The Curious Power of Statues
Have recent news stories maybe given you cause to contemplate the improbable power of statues to incite violence? To ponder how previously unnoticed blocks of metal and stone suddenly become so visible, so divisive? How long-forgotten memorials now evoke extreme emotions, cause civil unrest even?
If so, you might imagine this a relatively modern phenomenon; enacted by under-represented sectors of society enraged, but also empowered, by recent appalling events. But it has a prescient echo from the past. An eerily similar drama, played out on the streets of south London, became a national cause célèbre over a century ago. Where the medical elite of London took to the street in protest of a simple statue; class warfare, questions in parliament, mindless, repeated vandalism and, finally, the dead-of-night, audacious theft of the statue ensued.
This is the story, that of a seemingly innocuous memorial of a stray dog, unveiled in an out-of-the-way small patch of green in south London, that’s at the heart of my novel Little Brown Dog, to be published by the independent women’s publishing press Honno in September 2021. Please get in contact HERE if you would like to learn more.