|Goth Walk XXXI: Tell Me Strange Things, the enigma of Fr Montague Summers
||[Dec. 10th, 2013|06:32 pm]
Saturday 7 December
this was the goth meet up 31st Goth Walk on Tell Me Strange Things, the enigma of Fr Montague Summers
“During the year 1927 the striking and sombre figure of the Reverend Montague Summers, in black soutane and cloak, with buckled shoes—a la Louis Quatorze—and shovel hat, could often have been seen entering or leaving the reading room of the British Museum, carrying a large black portfolio bearing on its side a white label showing, in bloodred capitals, the legend "VAMPIRES."”
Through the early-20th-century worlds of literature, theatre, religion and the occult wove the peculiar figure of Alphonsus Augustus Joseph-Mary Montague Summers, scholar, clergyman, impresario and, so rumour suggested, one-time black magician. The man who rescued from the condescension of posterity figures from Aphra Behn to Gothic novelists to obscure Restoration dramatists, he also claimed to believe absolutely in witches, vampires and werewolves, and wrote learned books about them. Nobody could quite make him out, and he hid various aspects of his life even from his closest friends. Some even whispered that he could vanish at will. Aleister Crowley once claimed to have turned him into a giraffe.
We will spend what I hope will be a merry couple of hours chasing Montie and his disparate enthusiasms around Bloomsbury, Soho, and St James’s, and try to come to some conclusions about who this very Gothic personage really was.
I have a few of his books but lots i didn't know about him, so it was very interesting to learn about all his other interests, especially his influence on gothic literature . It was quite a walk, we went around west end and Bloomsbury for around 3 hours, quite an achievement to tag along such a large group (around 20+) in crowded sat before xmas west end. Sadly unable to join everyone in the pub afterwards as we had to rush home to get food and ready for Tanz.