Whenever I think of Big Ben I think of World War II and Virginia Woolf. When the Nazi Luftwaffe bombed London in World War II the clock kept chiming regularly. In Mrs. Dalloway Big Ben is ubiquitous. It seems ominous in this novel because all the characters are people living on borrowed time, most of all the veteran Septimus whose dead friend stalks him day and night. Septimus who marries a “silly” woman who wants to devote herself to millinery, hoping she would rub off on him, make him normal, make him appreciate frivolity. Septimus is a mad shadow of someone who went off to war and never came back.
It’s strange that after hearing about this clock for so long I never saw a picture of it. I thought it would this ugly collosus but it sits atop a rather lean tower. Framed in gold, it looks more like a fancy Swiss watch than Septimus’ death knoll.
This is a continuing series of posts about my first trip to London in June. Many more pictures and adventures to share. See full list of stuff to come here: Best of London in 5 Days for travel tips!