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About the illustrator
Mary Kuper is a London based artist and illustrator, interested in words, images and how they work together. You can see more of her work on her website
Darwin in Ilkley
Charles Darwin spent fifteen months writing his ‘Origin of Species’ and completed the final corrections on I October 1859. He was already completely exhausted by September of that year, being barely able to pick up or carry anything. On 4 October he took a train for Leeds and then the coach to the Rose and Crown in Ilkley.
Darwin had become a follower of Dr James Gully who developed his ‘Water Cure’ at the hydrotherapy centre at Malvern. This included bathing and being vigorously scrubbed in cold spring water, having cold compresses placed round the body and walking exercise. Darwin felt unable to return to Malvern after the death of his daughter Annie there in 1851. Instead he sought out pupils of Dr Gully and attended their establishments.
The poem was performed in the Richard Attenborough Theatre at the University of Leicester with music and sea shanties provided by: Jerry Simon, Emily Irving-Witt, Peter Abbott and Sharon Kraus.
He lies corpse blue in cold
spring water, not yet dawn when towelled
in the dark, hissing teeth chatter
A town held bosomed in lush forest, its white faced convents and porticoed colonnades led naturally into columned trees, whose canopied leaves Continue reading