Walking in Aquitaine

With five more chapters of Little Dorrit under my belt I now present five more of Charles Keeping’s splendid drawings.

‘Mr Flintwinch held the candle to her head’.

‘It was a charming place, on the road by the river’ is reminiscent of the paintings of John Constable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Constable

In ‘He applied spoons to his eye’, Keeping has ably depicted that Young Barnacle had not exactly engrossed the assembled company.

As the artist shows with ‘Now or never was the time to speak to her’ never would have been preferable.

Charles Keeping will not be constrained by the blocks of type on his pages.

‘The brothers, walking up and down the College-yard, were a memorable sight’, gives him the opportunity for a double spread.

This afternoon I scanned and labelled another set of recently rediscovered colour slides. These are from France in April 2009.

During my sojourns in Sigoules I walked many miles in and around the town.

The blossom trees in the first picture were in the garden immediately across rue St Jacques from my front windows; the white blob receding in the far distance of the garden collecting tyres was on regular five mile circuit; for a while cattle in the field behind the supermarket were displaced for development; the church and war memorial are at Ste Innocence, near Eymet; I would pass the ploughed field on another circuitous ramble. What was built on the development site and the trip to Ste Innocence are described in https://derrickjknight.com/2012/06/10/le-code-bar/

I passed these rape fields on my fairly regular 8 mile walk to Eymet. It was probably a little after this particular time that I began to struggle with this one. The general advice when encountering the marathon runners’ “wall” was to run the through the pain. I had never experienced that particular difficulty, but surely, it seemed, the pain in my left hip would benefit from such an effort. Not so. 6 months later I was fitted with a new one. Although I continued walking very quickly after the operation, I never ran again.

Chris, Frances, and Elizabeth were staying with me that spring. We took the opportunity to visit Chris’s long-term friend Mike Ozga and his wife Oonagh who lived about 30 miles away.

A walk in the Dordogne woodland ensued. I wondered whose fossilised skull had been covered in moss.

This evening we reprised Jackie’s scrumptious beef pie dinner with similar beverages.


  1. The illustrations are excellent, and that countryside is beautiful. I love the rape fields.
    Thank goodness for modern technology that allows you to walk, if not run.

  2. What a wonderful walk. There’s something very special about the sight of a vast rape field in joyous yellow flower.
    I think that ancient looking ‘skull’ must be the remains of a T Rex… an uncanny similarity:-)

  3. These words from page 208 amused my thoughts Derrick… “As a mere flask of the golden water in the tale became a full fountain when it was poured out”

  4. The photos from your trip to France are beautiful! Rick and I were in Provence in 2000,and enjoyed it very much.

    I am still enjoying the illustrations, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. More delightful illustrations!
    Such a lovely walk! And looks like the doggie is sniffing along the way! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, my, on that skull! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I do wonder who it belonged to…but the moss gives it some acceptance and beauty. ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Charles Keeping has kept pace with his namesake and hasnโ€™t missed a beat in transcending the authorโ€™s words into pulsating sketches. The trip to the heart of rural France was interesting.

  7. Lovely photos from your scanned slides of France.

    Oh, the drawing of the house on page 191 of the book is gorgeous. I love the design.

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