Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Great Snow

In his unfinished story ‘The Great Snow’ the English nature writer Richard Jefferies, best known for his post-apocalyptic novel After London (1885), describes a London that has been  entirely buried by a mammoth snowfall. The dome of St Paul's just about pokes out above the snow drifts; polar bears plod along the frozen Thames. A demagogic preacher addresses the remaining population:

'Where now is your mighty city that defied Nature and despised the conquering elements – where now is your pride when so simple and contemptible an agent as a few flakes of snow can utterly destroy it? Where are your steam-engines, your telegraphs and your printing-presses – all powerless and against what – only a little snow!'

Mundane quote for the day: ‘Soon the success or failure of Christmas will be rung up on the high-street tills. If we have spent more than last year we shall be succeeding as a nation. Supermarkets must look as though the Goths and Vandals have swept into them and the young shelf-fillers will see where they broke through their lines.’ - Ronald Blythe

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