As you may (or may not) recall I visited Rochester towards the end of this summer with the aim of visiting the Cathedral as well as one of the biggest secondhand bookshops in England, Baggins Book Bazaar (you can see my post here). On that occasion I was unable to visit both places and, of course, the books came first! This weekend just gone, though, I was able to revisit Rochester (with the intention of spending more of my birthday money on books) and I had time to see the wonderful Cathedral!
Rochester Cathedral is a mix of ancient and modern. It has over 1,400 years of Christian witness and worship on the site, so the leaflet says. However, it was interesting to note that in the nineteenth century Rochester became one of the poorest Dioceses in the country. It was robbed of many of its treasures and the Cathedral, itself, became a place of ill repute where drinking and gambling often took place. Nowadays, it is a Grade I listed building that has been restored, and still continues to be restored, to its original grandness. My favourite place was the Cathedral gardens. It was a tranquil and peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded high street (which was particularly busy due to the opening of a Christmas Market in the Castle grounds) .
I also went back to Baggins Book Bazaar and Oxfam. I came back with a massive book haul (probably my biggest yet)!
From top to bottom:
- Germinal by Émile Zola.
- Homestead by Rosina Lippi.
- The World my Wilderness by Rose Macauley.
- The Friendly Young Ladies by Mary Renault.
- Larry’s Party by Carol Shields.
- Incantations and Other Stories by Anjana Appachana.
- Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman.
- O Pioneers! by Willa Carther.
- The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton.
- The Way-Paver by Anne Devlin.
- Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert.
- Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick.
- Cranford and Cousin Phillis by Elizabeth Gaskell.
- Villette by Charlotte Brontë.
Again, from top to bottom:
- Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell.
- Night and Day by Virginia Woolf.
- Time After Time by Molly Keane.
- South Riding by Winifred Holtby.
- Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larson.
- Literature and Gender edited by Lizbeth Goodman.