Inner pieces, inner peace

Credit: Shutterstock PETER KING says inconsistency is not incoherency We live in fragments. There is nothing that is so large to be all encompassing. There is nothing that is dominant, nothing that is the essence. Of course, we humans are common in our biology, psychology and our mortality, but this is not what defines us…

The closing down of History

Credit: Shutterstock GUY WALKER calls for a realistic view of humanity’s record Earlier this year a Palace coup at the National Trust saw the Chairman, Tim Parker, helpfully defenestrate himself before the pursuing Imperial Guard did it for him. The revolting soldiery were later in hot pursuit, through the gilded corridors, of the Director-General, Hilary…

9/11: premonition of disaster

Credit: Shutterstock GOMERY KIMBER believes there really can be second-sight On the afternoon of September 11th 2001 I was making notes for a story I planned to write about the ghost of a slave ship captain. I’d already named the ghost Noah, but I couldn't think of a suitable surname. I sat there, pen in hand, awaiting…

Is London street art dying?

Image: Frank K. Molloy DAVID UPTON tries his hand at making his mark Everyone knows about Banksy, who came to fame around 2000 for his cheeky anarchic spray paintings and stencils on walls in Bristol, and later all over the world. His real name is still officially secret, though by now his works sell in…

Painting the pear orchard

NICHOLAS BOOTH captures a fleeting moment in Kent I packed my battered little orchestra of colours in an old Fortnum’s bag along with some rolled up paper and a bottle of ginger beer and set off for the pear orchard which lies across a road at the back of the housing estate where my mother…

Medical notes from underground

"Theodore Dalrymple", anatomist of modernity (Image: Wikimedia Commons) MARK GULLICK profiles the cultural commentator THEODORE DALRYMPLE The English writer Theodore Dalrymple, whose real name is Dr. Anthony Daniels, spent much of his professional career as a hospital and prison psychiatrist. He has also written many books on a variety of subjects, and travelled the world…

Spirits of the Jazz Age – the Spiritualist craze of the Twenties

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD evokes an age of desperate belief On 7 September 1919, the 60-year-old Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, GP, lecturer, seafarer, sportsman, indefatigable social campaigner – and globally-renowned author of the Sherlock Holmes tales – shared the platform of a Spiritualist rally at the seafront Grand Hotel in Portsmouth with a 38-year-old medium named Evan…

Of course a man can imagine what it’s like to be a woman!

GUY WALKER says we must be allowed to imagine opposites Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Dr. Lydgate, Edward Casaubon, Will Ladislaw, and Daniel Deronda are excellent examples of well-rounded and believable male literary inventions, with a variety of qualities of character. Portia, Beatrice, Miranda, and Viola are excellent examples of brave, intelligent, and virtuous women, while…