I Knew An Island. By R. m. Lockley. (Harrap, 1(je. 6d.) Reviewed by PETER F. ANSON IT was ten years ago that the author of this fascinating book went to live on the Isle of SkokhoIm, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, with his newly wedded wife as his sole companion. Since then he has made a name for himself as an ornithologist, and it was this interest in bird-life, quite as much as the quest for sea-girt solitude, that caused him to visit the other islands which are described in these pages.
However, his wish " to forget the hustling 'world and live im peace and solitude that most 'mattered " has not destroyed his interest in human nature-provided that it exists in a
more or less primitive state, such as he found on Ramsey and Bardsey, off the Welsh coast; on the remote Blaskets, off Kerry; on Fair Isle and North Ronaldshay, off the north of Scotland; and in the more distant Faeroes and Wastmann Islands. Even on the heavily fortified Island of Heligoland there exists a "Bird-catching Garden," and it. was this that attracted Mr Lockley, not the naval base or fortifications.
PERHAPS the most Interesting sections of this book are those which deal with the Faeroes and Wastmann Islands. We are given an account of a Sunday morning Lutheran service in what looks like a most charming little church on one of the more isolated islands of the Faeroes. But, as Mr Lockley does not pretend to be an authority on ecclesiastical matters, perhaps he will not mind if we venture to suggest that the "white gown and surplice of purple" were really a rochet and chasuble.
it was a shock to the author to discover a hotel, a cinema, and a heated swimming pool in Kaupstadur-the only town in the Wastmann Islands; even more to find out that the telephone was the normal means of communication with neighbours; that lip-stick, plucked eyebrows and silk stockings had come so far north. Such evidences of modern civflisation seemed rather incongruous amid the all-pervading stench of codfish, which is laid out to dry along the streets.
SONIE time ago, Mr Lockley accepted A) an invitation to broadcast.. He did not remain long in London, for he admits that " the feeble flicker of herd ercitement in me soon vanished, sacceeded by a feeling of despair that the control of nation and wealth should be centred in, and dependent on, these people, It seemed to are that they were living hopeless, meaningless lives . . . there was none of the peace and natural -well-being which you may find in the rugged faces of the poor but healthy countrymen." So he fled from London, and did not breathe happily until he was back once more on his island home in the Atlantic.
Not all of us can follow his example and retire to such complete solitude, no matter how much we may desire it, yet there will be many who will envy the author when they put down his book. It is illustrated with some really wonderful photographs, as well as being rendered far more intelligible by the inclusion of maps and diagrams.
OF PENAL DAYS AND AFTER
Old Catholic banea,shire. By Dorn. F. 0. Blundell, 0.S.B. Volume II (Burns, Oates & Washbourno, Sc.).
THREE volumes, designed by a survey of Catholic life in Lancashire, have been planned by Dorn Odo Blundell to cover the period from 1550 to the restoration of the Hierarchy three hundred years later. Two volumes have now appeared, this second one concerning itself with the Manchester district, with Wigan, Chorley, and the rich field of Catholic history represented by the FyIde. The Archbishop of Liverpool, who contributes a preface, is convinced that the pages to which he wishes godspeed will strengthen local Catholic loyalties, and that must be the convie tion also, we think, of others who read the book.
In his role of compiler, Dom Odo has had no lack of material, From Dorn Bede Cumin's Forgotten shrines he abridges, with permission, the story of the Bellows. For other pages there is Indebtedness to Fr. Prendergast's Old Catholic Manchester. Resort has been made to ChalIoner, Gillow, O'Dea, the Foley Records, the C.R.S. and Cheatham volume, the Victoria County History, and to many other sources. In short, an immense amount of care end industry has been taken to see that no Useful fount of information, even down to humble pieces of doggerel from local versifiers. should be overlooked.
Nor is this all. Wisely, the compiler has not tied himself too tightly to his brief. In dealing with the mission of Willows, Kirkham, for instance, he found matter from Fr. Airlock worth setting down as to the history since 1850, eo he sets it down; the same with regard to Wcstby.
In any reprint of the book it should be noted to correct the spelling of Joseph Hansom's name, here given as "Hanson."