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Glamour and grime

September 20, 2010

Just in case anyone’s missed it, here’s the link to the appeal for funds to buy the fabulous Roman cavalry helmet recently unearthed in Cumbria. Tullie House Museum is a great location and would be absolutely the right place to display such a wonderful find. Fingers crossed.

(The Mail Online has some better close-up photos, plus an entertaining mock-up of the finder, who’s wisely chosen to stay silent.)

Meanwhile, at the less spectacular end of archaeology, a group of volunteers assembled last week to lift the waterlogged oak beams discovered this summer at Whitehall Roman Villa. There are some good photos of this rewarding (if squelchy) event on the Whitehall Villa mini-blog.

LATER – and anyone wanting the full story can watch it on video here

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2 comments

  1. Love the quotation…and audiobooks are great, especially now with MP3 format so you don’t always have to have a book on huge batches of CDs. Did you have any input when Ruso’s adventures were produced in audio versions? I was lucky and was allowed to be producer on mine; somebody else did the technical stuff, thank goodness!. They threw up an interesting problem which you and I and other Roman-era writers have to deal with. Do you, and if so how, differentiate in sound between the various “nationalities” in the Roman Empire – e.g. between Romans and native Celts? Or between masters/mistresses and their slaves? I give mine different accents (fortunately Jacqueline King, my reader, is brilliant at this.) I know it’s very arbitrary but maybe it helps readers.


    • Hi Jane,
      Good to know that all your radio experience is coming in useful!
      I had very little input into the audiobooks, which was probably just as well. They did ask which of two voices I thought was more appropriate for the British version, but in fact either would have been fine.
      The audio threw up one challenge I hadn’t anticipated, tho’. I’d included Tilla’s British name (Darlughdacha) as a joke because Ruso doesn’t know how to pronounce it. Neither did the reader, and when he asked for guidance I had to admit that I hadn’t a clue either. Luckily my brother works at an Irish university and found several academics who were eager to debate it., so the final recording was as authentic as we’re likely to get.

      I wish I could remember who, faced with a long complicated Swedish novel, decided that rather than check umpteen words on every page, it would be quicker to learn Swedish… Not sure if it was Gordon Griffin (who doesn’t read mine, but is wonderful) or a story he tells about somebody else.

      As for the different characters – I hear them differently when I’m writing, and hope that comes out in the syntax, but giving them audibly distinctive voices is a real skill. I guess it’s another of the reasons most audiobooks are read by ‘proper’ actors. Effectively, they’re being asked to perform a play all by themselves. And with the headphones on, don’t you feel they’re doing it just for you?



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