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Tag Archives: The Spectator

Selassie come home

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste Canongate, £16.99, pp. 428 . In 1935 the troops of Benito Mussolini’s sinister-clownish Roman Empire II invaded Ethiopia, in large part out of spite for Italy’s embarrassing defeat there 40 years before. Initially largely uncontested – thanks both to emperor Haile Selassie’s desperate faith in international brotherhood and to [...]

Trouble at t’Mill

The curious life of John Stuart Mill, philosopher . When JS Mill was born, his father, James, challenged a friend to ‘race with you in the education of… the most accomplished and virtuous young man.’ That other child has not gone down in history – but he may well have dodged a serious bullet. Learning [...]

M.O.’s m.o. – or; Everybody wants to be like Mike

A review of Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight. – For The Spectator

A moment of indexision

On Bram Stoker, #indexday, and the weird and wonderful history of the hapax legomenon. – For The Spectator

Cannon law

Review of Kim A Wagner’s The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857. – For The Spectator