Issue: July/August 2019

On the road

"In the summer of 1980, in the grip of some Kerouac-ish fantasy, I opted to hitch-hike from Laredo to New York"

Rabelais and the likely lads

A posthumous collection of poems by Geoffrey Hill embodies a controversial but impassioned idea of what poetry is and does

Distinguished only by his errors

"Many, perhaps most, books about Israel are full of tendentious delusions. This is one of the worst examples"

Bedside manna

"Some doctors have an intuitive rapport. For others it’s a work in progress."

Second reading

"The top of the bookmark juts out from the pages of my copy of The Woodlanders like a tombstone marking the mortal remains of any hope I ever held of finishing the thing."

Call of the mild

"Michael Gove’s Wild Animals in Circuses Bill appears at first glance to be nothing more than his latest essay in exhibitionistic compassion. But is it a misreading to ascribe this picayune law-making to opportunistic big-heartedness?"

Norman Stone, RIP

"At one point Norman Stone and Hugh Trevor-Roper both agreed to record a party political broadcast for UKIP which I had founded and led. Norman was too drunk to record his lines and Trevor-Roper had such dreadful toothache that he could not either. I still have that video with six failed attempts at speech by both of them"

Davids slay Goliath of Dolphin Square

A consortium of residents and community groups has defeated plans to revamp one of London’s most famous—and notorious—buildings

Why Remoaners should back Boris

"Boris, ironically, now offers Remoaners the best chance of a soft Brexit, or at least a sensible one. And to those who want a second referendum—'the people’s vote'—there may even be a chance of that too."

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"
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