Deeper truth behind opera’s swan songs | Brief letters

Terminal lucidity | Crime fiction | Clothes | Weather page | Yorkshire’s west coast

I read with interest your article on terminal lucidity (‘The clouds cleared’: what terminal lucidity teaches us about life, death and dementia, 23 February), about those near death who briefly regain their mental strength and clarity. This phenomenon might be relatively new to scientists, but operas have been exploiting it for centuries. Consumptive heroines and flawed heroes often insist on singing a long aria before finally expiring. Such scenes have long been ridiculed, but perhaps they actually express a deeper truth about the human condition than was hitherto suspected?
Chris Walton
Törbel, Switzerland

• Should Dorothy L Sayers have been able to travel through a railway tunnel between Galloway and Northern Ireland (Letters, 22 February), she would have been greeted on arrival by Freeman Wills Crofts, chief engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway and pre-eminent exponent of plots best solved by reference to Bradshaw’s.
Martin Cassels

• Just to pre-empt the flood of letters on how long readers have kept clothing (Feed your moths and hide your trousers: the expert guide to making clothes last for ever, 25 February), I have a chic cardigan of my grandmother’s, who was born at the end of the 19th century. Beat that!
Jeanette Hamilton
Buxton, Derbyshire

• I’m confused about the weather page section titled Around the UK: is this yesterday, today, or what to expect tomorrow? Have I had that, am I in that, or is that what I’ll get?
Elizabeth Allen

• The west coast of Yorkshire (Letters, 24 February) is in Kilnsea, East Riding.
Granville Heptonstall
Wigginton, North Yorkshire


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