Instead of posting a London-related poem today, I thought I’d share a snippet from The Fallen Monkey blog, which had this to say about last week’s Highgate Cemetery event with authors Audrey Niffenegger and Tracy Chevalier:
“Imagine my delight during a dull workday afternoon when I received the phone call that my wait-listed arse had
scored a last-minute opening for last night’s lecture. Located in the 19th-century chapel of London’s Highgate Cemetery, the event began with a cocktail-half-hour of wine and milling about the gateway to Highgate’s West Cemetery (where poet Christina Rossetti and her brother, Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti are buried, among other notable deceased–Karl Marx is buried in the East counterpart). Filing into the intimate confines of the chapel, we were treated to readings from each author’s novel as well as explanations as to how they came to chance upon Highgate Cemetery and become inspired to build their literary projects around its historic, overgrown, and elegantly morose splendor.
Both American women had merely visited as tourists that first time, but the impression upon both was immediate, and they subsequently became volunteer tour guides as a means of interacting with this enchanting garden of flora and headstones as well as unearthing more of its history than any texts could reveal (Niffenegger continues to conduct tours here, and Chevalier lives just down the hill from the site). Following their brief “lectures” (which were structured as interviews between the two authors themselves), the floor was opened to a Q&A session with the audience…”