Tuesday, 7 June 2011
The Lost Notebooks of Dawson Bulwer-Rant
The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers (RSAR) are very pleased to announce that a fascinating collection of Antiquarian notebooks have been recently bequested to us. These originally belonged to that legendary Ragged Rambler, Dawson Bulwer-Rant.
Over the next several years we anticipate being able to share excerpts from this voluminous archive with you here.
Here is a profile of Dawson...
Dawson Bulwer-Rant was born into a family without any obvious antiquarian predilections. As a small child he was already showing his future leanings by his insistence on wearing an all-in-one tweed romper suit. During summer holidays, with sketchbook in hand, he would cycle into the countryside in search of ancient monuments and natural curiosities. His few friends later noted that, although of a generally gentle disposition, the young Dawson would, on occasion, erupt into a froth of indignation, randomly berating, for instance, the shallow pitch of Knapton church roof ("... inappropriate! Inappropriate I say!"). His contemporaries testify that the thing most likely to set him into a state of incandescence was the tendency in modern times to pour one's tea through the slots of the flask lid, rather than by the proper, civilised means passed from generation to generation, time out of mind (namely, by removing the lid and pouring).
After a long career dedicated to the study of the old, the quirky and the curious, Dawson is reputed to have had a dream in which the idea for the original 'Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers' came to him ("... an epiphany Munro!"). Following this, he began to talk excitedly of churches and cake and laughter and learning (and flasks without slotted lids!)... and, indeed, such was the persistence of this mania, that he was, for a period, detained by the authorities...
However, he had a dream, and that dream would not die. His was a spirit drawn to discover the whispers of the ages; the mesmerising wonder of reeds swaying in a gentle breeze - the wonderful weave of Harris tweed! And so it was that, with cake in hand, he founded this - 'The Ragged Society of Ragged Ramblers'...
Huzzah! for Dawson Bulwer-Rant
Postscript: many of Bulwer-Rant's field sketches are unlabelled. Therefore, if anyone is able to assist us in identifying the location of the sites depicted, then your assistance in this matter will be most appreciated.