Noon In The Knight Garden

At noon, on another warm, sunny, day with a moderate breeze, I poked my camera out of the upstairs window in order to record the garden’s continuing splendour. (I was inspired by a comment from Elizabeth Gauffreau for today’s title)

This afternoon I finished reading ‘David Copperfield’ and scanned the final eight drawings with which that splendid illustrator, Charles Keeping, has adorned the closing pages of my Folio Society edition.

‘I hired a boat directly, and we put off to the ship’

‘I came into the valley, as the evening sun was shining on the remote heights of snow’

‘I thought I had never seen an obstinate head of hair rolling about in such a shower of kisses’

in ‘Going softly to her piano, Agnes played some of those old airs to which we had often listened in that place’ Mr Keeping, through the medium of the flowing grain on the side of the instrument, conveys the unspoken communication between singer and listener which culminates in the next but one illustration.

‘Whom should we behold, to our amazement, in this converted Number Twenty Seven, but Uriah Heep!’, unmistakeable to anyone who has seen the artist’s previous depictions.

‘Clasped in my arms as she had never been, as I had thought she never was to be!’

‘Mr Peggotty went with me to see a little tablet I had put up in the churchyard to the memory of Ham’

‘Peggotty, my good old nurse’

I don’t propose to review such a well-known book, save to say that it was a very good choice for Charles Dickens to term his favourite of the novels.

I have probably mentioned before that I do not generally keep more than one book on the go at any one time. This Dickens work and another, modern, novel have been an exception while I have returned to the Victorian masterpiece. As soon as I have finished reading Harold Brodkey’s book I will draw some comparisons between the two.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata with which she finished the RosΓ© and I drank Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017.


  1. Noon in the Knights’ splendid garden! Your header photo is beautiful, and it looks like the garden of a grand estate (which I suppose it is).
    Those final illustrations are so full of life and motion!

    1. Thank you so much Merril. In days gone by, when the house was much smaller and a village shop, the garden was a lot bigger – much sold off before we came. We have 1/3 of an acre

  2. A wonderfully poetic ‘Title’ for today’s article Derrick .. “Noon at the Knight Garden”… yep .. I smiled instantly ..

  3. The views from above capture the splendor of your garden. I like Charles Keeping’s landscape and seascape, so different from his illustrations of people. He certainly conveyed a a wide range of feelings.

  4. And a splendid Knight garden it is! Mr. Keeping outdid himself with these final illustrations. A real fondness for the characters is coming through them.

  5. I have enjoyed this overall perspective of your garden as well as the drawings. Of those, I have been developing a keener appreciation of Keeping’s detailed sketches of landscapes, buildings, and even the cemetery. There is always something of special interest to find in each of them.

  6. Love that title! πŸ™‚ Brava, Elizabeth! πŸ™‚
    I love the views of the garden from above! Spectacular! πŸ™‚
    Great motion in Keeping’s churchyard illustration.
    And such beautiful detail and flow in the clothing of the women.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  7. You gave us almost an aerial view of the garden, terrific!
    Dickens was has been a favorite of mine, but it’s so long since I’ve read him.

  8. Several weeks ago we visited the garden design by Gertrude Jekyll on Lindisfarne. Seeing your garden images, I think of this quote by her: ‘The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.’

  9. The noon is lingering in your garden in all its glory. You have firmed up my resolve to revisit this masterpiece and I will likely return to your posts when I’ll reread the book.

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