Tag Archives: Opening paragraphs

Many Storks

Number 13, image from MR James podcast

Among the towns of Jutland, Viborg justly holds a high place. It is the seat of a bishopric; it has a handsome but almost entirely new cathedral, a charming garden, a lake of great beauty, and many storks. Near it is Hald, accounted one of the prettiest things in Denmark; and hard by is Finderup, where Marsk Stig murdered King Erik Glipping on St Cecilia’s Day, in the year 1286. Fifty-six blows of square-headed iron maces were counted on Erik’s skull when his tomb was opened in the seventeenth century. But I am not writing a guide book.

It is my ambition to write a history book with an opening paragraph as good as that one, from the MR James story Number 13.

Click image for source, which is the relevant episode of the MR James podcast, A podcast to the curious, whose existence I’ve just discovered while doing an image search for a suitably creepy number 13.

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