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Tag Archives: history

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Few of those who know and admire the camellia, that waxlike and pure flower, are aware that the parent plant, the origin of the million plants scattered throughout Europe, is still alive and is in Italy. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than they did [...]

An honest pisstake

Pissing Figures: 1280–2014 by Jean-Claude Lebensztejn (transl. Jeff Nagy) David Zwirner Books, 168pp, £11.95 . From a Cimabue cherub to Szydlowski/-lowska’s Lenin, simply everyone is pissing. In pen and ink, paint on canvas, plaster, wood, stone, polymer, block prints, engraving, chamber pots, aquatints, dishware, film, manuscripts, inlay, public statuary, trick-photography, and in a Japanese video [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The telephone has a tendency to render the girl operators left-eared. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 4 1908 . Eight wickets for eight runs is the worst batting collapse in Twenty20 international cricket. St Blaise is the patron saint of sore throats, and of knitting. Estonian literature suffers from a dearth of stories [...]

Intellectual MOT

Some thoughts on the enquiring mind, slang, and judging a book by its cover - in correspondence with Tia Goonaratna. – For The Sunday Leader

Battle

for Harry . When Edward was king, Harold, an English earl, and his horsemen rode to Bosham, to the church there. Harold then crossed the sea, his sails full of wind, and came into the domain of Count Guy. Guy took Harold prisoner, and leading him away to Beaurain, held him captive there. Harold and Guy [...]

Egyptomania

Review of three books on Ancient Egypt: Egypt: People, Pharaohs, Gods, by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen; Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, by Ronald H. Fritze; and Writings from Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson. – For The Spectator

Fools’ Charter

A trip to see all four surviving originals of the Magna Carta. – For The Spectator

A motto for mine own generation

habitabamus domum magnam

Eight debut novels

Currently sitting at 12 to 1 for this year’s Booker Prize, first-time novelist Paul Kingsnorth has set the cat among the pigeons through the disarmingly original expedient of submitting his offering in a fictional language. Composed in what Kingsnorth calls the ‘shadow tongue’ of ‘eald anglisc’, The Wake (Unbound 365pp £16.99) explores one angle of [...]

theASHtray, vol.13

David Walliams does Roald Dahl, AA Gill does Mary Beard, and I do children’s literature, Little Britain, Donald Sturrock, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Sunday Times, Romans, the Daily Mail, Cicero, Bettany Hughes, Time Team, the Cambridge Latin Course, constipation, movie posters, The Ides of March, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The English Patient, [...]