Henry Williamson’s ‘The Dark Lantern’ (‘A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight’ Book 1)

An amazing précis of the late Victorian, encompassing so much;
Its characters being Types, yet blooded figures you could almost touch,

From quiet, malleable Hetty, and her Wooster-like brother Hughie,
And their father, a neo-Falstaffian wag who thinks Tennyson is phooey,

An embodiment of steamships and the City, such malarkey;
While Hetty’s husband Richard manifests soft-patriarchy,

A near-autistic categoriser of butterflies and gloom.
And yet, already quickening inside of Hetty’s womb

Is the Blackshirt generation, destined to shake the shoals of the earth
(Only at the end of the book does the star of the sequence arrive at birth.)

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