Jersey: The Hidden Histories
Author Paul Darroch hosts a discussion on his landmark new book
In this CHOW session we will be joined by history writer, Business Connect member and CHOW Regular Paul Darroch as he walks us through some of the stories he re-tells his recently published book "Jersey: The Hidden Histories"; helping us to exlore the intersections between faith and history and why the two must always be in conversation with each other.
Here are some introductory words from Paul:
I will be reading some of the "hidden histories" from my book and discusing some themes that may have relevance for the contemporary church.
My talk will unpack in a more overtly Christian context some of the themes I explored at my recent Festival of Words event on the power and resonance of both history and story. My book opens with the phrase: "History is breaking in. It explodes over the Jersey skies with the force of an electrical storm". How does history continue to mould our landscape, our perceptions, our Island and our churches?
From my recent Festival talk:
"Just as Chaplin could never truly escape his past, I genuinely have come to feel that our history is always with us, like the deep subconscious, the mysterious stranger outside, hammering on the glass window of our world, trying to break in. We all live in streets and villages, towns and cities, houses, which were built, named and inhabited by the long dead. We all inherit the passions, conflicts and dreams of history somewhere deep in our bones.
The centuries break over Jersey like the tides, leaving only pools of hidden stories. And in hearing these tales we become a little less sure of the utter self-importance and permanence of our own world. Every generation believes itself to be the pinnacle of refinement and civilisation; every generation is wrong. Upon closer examination, even the age-old landscape of Jersey turns out to be a fleeting illusion. Our beautiful coastline and beaches are actually just a few thousand years old. We are merely squatting here on a temporary hilltop above the flood. All around us lies the original, drowned world, the hunting trails and barrows of our ancestors that have been swept away by the waves".
Here's the back cover blurb
Panoramic in scope, Jersey: The Hidden Histories is a spellbinding journey into the life and times of this entrancing Island. It is painted on a canvas that stretches from the primeval hunters crossing the tundra to the arrival of the first aeroplane in the magical summer of 1912, on the eve of the Great War.
Imaginative and vibrant, this is history seen through the eyes of those who witnessed it; an unknown Charlie Chaplin exploding onto the stage of the Jersey Opera House; Queen Victoria travelling to Gorey Castle in the sultry September heat; Sir Walter Raleigh strutting into the States Chamber. This is the story of Karl Marx supping in St Helier; the fugitive King Charles II seeking sanctuary in the Town Church, and Lillie Langtry treading the boards in her prime.
Jersey: The Hidden Histories is the biography of an Island perched on the frontier between clashing kingdoms, brimming with a rich cast of iconic characters. Paul Darroch brings history vividly to life, as the narrative sweeps from the green parishes of home to the distant shores where a New Jersey would be born.