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We are pleased to welcome Poppy back, following her first talk on Border Ballads from Ettrick & Yarrow.
This second talk is called Thomas the Rhymer. Thomas lived a documented life near Melrose in the Scottish borders, in the thirteenth century, and maybe or maybe not, he travelled to another world with the Queen of Elfland who treated him well and gave him the gift of prophecy as a memento of his visit. I can show that the earth’s crust was burst open by volcanic activity in the exact spots where tradition denotes a liminal place between our worlds. Thomas left his property to a state-of-the-art monastic hospital near his home. Perhaps the magical story of Thomas’s disappearance will one day be satisfactorily explained. My talk is illustrated with pictures of the landscape and with thirteenth-century manuscript images of scenes described in the ballad, which I sing at the end. In its turn it will also soon become a book, illustrated by Chris Daunt the master wood engraver and published by the Belle Grove Press.
Poppy Holden, ARCM, BA, Dip Mus, MISM, MU
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