Showing posts from December, 2017

Syons of the Tymes

I think it's time for some sober scholarship, as opposed to pub crawling for Raleigh 400 - though there's more of that to come. 

Two rather different houses with the same name, both in the Georgian style but separated from each other by more than 160 miles, play a part in the Raleigh 400 story.
East Budleigh’s Syon House, described as ‘the perfect boutique country house B and B’, would at first glance seem to have no connection to Sir Walter. It’s a fine 18th century building overlooking the village of Otterton, and in fact is separated from the older part of East Budleigh and Raleigh’s birthplace by the main road.

Syon House Brentford west aspect 
Credit: Russ Hamer 

Syon House is the spectacular London home of the Duke of Northumberland.  The house was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the Medieval Syon Abbey, and came to the family of the present owners in 1594. Syon has many layers of history and has seen some profound changes over the centuries

So what’s the link t…

Sir Walter Raleigh and Music

Professor Ivan Roots
Back in 2009, the late and great Ivan Roots, Emeritus Professor of History at Exeter University, was kind enough to give a talk in Budleigh Salterton about Sir Walter Raleigh’s poetry. 
The event was a prelude to a performance of ‘Even such is Time’, the cantata by local composer Nicholas Marshall which is based on one of Raleigh’s most famous poems.
I wrote about Professor Roots’ talk at and remember his conclusion that Sir Walter was ‘not a great poet’. Although Raleigh’s later poems made ‘quite good, subtle points’, he conceded, much of the early stuff was extremely conventional, ‘addressed to imaginary women like hundreds of other courtly compositions of the age’.

Professor Dodsworth’s edition of the poems, entitled Sir Walter Ralegh: The Poems, with other Verse from the Court of Elizabeth I was published by Everyman Paperbacks in 1999
Music and poetry were valuable commodities in Renaiss…