Foreign News: The Bastion

One day in 1933, Simon Elwes (pronounced El-wez), a young socialite painter who was visiting friends in Yorkshire, decided to have a look at the local ruin, Fountains Abbey. He expected to see a heap of charming and tedious rubble. He saw a heart-touching sweep of Norman, Gothic and Jacobean stone, lichenous and somnolent in great gardens beside the fleet little River Skell. The 814-year-old abbey (desecrated by order of Henry VIII) is England's noblest monastic ruin. Yet it was not its ruinous beauty that most moved Elwes, but his sudden realization of...

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