part of the kingdom of Mercia. Occupying
a large part of central England, Mercia stretched from Wales in the
west to the kingdom of the East Angles (East Anglia) in the east and
from the West Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the south to Northumbria
in the north.
The philosopher Thomas
Hobbes died in 1679 at Hardwick
Hall and is buried at Ault Hucknall.
I put for a general inclination of
all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power,
that ceaseth only in death.
I am about to take my last voyage,
a great leap in the dark.
(Last words, 1679)
Cowper Powys was born in the county in Shirley in 1872. With ancestors
on his mother's side of the family who included the poets John Donne
and William Cowper, he himself became a writer as did two of his younger
brothers: Theodore Francis, born in
1875 and Llewelyn, born in 1884. He
grew up in the West Country and it was this rural upbringing that
featured so prominently in the books he wrote later in life. After
spending a quarter of a century in the USA he returned to the British
Isles and settled in Wales.
He felt as though, with aeroplanes
spying down upon every retreat like ubiquitous vultures, with the
lanes invaded by iron-clad motors like colossal beetles, with no sea,
no lake, no river free from throbbing, thudding engines, the one thing
most precious of all in the world was being steadily assassinated.