Thursday, 21 February 2019

Fire on the mountain

This is one of the more poignant photos from the gallery -- Mistress Martha visiting the family enclosure in Cilgwyn Churchyard, where her husband and the other members of the Morgan family are buried......

The image of the mountain on fire (at the head of this page) is one taken by photographer Steve Mallett, which he has very kindly allowed us to use in the context of branding and marketing Martha Morgan Country and all things related.  I think it's a fantastic image, and you can see it on Steve's portfolio here:

The image of Rhiannon is also taken by Steve, and we have superimposed it for the "title image".  Rhiannon, Steve and I had a great time on the photo shoot, and you can see more here:

at much better definition than we can manage on the blog or on Facebook.

Let's talk symbolism.  Of course, people will see their own symbols where they want to.  But the sunset theme we have used for the background image is a nice one for the period in which Martha's story is set.  The old order, in which the minor gentry controlled everything in Wales, was fading away just as the light fades at the end of the day.  Things were changing everywhere, with the rise of the big landowners as they snaffled up the smaller estates and started to make serious money from industrial enterprises.  At the same time communications were improving at an unprecedented rate, with better roads and the coming of the railways.  There was a huge demand for penal reform, the reform of the electoral system,  the reform of education, the emancipation of women and freedom of worship.  Then there was the abolition of slavery, the tragedy and the scandal of the Irish Famine (involving a British Government pursuing a policy of genocide), concern about the living conditions of the poor, the evangelical revivals, and so on and so on..........  Martha was involved in all of these great issues, getting far too close to the action on many occasions during her adventurous life.

Which brings us to fire on the mountain.  That's a powerful symbol too -- and particularly appropriate since the burning down of the Plas is the event that starts the story and which has endless repercussions thereafter.  There are other fires too -- especially the inferno that follows the most brutal event in the whole saga, in the novel called "Sacrifice."  Martha cannot resist playing with fire -- she does not have a particularly fiery temperament, but she is incorrigible, stubborn, loyal and fearless  -- and always gets too close to the flames...........

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