The Portrait Of A Tortoise

Cast your mind back to the sixteenth of January. That was the day I posted an item, under the heading Mrs Snooke’s Tortoise, about Sylvia Townsend Warner’s 1946 book The Portrait Of A Tortoise, where she extracted from the Journals of the 18th century clergyman Gilbert White all the entries regarding his tortoise, Timothy. I suggested at the time that a reading of this would make a splendid special edition of Hooting Yard On The Air, and lo! it has come to pass. I recorded it this morning, and it will be broadcast on ResonanceFM over the Christmas/New Year fortnight. I am not yet sure of the date, but keep an eye on the schedule and be sure not to miss it.

UPDATE : The programme will be broadcast at 12.20 PM on Boxing Day, December 26th.

3 thoughts on “The Portrait Of A Tortoise

  1. Will this Chelonian escapade be available in Podcast form for those of us regrettably embroiled in other engagements at the time of the broadcast?

    Surely Plautus the Tortoise in Sir T Stoppard’s ‘Arcadia’ owes his existence to White’s Timothy … as well as to the unfortunate tortoise, Pat, who gets trampled during the earlier ‘Jumpers’ by the same playwright.

    There’s a good tortoise part in ‘Kafka’s Dick’ by Alan Bennett too (not so good, perhaps, if you happen to be the tortoise in question, who gets urinated upon).

    Good subject for a pamphlet … West End Tortoises.

    Or a Petshop Boys number.

  2. My husband and I just listened to this podcast and I adored it. I immediately decided I need to add to my library of crumbling and ill treated but loved old books, copies of this book and the original book by White. I also discovered, there was another famous Timothy the Tortoise, who has only just died a few years back, that lived out two wars and was aboard war ships. He spend the remainder of his days at Powderham castle, guest of the Earl of Devon. All very interesting. Thank you for what you do, please continue to do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.