Tuesday, 4 August 2015

An #American In…Smithfield

David writes…

Okay, yes, this is a teaser. Necessarily so.* But it’s also a really good recommendation.

The recommendation – this one’s especially for my (David’s) compatriots (my fellow Americans) – is this: if you’re on my Shakespeare’s& Dickens’s London walk on a Sunday afternoon make sure you ask me about the sensational American connection in Smithfield. You’re going to have to ask me because I keep this one close to my chest. It’s not a card that I play every time I do that walk. It’s a request job. And I want the request to be floated my way on chewy dipthongs. 

Not going to say more than that – for the very good reasons asterisked below. Just make sure you ask. You’re not going to find this out on any other tour. And certainly not in any guidebook. And believe me, it’s worth finding out  – especially if you’re from the other side of the pond.

*Necessarily so because we’ve called time on handing our best stuff – hard earned** all of it – on a plate to the knock-offs.

**Hard earned in this case being very wide reading that yielded up a slender lead. A slender lead that stumped Professor Google but wasn’t proof against some serious digging in a research library. The dig was fun. Well, you tell yourself that. Keeps you going. But when you hit it – if you hit it – well, that’s rainbow rainbow rainbow. You’re not putting a brave face on it – telling yourself “this is fun” – it really is fun. Better than fun, actually – hugely rewarding. The research equivalent – for an American – of finding the Hope diamond. Stunned reaction. Wow and double Wow. You mean right here, in Smithfield? How neat is that? Talk about a frisson – mainlines you right back to that very special April day, to what was arguably the most important moment in American history.   

Shakespeare's & Dickens's London meets at St Paul's tube at 2pm on Sundays

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.

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