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…

A road by any other name…

Shutterstock DEREK TURNER takes a Brum road-trip What’s in a name? A great deal – so Birmingham City Council hopes. In December, as part of a £500m redevelopment of the city’s blighted Perry Barr district, it revealed the names of six new roads to “reflect community and Commonwealth sport values”. Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny…

Colin Wilson redux

Eagles and Earwigs: Essays on Books and Writers Colin Wilson, Eyewear Publishing, 2018, 412 pages, £16.65 GOMERY KIMBER welcomes a resurgence of interest in one of the cleverest ‘Angry Young Men’ If the novelist, philosopher and critic, Colin Wilson is remembered at all it is as one of the ‘Angry Young Men’, and for his…

A realm apart – why Brexit happened

SHUTTERSTOCK This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe Robert Tombs, Allen Lane, 224 pages, £11.22 KEN BELL praises an exceptionally historically-informed Brexit explainer The small numbers who read the Guardian will no doubt disagree, but the argument over Brexit is now as much a part of history as the Free Trade debate that…

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…

The resurrection and evolution of a metalhead

Jacek Karczmarczyk, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons WILLIAM STROOCK reforges an old musical allegiance In 1987 this scrawny, disgruntled 14-year-old became a metalhead. It’s an old story. I hated school and life and everything, really. Metal was the best available outlet for expressing that. I stamped my feet and pumped my fist to…

50 years of Sticky Fingers

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD recalls the shambolic genesis of the Stones’ masterpiece At about eleven on the Monday morning of 9 March 1970, a somewhat distressed-looking olive green, midsized BMC lorry of the kind typically used to haul heavy goods around the country, crunched up the gravel driveway of a sprawling manor house located just outside the…

Rewriting the Middle Ages

LIAM GUILAR likes a radical reimagining of a venerable Welsh work Isolated in Aber Cuawg Harry Gilonis, Oystercatcher Press, 2020, 19 pages ‘Claf Abercuawg’ is a Welsh poem composed perhaps in the ninth century. Claf, as a noun, means a sick person, a patient or a leper . Abercuawg is an area of north…

Four poems by Caroline Davies

CAROLINE DAVIES has an MA in Writing Poetry from the Poetry School and Newcastle University. Her books are Elements of Water (Green Bottle Press 2019), Convoy(2013) Voices from Stone and Bronze(2016) (Cinnamon Press).  She co-hosts the Ouse Muse poetry readings (Bedford) currently taking place online.  These poems are from her latest project, Strange Alchemy, poems…

Beacons – Brands – The Loki Stone

DANIEL GUSTAFSSON has published volumes of poetry in both English and Swedish, most recently Fordings (Marble Poetry, 2020). Much inspired by the beauty and history of both his native and adoptive shores, exploring themes of cultural and spiritual regeneration derived from Blake and Scruton, among others, Daniel's increasingly formal work also shows an interest in alliterative verse.…