Wednesday, 21 February 2007

John Dowland

This evening I went to a dinner at Middle Temple. I have to go to a certain number of dinners before I can become a qualified barrister.

There was an address after dinner by the Reader of the Inn, Sir Stephen Oliver QC, on the subject of John Dowland. Dowland was a 16th/17th century lutenist, who seems to have lived a quite extraordinary life. A Catholic, he was refused the position of lutenist to Elizabeth I, and spent subsequent years travelling round Europe, falling in with a band of Catholics plotting the Queen's assassination, before ending up at the court of the King of Denmark. Eventually he returned to England and became lutenist to James I. In about 1612 he played at Middle Temple, receiving the sum of five guineas for his performance. The speech was followed by a performance of some of Dowland's compositions, accompanied by a woman who did quite amazing things with a rope (at one point I was sure she would fall to her doom), in the name of performing art.

What really struck me about Dowland's story was, that this is the kind of fascinating thing that is being resolutely eradicated by the liberal left. There is no chance of John Dowland's very interesting life ever being mentioned in English schools in the current climate, because that will distract teachers from their main duty of explaining how evil white people are, and how wonderful the culture of everyone who isn't white is. Of course, Dowland was only a minor figure even in his day, but he is symbolic of an entire culture, our own, that is being removed from the history books, in order to make room for a new, multicultural, story of the British Isles.

1 comment:

MrSmith said...

British schools don't seem to be teaching what they ought to at all anymore, which is a real shame. Oddly, it's not a new thing. We seem to have been set on this suicidal course a while ago, but by whom remains a mystery.

Some interesting stuff on education by another (perhaps better-known) English Catholic can be found here.

Nice blog, I shall watch it with interest.