Beowulf to Virginia Woolf

Recently, I was corresponding with a friend about doing some guest lectures, and I was asked about what topics I could cover. I said, jokingly, “Beowulf to Virginia Woolf.” I wasn’t claiming expertise over a thousand years of literature, merely a kind of Jack-of-all-trades competence. It stems initially, I think, from teaching A level English… Continue reading Beowulf to Virginia Woolf

Eng Lit Life, 1973

When I started my degree, we weren’t bombarded with information in the way that freshers are now. Our only source of information was the noticeboard in the English department, which in those days was situated in one of the brutalist concrete buildings that had been built when the university expanded in the sixties. We were… Continue reading Eng Lit Life, 1973

Shiny New Books

Shiny New Books is now updated more frequently, as the website posts reviews in smaller batches. My latest reviews are of Melissa Harrison’s charming Rain, and Thomas Dilworth’s monumental biography of the poet and artist David Jones. Harriet’s review of the new Helen Dunmore novel, Birdcage Walk has moved it high on my TBR list.… Continue reading Shiny New Books

Edward Petherbridge and Bloomsbury

Edward Petherbridge is probably best known now as the definitive Lord Peter Wimsey in the BBC adaptations of the late eighties, opposite Harriet Walter as Harriet Vane. He brought a wounded sensitivity to the part, presenting a more complex figure than his predecessor Ian Carmichael, who remained largely in Bertie Wooster mode. Any casual viewer… Continue reading Edward Petherbridge and Bloomsbury

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