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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Mortimer Menpes


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Mortimer Menpes : ?The Thames

'Meeting held at Gower Cottage, 20.II.’39
R. D. L. Moore, & subsequently H. Stevens in the Chair.
1. Minutes of last read & approved.
5. R. H. Robson told of The Stately Homes of Thames, + we heard of Bisham Abbey, Mapledurham, Ufton Court, of Jesuits hunted by Walsingham, of the incident of The Rape of the Lock, of Lovelace, Lady Place, Hurley, and Soames Forsyte.

6. H. R. Smith, dealing with the Story of the River, + passing lightly over the Danish incursions upstream, spoke of the thousand years in which the Thames had been in bounds. Weirs had been made by millers, navigation had been slow and perilous, the modern lock was a matter of the last hundred + fifty years. Twenty- six mills were named in Domesday Book[.] The Thames Conservancy had brought order out of chaos.


8. S. A. Reynolds read from Mortimer Menpes of warehouses + houseboats, the boat race + Henley Regatta, Kingfishers + quick backwaters, fishing + the vagaries of the towpath.

9. R. D. L. Moore gave us Literary Gleanings, touching on Spenser and Shelley, quoting from The Scholar Gypsy + Thyrsis, + reading Soames Forsyte’s thoughts in the early morning on the river, Kipling’s The River’s Tale, + Virginia Woolf’s astonishing account in Orlando of the great frost, when a girl dissolved into powder + fish were frozen twenty fathoms deep!


11. Muriel Stevens read a friend’s notes on Deptford + its river scenes.

12. A. B. Dilkes from Three Men in a Boat.

[Signed] S A Reynolds
27/3/93 [i.e. 27/3/39]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Sylvanus A. Reynolds      Print: Book


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