintings were eventually completed--a respectable total in the circumstances. But from beginning to end there were areas--anyone can guess where they lay--in which the work of recording was impossible, as well as others where it was only just, or only sometimes, possible.

Though, in fact, the group includes drawings made in all parts of the county except the vicinities of Southampton, Portsmouth, and Aldershot, most of the work took place inside a central and almost equilateral triangle, Petersfield-Odiham- Andover. It is a large triangle and, whatever the reader may feel, the artists suffered little from a sense of restriction as they worked their way through the lovely, unexploited villages so rich in character and tradition. True to form, we abstained from recording the best known of these, Gilbert White's Selborne and Jane Austen's Chawton. Mr. Line's view of Buriton hardly amounts to a weakening, for Gibbon has not, like the two authors just mentioned, become the focus of a cult or the inspiration of pilgrims. For the same reason, we should have been glad to have included Boldre, the home for so many years of White's contemporary fellow naturalist, fellow clergyman, the Reverend William Gilpin. But Boldre is within four miles of the Solent.

With perhaps the single exception of St. Cross, nothing of 'importance' will be found in the pages which follow; on the other hand, these volumes have not anything to show more expressive, as a group, of the life of rural communities in England. Readers will see, in particular, how happily the centres of Froyle and Buriton compose themselves into a picture. Though these are the only two examples here offered, the county is full of others no less satisfying. The spectacular things in Hampshire are, for its size, comparatively few; the number of delights to which guide-books give no due, the number of discoveries to be made, is unusually large.

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