Friday, November 02, 2012

Dept. of Weird Hobbies


That's right, you read it here first.  Or maybe you read about it first in the Northern Echo, or at the blog of one Mr. Lawrence Edmonds.

Mr Edmonds, having made a bet with some of his mates, has embarked upon -- and indeed nearly completed -- one of history's most thoroughly trivial adventures:  to lick each of Great Britain's 27 Anglican cathedrals.  He has yet to reach Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh, perhaps because he dislikes the taste of Scotch.

While we ourselves find prayer more pleasing, it should be remembered that the great cathedrals have always served many functions.  In John Donne's time, the nave of St Paul's, London, was a place for lawyers and (other) prostitutes to meet their clients.

In any case, Mr. Edmonds advenure offers an interesting perspective for historians of ecclesiastical architecture.  Durham, for example, may be among the most beautiful buildings in Britain, but Edmonds reports that "its taste [is] disappointingly bland."

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