The Project Gutenberg EBook of Constable, 
by C. Lewis Hind: The Hay Wain

Having too much time on your hands, yet frequently not enough in a continuous run to get into a really productive writing session (children^, cat, wife in the NHS and very busy, cooking, general inability to concentrate) you find yourself trawling through old flash drives going; ‘Uh? What the…?’ and ‘Oh, I like that!’ The latter unfortunately being outnumbered 10 to 1 by the former.

One of the latter however was this – written by the look of things in 2005 for a BBC Radio4 Front Row spoof on the then very hot ‘Da Vinci’ Code. The brief was to write a 100 word (or shorter) pitch for a Dan Brown*-esque treatment of a well know cultural artefact and the mystery/conspiracy/plot around it.

They didn’t use it and I had no idea what else to do with it – haven’t written the book yet – thank goodness – so here it is, for you, in all its glory!


Blair, Kennedy, Howard, each from a Celtic country. Could the prophecy be true? Wilson seized Charlotte’s hand, evaded the grip of the three Arch Druids and dived through the fourth floor window.

The symbolism of The Hay Wain shrieked at him louder than Charlotte’s fear as they plummeted towards the Thames. The Lydney dog cult of the Silures, the horse of the Iceni and Trinovantes from Constable’s own country, the Lindow Man like water sacrifice. The Celtic Twilight was coming.

Constable! Of course! The keeper, of a castle, the country, the dark secret! The black water closed over their heads.


I was frequently a bit snotty about Mr Brown, but while you can be sniffy about his literary style, it’s *****y hard to argue with the sales figures, and to be fair they are rollicking paced action stories with loads of hooks into bits of European cultural history (however weirdly presented) most people would never think about. He has also done some really good work with the cash; making obscure and unattainable books available online for example.

^ As if to prove my point just after I wrote that, my son arrived seeking sustenance – so I cooked our lunch, my daughter complained incessantly about Royal Mail not arriving with her birthday present – over a month late and a very long story – and parcels my wife ordered online began arriving in a volley of knocks on the door, rung doorbells and me piking them up from the drive. 

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