“Since the war, before the war, which War?” The Village has been going for a very long time, since whenever there have been a certain kind of person, with a certain sort of knowledge who cannot be left to roam free. There have always been people with secrets. People with information, and therefore there have always been those other people who want to know those secrets, who must have that information which others possess.
If you are dealing with an individual, then you can always abduct the person to a country house for example, and work on him or her there in order to extract the required information. But what if you are on the other side, and have people who cannot be left around, people with information inside their heads which needs protecting, what might you do with them? An individual might be easy to protect, but multiples of individuals that’s another matter. You need somewhere to keep them, a concentration camp would be favourite. But then that’s a prison, and they wouldn’t want that. After all, some of their own people might very well end up in the camp. No, something different would be called for. And yet it’s almost credible that the Village evolved from a camp. Is it possible that someone, somewhere, hidden away in an office in the depths of the Civil Service came up instantly with the idea of the Village, and yet why not? A small Village, specially built for a self-contained community of say 1,000 citizens. Guards would be needed of course, a wall maybe, or a fence, otherwise what would stop anyone from simply walking out of the Village? Build the Village in an isolated area, that would help, where there are hills and mountains, dense woodland, and the sea all to encompass the Village. After all what price the white membranic Village Guardian? It would be years and years and decades, possibly half a century and more, before the idea of the Village Guardian would be conceived, let alone be implemented as Guardian of the Village and it’s community. The Village Guardian, not simply to keep the inmates, sorry, citizens, in line from escaping, but also to protect and serve, protect the Village, and serve the community!
I cannot conceive of there having been any other Village as the Italianate Village that we know so well. Well up until the advent of the Village in the desert, but for the time being we will set that to one side. So despite however long the Village has been in existence, it was built the way we see it today. And in all that time the Village has not changed. Well quite obviously ladies no longer walk about in full length crinoline dresses, wearing elaborate hats, carrying ornate parasols. And the gentlemen no longer sport frock coats, cravats, and top hats, although Top Hats did evolve into officials in Administration.
So the origins of the Village could go back as far as the Victorian period, perhaps further. After all there have always been spies and counter agents. Secrets that the one side has, and which the other side wish to know. There have always been individuals who have been in need to be put away, such individuals who have sensitive information, that cannot be allowed to roam free. And others, reactionists, anarchist, terrorists, rebels, trouble makers, protesters, individuals who dare to think differently to others. Society must be protected, and so the Village was created for somewhere to put such people. A self contained community, but one that is not entirely self-sufficient. There to live out the rest of their lives, prisoners all of them, without the chance of parole, escape, hope.
Duko, Marta Hari, Riley Ace of spies may easily have found themselves in the Village. Men who survived the war may have found themselves guarding the Village, themselves as much prisoners as the prisoners themselves. For no-one would be allowed to leave the Village. And when you think about it……no, I’ve written too much, an idea has just struck me. But when it comes down to it, the Village could be as old as the hills. Since the Great War, before the Boar War, which war, the Crimean War, or the Napoleonic wars? A long time!
Be seeing you