Earth to Earth - 8 June 1858

To dwellers in a Victorian environment, there is one thing that is never mentioned, yet leaves the healthy abashed, the unhealthy imprisoned and those of a keen sense of smell shaken.

On a chance remark from Mr Maybold yesterday, today up and to Casterbridge in the gig.
There I hunted down the Vicar of Durnover, who is a small-scale inventor in the manner of what would in the 21st century be regarded as green technology.

I'm not saying his "earth closet" is my greatest dream in terms of what a lavatory should be, but it appears to be a lot more pleasant than the current arrangements. So a few units are being assembled for us in Casterbridge, hopefully to get here before the hot weather really kicks in. And I'm warning the domestic staff that there will be a lot more carrying to be done in future.  And I'm getting Mrs Morris, when not cooking, to knit some of those woolen ladies that go over toilet rolls.  They'll be really handy just as soon as someone invents the toilet roll.  And meantime we'll just carry on tearing up the Times to use instead.  Just like 2010, really.

And I'm counting on it being good for the garden.

Image [Amended] courtesy User Musphot on Wikimedia Commons


  1. Your Ladyship needs to be *extremely* careful about using that stuff on the garden, and especially anywhere near your water supply!
    Google "Humanure" for more than any lady should ever want to know about such things ......

  2. Ermintrude - indeed. We're all becoming ever so aware these days of the problems (and causes) of diseases such as cholera, to choose the most prevalent and recently troubling. But a properly-managed composting toilet, as your article says, is actually just what the doctor (or at least the Revd Henry Moule) ordered. It's all about controlled decomposition.

  3. Amazingly useful medical machine. Prescient really. Invented by the Reverend Dr Spooner. See alternative image.