Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Return to the Shire and Seven Ways to Eat Like a Hobbit...


If it had not been for Belloc, Chesterton and, to a lesser extent, Vincent McNabb there would have been no Middle Earth. So we have Belloc, at least in part, to thank for Hobbits, Orcs and Cave Trolls.

More seriously, Tolkien's Shire takes its inspiration from the so called 'Back to the Land' movement. As I have alluded to in a previous post the agenda was not just agrarian. Arguably Father McNabb gave it more of an agricultural flavour. Either way the Ditchling Community never quite lived up to the vision he had for the Distributist commonwealth. He never quite got around to scouring Ditchling but, as I have mentioned previously, he certainly told them off.

On a connected note, I recently came across this lovely little web site which is all about 'creating a Hobbit-friendly life in a Mordor world'. There are handy tips such as 'seven ways to eat like a Hobbit' and how to build a pole bean tent. Well, I don't know, I think that I would rather be a womble.

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