The 2017 Vondel Prize

The Vondel Translation Prize - a bi-annual prize established by the Society of Authors - has been awarded to the American translator David McKay, the translator of Stefan Hertmans' novel Oorlog en Turpentijn / War and Turpentine. It's set during before, during and after the First World War, in Flanders and is based on the … Continue reading The 2017 Vondel Prize

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Wonder Woman, screenplay by John Buchan

I saw Wonder Woman last night, and have things on my mind (there will be SPOILERS if you read on). There were only seven people in the cinema (Tuesday night, 17.40 showing, my own private cinema), but by god the Dolby surround was loud, we needed more bodies to absorb the boom. The Themiscyra parts … Continue reading Wonder Woman, screenplay by John Buchan

The Early Life of James McBey: An Autobiography

When I had a paper-round in Aberdeen at the age of 13, I regularly delivered the local free sheet to an ordinary Victorian terraced house in the west end that was then called James McBey House. I had no idea why the house had been called that, and I still don’t, since McBey, the First World … Continue reading The Early Life of James McBey: An Autobiography

Hilda Vaughan’s The Soldier and the Gentlewoman

The Soldier and the Gentlewoman, originally published in 1932, puts a pitchfork in the romantic notion that soldiers returning from war would find a willing wife and a grateful village waiting for them. Hilda Vaughan writes a disturbing defence of the woman’s right to inherit the family estate, and disrupts the social niceties by showing what … Continue reading Hilda Vaughan’s The Soldier and the Gentlewoman