“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile”

STUART MILLSON can hear Restoration London from 21st century Kent Music@Malling, planned and organised by classical musician and educator, Thomas Kemp, is one of those provincially-based, smaller festivals which succeeds in bringing performers of national and international standing to local and semi-rural settings. So, instead of having to travel to Kings Place, Wigmore Hall, or…

“Once upon a time I was a poet”

Basil Bunting. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, Creative Commons licence Letters of Basil Bunting Selected and edited by Alex Niven, Oxford University Press, 2022, £35 LIAM GUILAR welcomes new insights into a little-studied modernist's mind Basil Bunting died in 1985. Despite having been praised as one of the twentieth century’s ‘greatest poets’ critical attention to his…

One last portion of ‘Chips’

Chips Channon. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, Creative Commons licence The Diaries 1943-1957 Henry ‘Chips’ Channon and Simon Heffer, Hutchinson, 896pp, £35 KEN BELL closes the book on the celebrated diarist This third volume of the Channon diaries concludes the publication of all the surviving diaries that have come down to us, and as with the…

A Queen in the Wilderness

LIAM GUILAR's epic of post-Roman Britain enters its eighth chapter The Story So Far (Chapters 2-7 inclusive have all previously been published on this site, starting here). The complete poem will be published as A Man of Heart in 2023, by Shearsman. Mid Fifth Century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing…

Art-icles of war

Photo: Ivan Radic. Wikimedia Commons Artivism – The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism Alexander Adams, Societas – Imprint Academic, pp 215, £14.95 GUY WALKER welcomes a spirited sortie onto the cultural battlefield One function of placing fine paintings in ornate gold frames or sculptures on marble plinths is to demonstrate the special…

Lincolnshire – a land apart

Crowland Abbey. Photo: Derek Turner Edge of England: Landfall in Lincolnshire Derek Turner, Hurst & Co., 2022, hb., 446pps, 32 col. Illus. & map, £20 PAUL GARNER enjoys a survey of an oddly little-known county Edge of England is a rich tapestry woven of many threads—history, nature, industry, geography, religion and folklore—all intertwining to create…

Abducted in Argentina

Memorial to the "Disappeared" at the Naval Mechanics Institute, Buenos Aires. Source: Wikimedia Commons Kidnapped by the Junta: Inside Argentina’s Wars with Britain and Itself Julian Manyon, Icon Books, 336 pages, 2022, £20 KEN BELL is gripped by a ripping yarn of kidnap and high politics Julian Manyon’s book is not a history of the…

The life (and luck) of Nigel

Photo: Gage Skidmore. Wikimedia Commons One Party After Another: The Disruptive Life of Nigel Farage Michael Crick, Simon & Schuster, 2022, 606 pages, £25 KEN BELL reflects on the career of Brexit’s cheeky chappie Many of the people involved in the Brexit debate will merit footnotes in the histories of the period that have yet…

The epistolary Eliot

The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 8: 1936-1938 T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot, John Haffenden (eds.), Faber & Faber, 2019, 1,100pp + li, illus., £50 The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 9: 1939-1941 T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot, John Haffenden (eds.), Faber & Faber, 2021, 1,072pp + lxix, illus., £60 ALEXANDER ADAMS loses himself in a great…

The good old days?

This is chapter Seven of LIAM GUILAR’s almost completed epic of Britain. Chapter One was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and Chapters Two, Three, Four,  Five and Six in The Brazen Head. For more information about Hengist, Vortigern and the Legendary History, see www.liamguilar.com The story so far. Mid Fifth Century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing civil…