Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Very good to see so many people there for my talk at the Bath Literature Festival last Friday night, and to be back in that lovely city. My view of swimming baths as essentially sinister and smelly had to be abandoned last summer when Sarah and Magdalena and I spent a good while at the Spa. The rooftop pool, especially, is highly recommended, and offers fine views not only of the town but of the hills beyond (down through which the water is filtered, over the eons, before ending up in the pool).

Eatonton, Georgia, USA is by no means similarly endowed - it has no natural hot spring waters, nowhere to eat, nothing like the architectural bounty of Bath (though it has some fine colonial-style houses which are old by American standards), and no association with anyone on a par with the great Jane Austen.

However, it is/was the birthplace of Georgia's fine pre-war blues artist Peg Leg Howell, whose 120th birthday it is today. For some reason this interests the town less than its claim to be the home of Joel Chandler Harris, creator of the Brer Rabbit stories, Uncle Remus, the Tar Baby et al. Hence this iron statue of, er, a rabbit, which stands in the main square of the town.

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