… wish I didn’t feel so muzzy and vaguely unreal … (Diary, 28/5/88)

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May 28th Saturday. Diane washed my hair for me this morning. Great relief. Head beastly – not of course improved by hair wash. Wish I didn’t feel so muzzy & vaguely unreal. Have hit all kinds of complications at the moment with Catraeth, too

I was unsure for a good while about the second last word. Was it the name of a character and thus part of a rare comment in Rosemary’s diary about her writing work? Was it ‘cathedral’ – she wrote some community play or plays at some point.

excerpt Rosemary Sutcliff diary 28/5/88

I have however, I think, worked it out. It is a point about her writing, but about an event not a character. At this time Rosemary Sutcliff was writing her award-winning book The Shining Company, her young adult and children’s novel which included the Battle of Catraeth (which is believed happened around or a little before 600AD). The battle is commemorated in Y Gododdina medieval Welsh poem. It is a collection of elegies to the men of the kingdom of Gododdin and its allies who died fighting Angles at Catraeth .

One comment

  1. Seems likely to me – I recall she referred to Shining Company as “Catraeth” in another entry somewhere.

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