EUROPE: The Great Frost

Birds froze in mid-air and fell like stones to the ground. At Norwich a young countrywoman started to cross the road in her usual robust health and was seen by the onlookers to turn visibly to powder and be blown in a puff of dust over the roofs. . . . Corpses froze and could not be drawn from the sheets,. .. It was commonly supposed that the great increase of rocks in Derbyshire was due to . . . the solidification of unfortunate wayfarers. . . .

Thus Virginia Woolf, in Orlando, described Britain's legendary Great Frost in the...

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