Over on Vulpes Libris I've posted a review of Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn. I really liked it, but I wasn't quite convinced by how he covered the intimately feminine aspects of Éilis's experiences. Tóibín is very good on sea-bathing sex and shaving for bathing-suits, but he says nothing about menstrual blood or the fretting about white skirts that was … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn
I posted a partial rant, and a partial wave of enthusiasm over on Vulpes Libris today, on Ida Cook's (reprinted) memoir We Followed Our Stars, now calling itself (annoyingly) Safe Passage. Go there to discover the tangled web of marketing versus editorial, the heroic imaginative rescue of 29 Jews from pre-WW2 Austria and Germany, and a … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Ida Cook’s Safe Passage
Over on Vulpes Libris I've posted a brief but heartfelt paean to the Max Carrados stories by Ernest Bramah. These are mildly addictive, in the 'just one more before I turn the light out' sense, and thoroughly ingenious detective stories, dating from 1913 right through to the 1930s. But I enjoy them most as a record … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Ernest Bramah’s Max Carrados stories
Over on Vulpes Libris I've been writing about the first edition of George Orwell's letters, essays and journalism, from 1968. What a bloke. And about Sonia Orwell's editing. What a powerful woman.
Over on Vulpes Libris I've posted a review of Judith Stinton's complex book about Chaldon Herring. This is the Dorset village where five of the Powys brothers and sisters lived in the early twentieth century, attracting lots of celebrated visitors in the decades of their residence. You'll possibly have heard of T F Powys (Mr Weston's … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Chaldon Herring
It's National Academic Book week, and over at Vulpes Libris I've posted a heartfelt thank-you to John Carey for his game-changing book, The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939 (1992). It rebooted my research career, and it really annoyed the academic establishment. Tee hee.
Reading short stories is a calming way to drop off to sleep: you start, you finish, you think about maybe reading one more, you turn the light out. Zzzzz. Not so with Karen Russell: her genius and enticing weirdness makes you read the whole damn lot in one go. She's published two collections of stories … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Karen Russell’s short stories
I met Ursula Buchan a few weeks back, after corresponding by email on and off over a year, and we got on like a house on fire, since we are both researching the same subject but from different angles. She sent me a copy of her most recent book - A Green and Pleasant Land: How England's … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Ursula Buchan’s A Green and Pleasant Land
Part two of Ben Aaronovitch's interstitial comic Rivers of London: Body Work is out, and I review it over on Vulpes Libris. It's all about the Nightingale.
I posted a review of Nan Shepherd's 1928 novel The Quarry Wood over at Vulpes Libris today. Liked the novel very much, the first in a trilogy of north-east Scottish farming novels that I should have read decades ago, reprinted by Canongate as a collected works called The Grampian Quartet (there's a non-fiction memoir of … Continue reading Now Posting on Vulpes Libris: Nan Shepherd’s The Quarry Wood