Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not the first Bluestocking Mum

 A Wet Sunday Afternoon in Glasgow (BBC Radio 4)

Earnestly trying to prove that bluestockings* can cook like the best of them, I've spent my afternoon cooking a chilli (hotter than normal - Superspouse is away), treacle tart and jam tarts.  The jam tarts were an afterthought, to be honest.  As they baked, they oozed strawberry jam all over the place, and I'm astounded I managed to resurrect the bun-tray enough to be used again another day!  Meanwhile, the treacle tart was toothsome enough, but a bit hard.  Still, three hungry teens enjoyed it, so who am I to pass judgement?

Oh, and I've done a couple more loads of washing.  Scintillating stuff.  

So, NOW I can revert to reading about Iolo Morganwg.  I simply can't resist reading about the man - such an intriguing bundle of complexity.  Gee, that laudanum had a lot to answer for!  And, it appears, he knew Joseph Ritson.  (As I do, of course.)  It had occurred to me that they were each as crotchety and cantankerous as the other, but Iolo was the most fraudulent of frauds, whereas Ritson seems to have been congenitally honest to a fault. So, if they knew each other, did they like one another?!  Did they ever meet?, living at opposite ends of the country as they did?  Iolo spent time in London.  Ritson was from the North-East, and I can't remember if he went to London or not.  But he did have quite broad horizons and the wherewithal to travel - indeed, he'd done a grand European tour as a young man.  But he possibly came from a different social stratum to Iolo the stonemason.  

The author Jon Mee wrote a paper for the Iolo volume, A Rattleskull Genius.  Three words in his chapter, literally leapt out at me.  "Iolo knew Ritson" (p.177)  - I simply MUST know more.

I realise, a bit late in the day, that I never bought a Sunday paper, and there wasn't time to fit in a swim.  Oh, fie!  Not to worry.  Iolo is worth it.

*  I am far from the first blogging Bluestocking Mum - there are loads of us.  Good thing I called myself PseudoSupermum instead, isn't it?!


notker said...

Yes Iolo and Ritson knew each other. There are a number of references to "Williams the Welsh bard" in Joseph Ritson's Letters (2 vols. London: William Pickering, 1833) from which it is clear that they were well-acquainted. Of particular interest is Ritson's letter to William Shield (Vol. II, pages 221-22), written in the last year of Ritson's life, in which Ritson promises to introduce him to Iolo so that Shield can transcribe Iolo's repertoire of traditional Welsh melodies. If only.



Pseudo Super mum said...

Thank you so much for this,Keri. That's very helpful indeed. I've just been in touch with Mary-Ann Constantine, who has also filled me in on some details about their acquaintance, but I shall certainly make a beeline for the letter to Shield, next time I'm at the Uni Library. Fascinating stuff!