Dreaming of a white Easter? It’s not that uncommon if Aldous Huxley’s ‘Those Barren Leaves’ is anything to go by

C J Schuler

“Easter was early that year, the season backward and inclement; there was snow on all the hills.” Thus the protagonist of Aldous Huxley’s Those Barren Leaves, recalling a childhood holiday in Snowdonia with his father.

Like a fading rock star, winter is making its umpteenth comeback. Just days after Easter – another early one – and it’s snowing merrily in London. White Easters are actually more common than white Christmases in many parts of the country; with pleasing symmetry, the phenomenon occurred 10, 25, 50 and 100 years ago. The action of Huxley’s novel takes place in 1924. His protagonist, like the author at that time, is about 30; the remembered holiday took place when he was “about twelve”. Huxley, born 26 July 1894, would have been 12 at Easter 1907 which fell early (on 31 March). Presumably, we had a white Easter in 1907 and 1908, in the Welsh mountains at least.

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