Green Dolphin Country

Photo of me taken by my wife in Ely Cathedral when on holiday last week. [Close-up in comment below.]

I bought a book in that city and I’m now reading it. GREEN DOLPHIN COUNTRY by Elizabeth Goudge. A massive tome first published in 1944.

(see further responses below)


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14 responses to “Green Dolphin Country

  1. Our photos of outside of Ely Cathedral:

  2. BTW, The Power or Tower of Interzone and Ely Cathedral (and ‘Facial Justice’ by LP Hartley):

  3. After buying ‘Green Dolphin Country’, I learned that Elizabeth Goudge lived in Ely:
    I bet she knew the Lady Chapel! Please see my concurrent post about the Nordic Choir:

  4. Anonymous

    Elizabeth Goudge’s autobiography The Joy of Snow has a detailed account of her stay in Ely but I am not sure if it’s the backdrop to any of her novels

  5. Shahnaz Aijazuddin

    Elizabeth Goudge’s autobiography The Joy of Snow has a detailed account of her stay in Ely.

  6. “… though death was a common occurrence he always found it a damned depressing one. A man never knew when it would strike at him once he’d got himself the wrong side of sixty.”
    — from ‘Green Dolphin Country’ by Elizabeth Goudge
    Page 188

  7. ‎”Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short.”
    – from ‘Green Dolphin Country’ by Elizabeth Goudge (1944)
    Page 253

  8. I am about four-fifths of the way through ‘Green Dolphin Country’ – and I think this the only work of literature I’ve read where the confusion of the main male character is shared by the reader in a very clever way that it would be remiss of me to explain as it would be a plot spoiler.

    Old Nick is a very interesting character: quite fantastical in the way he transcends parrot-talk and time itself, an objective correlative that threads this massive novel.

  9. The postwar [i.e. post Third World War] landscape, then, was all over the country, featureless and dull. But in the neighborhood of Cambridge there was an exception to this. Owing to one of those freaks in the process of destruction, of which the Second World War had given many examples, the western tower of Ely Cathedral still survived. The rest of the church was flat, its ruins scarcely distinguishable in the mud that heaved around it, but the tower still stood, a gigantic and awe-inspiring landmark. Indeed it’s effect was so overwhelming that beholders had been known to faint at the sight of it, and even the least sensitive were moved with tumultuous feelings for which they couldn’t account.
    Those few who remembered the great building in its glory would sometimes try to describe it but they got no encouragement to do this, for nostalgia of any kind was looked on askance. Not that the Dictator frowned upon elision; he even encouraged it as a necessary outlet of the human spirit; but it had to be the contemporary religion of his own brand, and the Litany was the only form of it that he permitted to delinquents. The Litany in which everyone was equal, equal in sinnerdom. The tower of Ely Cathedral, piercing the heavens, spoke another language.
    — from FACIAL JUSTICE (1960) by L.P. Hartley

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