Friday, 30 November 2007

Birdalone's Many Kisses

How many kisses does the dynamic heroine Birdalone receive in Morris's late romance The Water of the Wondrous Isles?

This is surely a question worthy of the literary quizzes in John Sutherland's popular So You Think You Know ... series (volumes out so far on Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen). But in fact it has already been answered for us in a little piece in Analysis 52 (18th December 1897), p.549; and the tally is an impressive 105, according to that count.

Has anyone ever doublechecked this figure? Dr Philippa Bennett, whose fine PhD on the concept of wonder in the late romances will one day surely appear as an important monograph, raises another moot issue: how many of those 105 kisses does Birdalone actually enjoy (as opposed to endure)?

And when will we finally get a So You Think You Know William Morris volume to tuck in our friends' Christmas stockings ... ?

1 comment:

linda said...

A question for 'so you think you know William Morris':- in which of his prose romances does the visitor from outer space appear?