Roger Deakin on Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair has been writing about King’s Cross and St Pancras, and Aidan Dun. He returns yet again to Dun’s 1955* poem ‘Vale Royal‘ about Blake’s vision of St Pancras as a sacred place, a centre of energy, with St Pancras, the boy martyr, presiding over it, with Mary Wollstonecraft buried there, and Thomas Hardy’s ash tree rising, growing out of a rubble of gravestones like a stack of books in a bookshop. A tree rising out of the dead – Yggdrasil, the world tree, a great symbol of life in the face of the developers who have been under criticism for expunging this place ever since Dickens wrote his great passage on the coming of the railway to Camden in Dombey and Son.”

Roger Deakin ‘Notes from Walnut Tree Farm (pub 2009) – written some time 2000-2006

*Note: Vale Royal by Aidan Dun was published in 1995 not 1955.


  1. Russell   •  

    Interesting fellow Deakin as is his erstwhile mate, Richard Mandy. Deakin had his own moat that he used to swim in regularly – looking forward to reading arguably his best work: Waterlog. Thanks John.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      It’s a great book Russell, you won’t be disappointed

      • Russell   •  

        Cheers John. His writing was rarely prosaic with more than a hint, perhaps, of allegorical admonition? e.g. from Waterlog: ‘The greatest excitement on living on islands like these [Scilly islands] must be the sheer variety and constant surprise of what gets washed up on your local beach or rocks. For one woman, out strolling on the Port Hellick beach on St Mary’s on 22 October 1707, the surprise was Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Admiral of the Fleet, whose flagship, HMS Association, was wrecked on the Gilstone Rock along with three other ships, and two thousand men were lost. Sir Cloudsley was miraculously still just alive, so she promptly murdered him for his emerald rings’.

        • JohnR   •     Author

          wonderful quote Russell

  2. Russell   •  

    Richard Mabey. Text prediction is cretinous:)

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