Christopher Hawtree

the pillowbook of Christopher Hawtree, writer and Green Party councillor for Central Hove

Donnybrook (n)

Posted on | April 15, 2012 | No Comments

In a recent piece about a natural-history programme Queen of the Savannah, Clive James observed that “when half a dozen new queens are born at once, one of them will poison all the others, usually with a quick stab through the cell wall but sometimes as the climax of the full bitch-slapping donnybrook”.

This has gained transatlantic currency since its emergence in the middle of the nineteenth century – around the time, in 1855, that a Fair, held in a village near Dublin, was closed down for having become the scene of one riot too many in the years since it had been granted a licence by King John in 1204. Two years after the Irish fair had been silenced, it was revived, albeit in Walsh, Ontario, where it continues, with an emphasis upon encouraging schoolchildren rather than rioting – unless, of course, you count that strange, automobile-smashing joust known as a demolition derby. Meanwhile, has any parent inadvertently named a child Donny Brooke?


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    Christopher Hawtree is the Green Party Councillor for Central Hove but items are posted here in a personal capacity as an individual.

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