KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

burn and lend incense to the old rooms. Only green ash wood is used for fuel in Sussex. Sare— that is the local word for withered wood—is never used :
" Burn ash-wood green, Fit fuel for a Queen : Burn ash-wood sare Twool make a man swear."
What a wonderful thing is the tickle of ash-wood smoke! It is a little flitting ghost of an odour subtle with suggestions of the English country-side and home. Surely it is one of the most poignant of our emotions, this nostalgia born of a whiff of wood smoke. Kipling knows the odour of burning logs as the parent of visions and reveries, for I find him telling the Royal Geographical Society (February 18, 1914), all about this primal and elemental appeal to our emotions :
" I suggest, subject to correction—there are only two elementary smells of universal appeal—the smell of burning fuel and the smell of melting grease. The smell, that is, of what man cooks his food over, and what he cooks his food in. Fuel ranges from coal to cowdung— specially cowdung—and cocoanut-husk; grease from butter through ghi to palm and cocoanut oil; and these two, either singly or in combination, make the back­ground and furnish the active poison of nearly all the
Previous Contents Next