The Actual Blowing Stone from Tom Brown's School Days
My query concerning the originality of "sturm" or "stuym" received a noteworthy comment from Mr. George Zepp of Rugby, Tennessee:
My 1892 edition has the reader asking "Sturm?" One explanation for the difference might be that the scanning optical recognition software didn't quite pick it up right for the Gutenberg Project. You may be interested to know that the actual stone is still there, so far as I know. It was in the early 1980s when I visited it.Undoubtedly, Mr. Zepp saw the stone from various angles, including this one:
From the passage in Tom Brown's School Days that I posted two days ago, we know that if one places one's mouth over a particular hole in this three-foot-tall stone and blows very hard through the y-shaped channel, a resonant, booming moan is produced that will reach five or six miles. The stone, by the way, is a hard sandstone known as sarsen, the same sort we find in Stonehenge. Anyway, in reply to Mr. Zepp, I wrote:
I believe that you're right about the original being "sturm." I had considered the possibility that the scanning for the Gutenberg copy was at fault, but something else seems too have happened, for I've discovered that some hardcopy editions have "stuym." I report on this in today's post (April 12, 2009).My assumption proved true, for by Googling, I discovered that Rugby resident Mr. George Zepp has long dedicated himself to maintaining the history of this utopian community founded by Thomas Hughes in 1880, along with many other Rugby residents.
I also came across a Wikipedia article on the stone itself and was thinking that I might report on the stone tomorrow (April 13, 2009) since it will have been the focus of two blog entries. Readers might like to see the photo.
I see that you are from Rugby. I assume that this is the same Rugby founded by Thomas Hughes. The citizens of Rugby must be very proud of their founder.
I'd enjoy visiting Rugby someday if I make it back to that part of the United States, for it looks like a lovey little town.