January 25

Amber pages

Rabbie Burns born, cottage left, today in 1759, and if I haven't already done so somewhere else, this would be the place to complain that in the United Kingdom of Greater England and its Home Colonies, the official language is English, the official history is English (Scots, Welsh and Irish only get mentioned if they do something good for England, or are written about because they did something bad against it, like fight for independence) and the official history is English, which is why Scots poets like Rabbie Burns are largely ignored in GCSE and A Level and university curricula, and why no one has even heard of the Mabinogion or the Book of Kells...

Did Somerset Maugham (born today in 1874) acually come from Somerset, or spend any time there beyond maybe a holiday-trip to Cheddar Gorge or a research trip to Glastonbury? He was born at the English Embassy in Paris, and died in Nice, and I have a strong sense of Margate, which is definitely not Somerset...

And for the third consecutive day, a truly great writer, who just happens to be female, and British (alright, English) - Virginia Woolf, born today, 1882.

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