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…

The rights of the human heart: essays by Camus

via Wikimedia Commons Personal Writings Albert Camus, Penguin, 2020, 224 pages, £7.07 Committed Writings Albert Camus, Penguin, 2020, 160 pages, £7.21 ALEXANDER ADAMS revisits the rich oeuvre of one of 20th century France’s finest thinkers Albert Camus (1913-1960) confessed that he had one wellspring of inspiration: his Algerian childhood. His silent unlettered mother, his absent…

American piety: meet the new Boss

SHUTTERSTOCK MARK GULLICK sees wrinkles on the Free World's senior stuffed-shirt “I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to learn what we have to fear or to hope from its progress” ((Alexander de…

Campus tragedy

MICHAEL WILDING surveys the sorry state of Australia’s universities The systematic degradation of the universities has now been continuing for 40 years. It began at the end of the 1970s, with the election of Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the USA. Australia dutifully followed suit. The policies were a mixture of reprisals…

Is there a future for ‘Trumpism’?

PETER B. GEMMA says ‘Trumpism’ was always more about attitude than ideas The future of “Trumpism,” (geez, I hate that term on so many levels as you will find out), is really a two-part question: American politics with or without Donald Trump. The quick answer is of course, President Donald Trump (he still is as…

From iconoclasm to ruins

All paintings by the author ALEXANDER ADAMS surveys the story of deliberate destruction We are familiar with the folly and – from the Baroque period onward – the purposefully constructed ruin used to enhance the pathos of a place, most especially a view of a country estate. This would be a view that could be…