MadamBellCapsItems mentioned in / related to the interview

Mentions of the Ooser and Skimmity Riding by Thomas Hardy

  • The Ooser mentioned by Thomas Hardy in his The Return of the Native (1878) available at Project Gutenburg (emphasis added):

Mrs. Yeobright spoke to him as one in a mesmeric sleep. " 'Tis a long way home, my child, and we shall not get there till evening."

"I shall," said her small companion. "I am going to play marnels afore supper, and we go to supper at six o'clock, because father comes home. Does your father come home at six too?"

"No, he never comes; nor my son either, nor anybody."

"What have made you so down? Have you seen a ooser?"

"I have seen what's worse—a woman's face looking at me through a window-pane."

"Is that a bad sight?"

"Yes. It is always a bad sight to see a woman looking out at a weary wayfarer and not letting her in."

  • Skimmity riding mentioned by Thomas Hardy in his The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) available at Project Gutenburg (emphasis added):

" “I say, what a good foundation for a skimmity-ride,” said Nance.

“True,” said Mrs. Cuxsom, reflecting. “'Tis as good a ground for a skimmity-ride as ever I knowed; and it ought not to be wasted. The last one seen in Casterbridge must have been ten years ago, if a day.”

OoserScratchings

Acknowledgements

  • Slide show image: The original Dorset Ooser mask, photographed by John W.Chaffin and Sons of Yeovil sometime between 1883 and 1891 [copyright expired]; cropped, sharpened, aspect ratio altered, vignette added

Special Note

  • Listeners who may be concerned about the verisimilitude of the information contained in this particular podcast are kindly advised to consult the publication date.

DorsetOoserVignette

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