5
Sep 03

I’ve been reading KING MOB

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 212 views

I’ve been reading KING MOB: The Story of Lord George Gordon and the Riots of 1780, by Christopher Hibbert. I’ve no idea whether it’s a well-regarded pop-history piece or not, but I’m enjoying it despite its rather uneven pacing. The legal drama in the penultimate chapter could do with a bit of jollying up, too, perhaps in the manner of Murder One, or at least Rumpole of the Bailey. Presumably this book was at least part of the inpiration behind the name of the late ’60s British pro-Situ bunch King Mob, but that is the very definition of another story.

Anyhow, I’ve become so accustomed to the phrase “NO POPERY!” from the book that I thought I’d look in on our friends in Westminster Cathedral, London’s pre-eminent Catholic church. I sometimes pop in there to have a look at the terrific Eric Gill Stations of the Cross (and his amazing Christ Triumphant in St George’s Chapel), but what struck me today more than ever was the unfinished nature of the decoration.

As you walk in there’s a drawing of how it will look when it’s finished: a blinding basilica of marble and mosaic. As it stands, though, it’s dark and brooding above the confectionary-ness of the two-tone marble of the first storey. Past that it’s largely brown-grey brickwork and gloomy unlit domes, which will one day be absurdly bright. I don’t suppose it will be finished in my lifetime.

Always nice to have a swift one round the back in the Cardinal, too.

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