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PAINTINGS BY ROLF JORDAN
was inspired initially by Finzi's 'The
comet at Yell'ham'.
I started to wonder which comet Hardy had seen to inspire
It wasTebutt's Comet of June 1881 - which didn't quite fit my remit,
because I wanted a winter sky, and a comet that might also have
Finzi's lifetime. Halley's Comet appeared in 1910,
but not in winter ( and was a
disappointment besides), but a source picture
- a rare Delft commemorative plate
- indicated that there had been a second famous
comet in 1910. This was bright
enough even to be seen in daylight and is
variously known as 1910a, the Winter
Comet, Great Comet
(a name given to the brightest comet in any given year), and
Presumably, in 1910, old Hardy and young Finzi would both have seen
swift shine' (in those far-off days of zero light pollution).
The only image of
this mysterious comet is stylised version, on the Delft plate."