Bruce Anderson

We celebrated a birth with a wine that will last decades

I tried to persuade his mother that it is unhealthy for girls who have recently foaled to drink first-growth claret

Good Saturday, 2015, stepping westward. Autumn sunshine: autumn leaves, almost comparable to New England: pumpkins everywhere, very New England. We were in Sherborne, a town famous for its abbey and castle, but well worth a proper Pevsner-guided exploration.

There were obvious questions. When and how did the pumpkin take over from the turnip, ‘trick or treat’ from guising? Why is Halloween, All Souls’ Night, both holy names, associated with witchcraft and other emanations of the dark? As with Walpurgisnacht, we are in the spirit-haunted marches between early Christianity and paganism.

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