Forelsket - Nick Goring

£19.00 - £56.00

64 pp / 235 x 190mm
Fedrigoni papers:
350gsm Uncoated cover
170gsm Uncoated text
Limited edition of 150 + 15 special editions
ISBN 978-1-7391212-8-0

Available as a Special Edition, limited to 15 copies - each with an A4 limited edition inkjet print signed and numbered by Nick (see image) - £56.00


In the spring of 1926 Cecily Nash called off her engagement to her fiancée, Christopher Marlowe.

It’s not clear how they first met but it’s thought that it was sometime in 1924 whilst Christopher was a guest at her family’s hotel on the Norfolk coast. Cecily was a teenager, the youngest of three sisters, coming of age in a period of newly found freedoms for young women. Older than her, he was a Cambridge graduate but not without having had his studies disrupted by the Great War, during which he’d served on the Western Front. By the time their paths crossed he was an aspiring writer, working on his first manuscript, The Fen Country.

The book, published in 1925, documents his bicycle tour of East Anglia interwoven with a history of the area. His affection for the landscape of the Fens and the people he met on his travels is palpable. But all that remains of his romance with Cecily is the inscription in a copy of the book he gave her. It reads:

To my dearest fiancée with devoted love From The Author

The descendants of those who settled in the Fens a thousand years ago have a word for his euphoria. Forelsket.

No one knows why Cecily changed her mind, but by 1928, aged 21, she had married someone else and in 1929 would give birth to her only child. This child, Pamela, was my mother. In the same year Marlowe’s article A Tour in English Fenland would appear in the May edition of The National Geographic Magazine, alongside some of the earliest colour photographs of the United Kingdom.

Through the depiction of the contemporary landscape about which Marlowe wrote so vividly, I hope this collection of photographs, which were taken during between 2020 and 2023, will evoke the story of their relationship. The copy of The Fen Country, with its inscription to my grandmother, was used as a map to plot my journey through the Fens whilst I reflected on the love that they once shared, and the impact of her decision on my own life.

The original copy of the love poem, Castle O’ Dreams, was found alongside the book, presumably written for Cecily by Marlowe. His desire to find love was perhaps, in no small part, a result of the death and destruction he experienced on the battlefield. In many ways his journey through the Fens reads as an escape from the horrors of war. It’s easy to see his love for my grandmother as an attempt to experience the very best of the human condition in the shadows of the very worst.

Marlowe’s book has drifted into obscurity, a relic of the past, but my copy has defied time. It remains as moving in its dedication today as it was when first given to Cecily. A simple gesture from one lover to another, yet a poignant reflection of our own individual quests for forelsket.


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