Tufts of Heather I.

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"AMEN CORNER," ROCHDALE.
FROM A DRAWING BY J. HOUGHTON HAGUE. ENGRAVED BY ROBERT LANGTON.

 

Ed. ― some of Waugh's exceptionally long paragraphs have been reduced to shorter sections to make easier reading the text on the screen.  Readers unfamiliar with the Lancashire dialect might find Samuel Bamford's lexicon to be a useful source of reference.




CONTENTS.
――――♦――――

 

PAGE

"AMEN CORNER," ROCHDALE.  FROM A DRAWING BY J. HOUGHTON HAGUE.  ENGRAVED BY ROBERT LANGTON.

Frontispiece

VIGNETTE BY RANDOLPH CALDECOTT, "A TUFT OF HEATHER."

Title page

"IN THE SINGERS' PEW." DRAWN BY CHARLES POTTER, ENGRAVED BY WILLIAM MORTON

169.

"CARRYING OUT THE BARREL ORGAN." DRAWN BY CHARLES POTTER. ENGRAVED BY WILLIAM MORTON.

172.

PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR.

v.

THE OLD FIDDLER.

1.

JANNOCK.

71.

BARREL ORGAN.

151.

TOLD BY THE WINTER FIRE.

174.

OWD CRONIES.

194.

DEAD MAN'S DINNER.

270.

――――♦――――


 
PREFATORY NOTE.
――――♦――――


THE title of this volume, "Tufts of Heather," seems to have been a favourite one with Waugh.  He has used it to cover different collections of stories, and in different forms.  One of these is "Yeth Bobs an' Scaplins; or, Tufts of Heather an' Chips of Rock."  The phrase is not inapplicable to his writings, in which we often find mingled the freshness and fragrance of the heather flower with the rugged character of the moorland soil.

    In "The Old Fiddler," the first story of the present volume, Waugh touches once more with a loving hand the character of Besom Ben, the narrative of whose adventures he is evidently unwilling to lay down.  The sketch is noticeable chiefly for the snatches of old country songs with which it is plentifully interspersed, and for a really good ghost story "Breawn Dick o' Blacks'n Edge," which the Fiddler tells in Chapter III.

    The story called "Jannock " was published as a separate book of 108 pages in 1874, under the title of "Jannock; or the Bold Trencherman."  In this piece Waugh leaves his own native part of Lancashire, and takes the reader to Broughton-in-Furness and the beautiful valley of the Duldon.  The student of dialects will be interested in comparing Waugh's excellent rendering of the North Lancashire, or Cumberland, folk-speech, with that of the Southern district, which he ordinarily uses.  In addition to the principal incident, "Jannock" contains some good short stories, and an account of Wordsworth's "Wonderful Walker," the famous parson of Seathwaite Chapel, which is perhaps the best that can be obtained.  The burial of his wife and his own death at the age of 93, is told in the eighth chapter with real pathos.

    "The Barrel Organ" is one of Waugh's oldest and most popular pieces, and has probably been published more frequently than any other.  It had reached a fourth edition in 1866, and was then issued as a pamphlet of 31 pages, with the illustrations by Charles Potter, which appear in the present volume.

    "Owd Cronies" was published in a separate form in 1875 as "Old Cronies; or, Wassail in a Country Inn."  The inn, which, with its surroundings, is capitally described, is the Old Boar's Head at Middleton, near Manchester, and the sketch embodies an inimitable story for public reading, that which is known as "The Lancashire Volunteers."  The last paper in the volume, under the title of "The Dead Man's Dinner," gives a charming description of a village in Rossendale, and ends with what is perhaps the most pathetic thing which Waugh has written Lancashire tales: "Tufts of Heather", Volume I. Edited by George Milner, M.A.; published by John Heywood, Manchester (ca. 1890).a sad story of sudden calamity in a poor man's home.

G. M.

 


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