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Modern manners

Jeremy Clarke burns some books then capsizes in the river Dart

By Jeremy Clarke   December 1997

I have left the old people’s home and taken a winter let in Dartmouth in order to finish a book. In order to write one, that is. This is my fifth week here.

The let is a converted boathouse with a garden at the bottom of a long and ancient flight of steps. The outside is thickly covered with sodden ivy; inside, the walls are leprous with dampness. But the fireplace is efficient and spacious enough to keep a bonfire going. In front of the house the river Dart widens prettily into a sheltered anchorage from where crusaders used to…

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