Philobiblon: An acute observer

Friday, March 24, 2006

An acute observer

As promised, only an hour or so late, I've just posted the second half of Miss Frances William Wynn's account of The Old Woman of Delamere Forest.

In it, she shows herself once again to be an acute observer of human nature. She lacks our vocabulary to talk about mental illness, but she's very aware of some of the dividing lines:

In the strange tale of the old woman, I cannot help believing there was much of self-delusion, and that, when that was removed, she had recourse to falsehood to bolster up her fallen credit: but it seems to me quite impossible to say exactly where delusion ended and deception began. I see that my sister and I should not fix the boundary at the same place: she has more faith in the old liar than I can have.

Miss Williams Wynn certainly paints a strong picture of the women's character, which reminds me, rather too closely really, of someone I know.


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