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A CEMETERY IN REYKJAVIK, ICELAND


Richard St Barbe Baker, whom I knew when I was a child, said that trees and vegetation are earth's skin, and that when there is less than a third, it cannot survive. As I walked to Mass in Iceland each morning I would pass a cemetery. Very beautiful it was and very strange because the great birch trees would gnarl themselves about the tombs. In Iceland there are no trees, the sheep having eaten them. Except in cemeteries, where, protected, they flourish. So I asked Kristín Bragadóttir of Iceland's National Library Preservation Section to have them photographed for me. These are taken by her husband, Sveinn Magnússon. Iceland's population is so small that surnames are one's father's Christian name, followed by 'dottir' for the daughter, 'son' for the son.


 

Photographs, Sveinn Magnússon

Yet when the Irish, who were here before the Vikings, came, this island was filled with great forests, apart from the glaciers and the magma. The Vikings came next, with dairy farming and sheep herding, clearing the forests for a high protein diet, where the Irish hermits had been content with fishing, growing leeks and beans, and living in huts with their bells and their books. The Vikings used the timber clearing from the forests for building their houses, their ships, and marauded other lands, bringing back Irish Christian slaves. Genetically, Icelanders are more Irish than Viking, though linguistically theirs is the purest form the English language has, as it would have been before the Norman Conquest, again wrought by Vikings who this time had settled in France and whose children grew up speaking the French of their raped mothers. For the Vikings in the next generation with a veneer of Christianity from conversion, as Normans from Scandinavia, England, Normandy and Sicily, would become the dreaded 'Crusaders' of the Holy Land. One creates a warrior caste through trauma conquest. Violence begets violence.

Eventually, all the trees gone, the Icelanders could no longer put out to sea. The Black Death reached them fifty years later than the rest of Europe.



Many Protestant Irish serving in the British military forces in India found burial in Florence's 'English' Cemetery. Meanwhile, in Ireland at that time, Catholics were dying in the Potato Famine, and being buried in umarked graves. See

http://www.iol.ie/~anchorhold/HolyPlaces/famine2.jpg
www.iol.ie/~anchorhold/HolyPlaces/faminegraveyard.htm

http://www.authenticireland.com/irish+potato+famine



See also 

and Roy Bateson's http://www.irishgraves.com/, http://www.deadireland.com/

FLORIN WEBSITE © JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAYAUREO ANELLO ASSOCIAZIONE, 1997-2017: MEDIEVAL: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, SWEET NEW STYLE: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, & GEOFFREY CHAUCER || VICTORIAN: WHITE SILENCE: FLORENCE'S 'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING || WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR || FRANCES TROLLOPE || || HIRAM POWERS || ABOLITION OF SLAVERY || FLORENCE IN SEPIA  || CITY AND BOOK CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII || MEDIATHECA 'FIORETTA MAZZEI' || EDITRICE AUREO ANELLO CATALOGUE || FLORIN WEBSITE || UMILTA WEBSITE || RINGOFGOLD WEBSITE || LINGUE/LANGUAGES: ITALIANO, ENGLISH || VITA
New
: Dante vivo || White Silence