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Yew sets ancient tone of burial ground

It might be thought that when Thomas Hardy stepped aside from his narrative in Jude The Obscure to describe Shaston, or Shaftesbury, “on the summit of a steep and imposing scarp, rising … out of the deep alluvial vale of Blackmoor” as “one of the queerest and quaintest spots in England”, he was being unduly fanciful. But if, today, you turn aside from St John’s Hill, close to that summit, in to a small enclosed space beside…

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Costume Dramas

Television This Winter: 20 Shows to Keep on Your Radar Screen

via The New York Times ‘UNDERGROUND’ (WGN America, March 9) After “12 Years a Slave,” television gets its own realistic period drama about slavery. Aldis Hodge (“Leverage”) stars as a blacksmith who organizes a group of slaves for an escape attempt along the Underground Railroad. Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood”) plays another escapee and Christopher Meloni appears as the obligatory sympathetic white man. The soap-opera elements and rock and hip-hop soundtrack could help make it a hit.

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