By Clare Simon
HAVE you read any books by Winifride Nolan? I haven't, but I have just had a look at her latest which is coming out sonic time in the next month or two. It is called " Exiles Come Home," and it is about the beginning of King James l's reign when it was dangerous for any priest to be found in England.
A young priest, Henry Rigby, comes secretly across the Channel in disguise to work among the English Catholics. He has all sorts of adventures including the excitements of the plague which, as you'll know if you're doing that period in history, happened round that time.
Do read this book if you get a chance. I enjoyed it thoroughly and liked the pictures, which are done by Stuart Tresilian. The publishers are Macmillan.
St. Roeh AUGUST 16 is the Feast of St. Roch. Do you know the nice story about him?
When St. Roth was 20 years old his mother and father died and he gave all his money to the poor. Then he put on his old clothes and set off for Rome. (He was living in France at the time.) On the way he stopped often to take care of people who had the plague and sometimes cured them by making the Sign of the Cross.
But when he got to the big forest near Piacenza in Italy poor St. Roch caught the plague himself and lay there sick and dying with no one to care for him except a kind dog who brought him a piece of bread to eat every day. Meanwhile, the master of the dog, eiho lived quite a long way away, was very surprised to see his dog, who never stole as a rule, pick up a piece of bread from the dinner table every day and trot away with it in the most mysterious way. One day he decided to follow the dog to see what he was up to.
He followed him all the way to St. Roch's cave and when he found him he nursed him back to health and the two became great friends.
I expect the dog was pleased. too.
St. Roch's story does not end there. When he came back to France 10 years later a civil
war was going on and poor St. Roch was mistaken for a spy and thrown into prison. He died there without ever once saying they were wrong about his being a spy.
He is the patron saint of people who have skin diseases and also the patron saint of old clothes dealers. Do you remember he put on his old clothes and gave the rest of his things to the poor?
MHAT'S all for this week except to say that I hope you're enjoying your summer holidays. Don't forget, if you go away for a week or two and are leaving your dog or cat behind, to make sure someone is eoing to take proper care of it. Birds, too, or any other pets.
Slyboots says that if you leave your dog behind. do leave him with someone he already knows and loves because dogs can be just as lonely as people.
TWO works were given their first concert performance at the Proms last week, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra made its appearance at two concerts under Basil Cameron. The Love Duet from Walton's Troilus and Cressida " was magnificently sung hy the creators of the parts. Magda Laszlo and Richard Lewis. The duet lost nothing by being played out of its context, and that this is an opera in the real traditional style was even more apparent at the concert performance-its great soaring melodic line almost led one to suppose one was listening to a modern Puccini.
Leon Goossens and Basil Cameron gave the first London performance of Arnold Cooke's concerto for oboe and strings. This proved a slight, but humorous work. For the most part, the oboe, deftly played by Goossens, cheerfully dances about above the astringent harmonies and cross rhythms of the string accompaniment, hut the effect was always
pleasing to the ear. L. H.