Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pearls-for-eyes redux

Francis Spufford, I may be some time:
The ice had preserved John Torrington, John Hartnell, and William Braine as yellowed revenants from 1846. Their lips had drawn back from their teeth, and their eyes, oysters of water-ice when the coffins were first opened, proved to have sunk back beneath the lids [...] the preserving ice does something curious to history. It does not distinguish between the recent dead and the remote dead; all are glazed over alike.
I am returning to this book after a week's travel, exigencies of packing for which have left me with a number of half-read books that I must now try to finish.


Jenny Davidson said...

Oysters of water-ice!!!

Stan said...

This is a marvellous book, rich in detail and observation. Thank you for the reminding snippet.