Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Saltaire and 'The Black Thread'

I chose Saltaire as the setting for my latest manuscript, The Black Thread.
The title refers to the body of still water which runs across England – the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
It is a historical fiction novel set in 1898.
I completed the manuscript this week and have forwarded it to my agent.
I now wait with fingers crossed for the outcome.

Searching for an apt quote or verse to go inside the cover, I came across The Lady of Shallot by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
As I read it I found its content had some similarities my story:-
The Lady is alone and desperate.
She is on a barge (shallop).
It is being towed by a horse.
She is on her way to Camelot (a visionary town – just like Saltaire was).
She waves her hand and is known in all the land….

If The Black Thread is accepted for publication I would like the following verse from Tennyson to be included.

By the margin, willow veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Photo: M Muir - Salt's New Mill and the L & L canal taken from the grounds of the United Reformed Church

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