steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

1809 Apples

Alas, the original Bramley apple tree, planted in 1809, is dying. I was amazed to find (a few years ago) that it was even alive, but now I feel robbed. Damn you, 2016!

We owe that wonderfully tart cooking apple to a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, who planted the original pips - just around the time the ten-year-old Mary Anning began scouring Charmouth beach for ichthyosaurs. 1809 is also the year in which Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is set, featuring the precocious Thomasina Coverly with her anticipations of chaos theory and the second law of thermodynamics - a figure no less impressive for being fictional. Ada Lovelace and Grace Darling wouldn't be born for another six years, but I can't help feeling that there's an earlier squad of bad-ass nineteenth-century girls here (call them the Mostly Marys) who really need to be given life by Kate Beaton, or possibly Henry Darger - if he hadn't died half a lifetime ago.
Tags: maunderings
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