Kathleen Jamie is a poet, but it's a curious thing: she never speaks about her poetry in her essays. I've read and reread her earlier collections Findings and Sightlines, and I've drenched myself in her new essays in Surfacing now a couple of times, but it's only just occurred to me that if you only come to Jamie … Continue reading Kathleen Jamie, Surfacing
M C Bolitho, A Victorian Lady in the Himalayas, edited by Jean Burnett Jean Burnett is part of Writers Unchained, a collective of writers from Bristol, and has published novels with Little, Brown about the adventures of Lydia Bennett. She has edited the diary of Maria Bolitho, a Victorian Englishwoman who travelled across the Himalayas … Continue reading Enjoyed, with caveats
Another in an irregular series of reviews of books I have not enjoyed. Links to earlier episodes are at the end. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Beyond the Northlands. Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas This book, bought at the British Museum’s bookshop, was so promising, with such a good pedigree: an exciting young(ish) scholar; a … Continue reading Raging aggravations
I love Colette's writing, though I've not yet managed to read her most scandalous novels about Claudine. Nor have I yet seen the Keira Knightley biopic; undoubtedly I'll get around to them. My Colette collection consists of her two Chéri novels, Julie de Carneilhan, Chance Acquaintances, The Other Woman, The Vagabond, Gigi and The Cat: all short works … Continue reading Colette, My Mother’s House
Does the world need a new biography of John Buchan? There have been three so far: a very thin and respectful one written a few years after his 1940 death, in an atmosphere of sincere grief and hagiography. Then there was Janet Adam Smith's 1965 biography, invited and facilitated by the family, which was the … Continue reading Ursula Buchan, Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps
HERE BE SPOILERS. Avengers: Endgame is not a film you can talk about in detail without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, so please don't read on if you get upset by spoilers. I MEAN IT. I don't yet know if I liked the whole film or not. I was very bored in … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame.
I found this book of travel writing about the south-west of mid-1950s USA in The Second Shelf, a new antiquarian bookshop in London specialising in works by women. This was only the second book (partly) by a man I've seen there (the other was a lesbian pulp novel apparently written by a man with a … Continue reading J B Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes, Journey Down a Rainbow