Spontaneous Combustion

Today’s Royal Mail post brought the probate grant documentation. I will begin the work of collecting and distributing the assets next week.

This afternoon I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/03/25/a-knights-tale-118-the-long-walk-begins/

Later I scanned the next four of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations to ‘Bleak House’

‘Rolling up the slip of paper, Mr Guppy proceeds’

‘Mr Jellyby groaned, and laid his head against the wall again’

‘ He went bareheaded against the rain’

‘O Horror, he IS here!’ depicts the discovery of an incident of spontaneous combustion.

‘One of the true believers in spontaneous combustion was Charles Dickens, who even killed off Krook, the alcoholic rag dealer in Bleak House, by means of a fire that left nothing of the old man except an object looking like a “small charred and broken log of wood.” Dickens had read everything he could find on the subject and was convinced that its veracity had been proved. His description of the demise of Krook was based closely on that of an Italian aristocrat, Countess Cornelia di Bandi, who was consumed by a fireball in her bedroom. Her case was reported in 1731 by a clergyman called Giuseppe Bianchini, and subsequently translated by a famous Italian poet and Fellow of the Royal Society, Paolo Rolli,’ whose version appears in full at https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/564288/charles-dickens-bleak-house-spontaneous-combustion-death

Dickens’s description follows that of Rolli to the letter.

Ian rejoined us this afternoon. Jackie produced tasty liver and bacon casserole; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots; and firm Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli with which she and Ian drank Hoegaarden, Becky drank Zesty, and I drank more of the Tulga.