Monday, February 12, 2024

The Joy of Six 1203

"Who's going to campaign for him in October? Who's going to stuff leaflets, who's going to give old ladies a lift to the polling station, who's going to stand in rainy high streets saying "vote Tory"? Not a single Conservative councillor, who will either have lost their seats five months previous or have scraped through by pretending not to have anything to do with That Lot In Westminster." Fleet Street Fox argues that Sunak has no choice but to go to the country in May.

David Gilbert says a Russian disinformation campaign is deploying everything from high-ranking lawmakers and government officials to lifestyle influencers, bloggers, and powerful state-run media outlets to stoke divisions in the United States around the Texas border crisis.

John Lewis-Stempel hails William Cobbett as the grandfathers of self-sufficiency: "Self-sufficiency, autarchy, backyard farming — call it what you like — is a venerable British tradition. Once upon a time governments even sponsored self-sufficiency via Smallholdings Acts authorising acquisition of land for those wanting to grow their own."

"One young reader wrote to him of Tess, 'I wonder at your complete understanding of a woman’s soul.' Hardy’s discontented wife Emma wondered at it too. She observed, 'He understands only the women he invents - the others not at all.'" Norma Clarke reviews Paula Byrne's new book on Thomas Hardy and women.

You think we're hard on our politicians now? In 1672, reports Vlad Moca-Grama, the Dutch ate their prime minister's liver.

The Smell of Water on a remarkable survival: "York Minster ... possesses a remarkable treasure, a carved stone in a quiet corner of the crypt, a remnant from the lost Romanesque church that once existed on the site. The carving depicts the descent of souls into hell via a cauldron, it also has the best name for a stone ever, it’s called The Doomstone."


Matt Pennell said...

Austen, Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Wilde, Hardy, Orwell, Greene, Golding - you could go round in circles debating who is the best British or Irish novelist of all time. One thing that is beyond dispute, however, is that because Hardy scandalised late-Victorian society with his negative portrayal of marriage in Jude the Obscure, he spent more than 30 years then writing poetry and revising his earlier works. As a result his work is the most rewritten, revised and finessed work in the English language. It's small wonder his major novels come across as so polished, he spent more time on them than anyone else is ever likely to. It's said by some biographers that he fell in love with Tess - the excessive abmount of time and attention put into Tess of the D'Urbervilles years after its original publication is probably why his wife Emma was so dismissive of his attitude towards women.

An extraordinary career arc, never to be repeated

nigel hunter said...

Yes concreted over 'gardens' that can produce food FOR YOUR FAMILY should be turned into veggie patches. I produce in my little cabbage patch sprouts, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli. Collect my own horse manure (they donate very well!).You are outside in the fresh air even if it is your own back garden. Have some physical exercise and satisfaction of 'I have produced that'.
When food is getting expensive and in short supply with uncertain future ahead an insurance policy of 'Grow OUR own' does not sound like a bad idea.