Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Umbra Sumus

Umbra Sumus (We Are Shadows)

The title is taken from the inscription on a sundial erected during the 1740’s on the wall of a chapel in Fournier Street, East London, UK, perhaps based on an earlier line by Horace -- pulvis et umbra sumus, or "we are dust and shadows").  The chapel is now a mosque, and is located not far from the Ten Bells public house, notorious for its connection to Jack the Ripper.  One of the Ripper's victims, Annie Chapman, may been drinking at the pub shortly before she was murdered; the last known and most horrifically mutilated victim, Mary Kelly, a 25-year old prostitute, is thought to have regularly solicited her clients outside the Ten Bells. Dust and shadows...