THE BLACK SPRING PRESS GROUP

Hungry Heart Roaming - An Odyssey Of Sorts

By Charles Moseley

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Hungry Heart Roaming: a boy on a beach in the morning of his world; lovers on a  summer shore in Crete; a shadow in a dark Berlin on wet cobbles in a  street  untouched by the bombs of 1945; a man and a woman hand in hand where Iona’s cliffs outface the storms of the autumn Atlantic – and that 
same couple drawn, sunset after sunset, to awed witness of the  murmurations of the winter starlings against the Fenland sunset. So many  birds, each moving independently, yet together as one changing form,  changing direction, mysteriously purposeful. The writing of this book  could not escape that memory: an apparently independent journey through  life, from one shore, one place of departure, to another shore - but all  the time utterly entwined with the lives of others, close and distant,  then and now; a journey shaped by ideas, beliefs, by politics, by  customs, but overriding all  these, by the great events in the past of 
our race, in our own lifetimes, and now, as we move towards an inevitably, increasingly, uncertain future. Powerless? Helped? Helpless? Where do we fit into the swirling patterns?  Thus my heart is hungry to  seek, to find, and not to yield, to roam, to look for my own place within those patterns, patterns often too big to see.  I am a part of all that I have met.

Charles Moseley grew up on the Lancashire coast, he moved to Cambridge to read English and never left.  His varied career includes being a  printer, a publisher and a peasant, but his main role is in teaching literature at the University of Cambridge. When not in the throes of teaching, Charles returns to the little Fenland  village where he has lived for a very long time.

 


This is neither a conventional memoir nor a conventional ‘travel book’: like
Patrick Leigh Fermor’s masterpieces of autobiography, it evokes a landscape
that is both interior and exterior, journeys in understanding and enlarged
imagination, with vivid depictions of remembered and shared delights across
the world.  It is a deeply satisfying book, moving and celebratory.  Like Charles
Moseley’s other books, it is the work of a supremely good companion -
Bishop Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and
former Archbishop of Canterbury


Charles Moseley has written a beautiful and tender memoir. Its apparently
serendipitous sweep through diverse geographies, cultural histories and
memories of his own travels (personal and professional), settles effortlessly into a thoughtful reflection on issues both pertinent and pressing. The kindness of people, the hopelessness of war, the tyranny of political determinism and the inspiration provided by walking and learning provide a uniting set of themes, woven into a very human story of a life lived for scholarship, curiosity, and love.
- Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and formerly Director of National Trust


Wonderful -
Piers Plowright, formerly producer at the BBC

… this profoundly thoughtful and beautiful piece of writing. Your generosity of empathy and spirit is astonishing – and I am impressed by the breadth of your knowledge and understanding of the many Germanies… Wonderful how you weave in your special medievalist's viewpoint, and knowledge, and the personal story at the heart of it all seems to me perfectly judged, without hyperbole or sentimentality, just clear-sighted and moving. - Nicholas Boyle. FBA, Biographer of Goethe and formerly Schroder Professor of German, Cambridge


Just to say that this afternoon, feeling somewhat dispirited, I opened Hungry Heart Roaming again and , dipping and sipping, found myself warmed and cheered by the writing, and by a sense of the dear mind behind the writing. - Eamon Duffy. FBA, Professor of the History of Christianity, Cambridge, author of The Stripping of the Altars




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