I wrote this short story in the Ye Olde Mitre Tavern in London over the Winter of 2016. The story follows a dual narrative about two writers struggling to write in this pub. The present writer of 2016 and the other writer of 1837.
Built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishops of Ely the pub can be found hidden away between alleys and courts near Hatton Gardens. The Ye Olde Mitre tavern is know for having a cherry tree (which now supports the front of the bar) that reportedly Queen Elizabeth once danced around.
I was fascinated with the paradoxical nature of the process – I was a writer writing on the ritual of writing within the space my characters were also inhabiting. Through these characters’ portraits I discovered a persistence of the past existing within my own unstable present. I attempted to examine these ‘curious trap doors’ of connection, where language and imagery remained preserved in the spell of time. A powerful image in the process became the concept of a writer in the past looking forward and a writer in the present looking backwards. I felt there could be possibilities they may sense each other, or at least feel the other’s shadow. However, the core of this story I found while sitting alone in the tavern with my notepad, where at times, the space somehow wrote itself.
Multimedia is used within the story so the link below holds the PDF.
© Simon Jagger