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Barbie: a sort of a movie review

In keeping with the traditions of this great organ – one of which is that any contributor can write upon any subject – I feel it incumbent upon me to begin today’s offering with the twin admissions that personally I am neither the Rust’s film correspondent, a title which rightly [...]

August 10, 2023 // 0 Comments

Isata Kanneh-Mason & the Proms

The Proms are a welcome and regular feature of the British summer. They are experimental and a platform for new and younger talent but not too woke-ish. Last Sunday I watched on the TV a prom featuring Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky. The virtuoso pianist for the Prokofiev piece [...]

August 9, 2023 // 0 Comments

A la Colthard/Eating out in Chichester.

Chichester is renowned for its cathedral, theatre and art gallery – but not its restaurants. I accompanied Alice (Mansfield) on Tuesday to the Pallant Gallery.  I enjoyed the Gwen John exhibition and particularly her draughtmanship. Can one use that word now or should it be [...]

August 3, 2023 // 0 Comments

Gwen John/Art and Life in London and Paris/Pallant Gallery

Most art critics are women and most of these carry a feminist agenda which runs that female artists  were oppressed and unrated by their male counterparts. Thus, the conventional narrative is that Gwen John’s more celebrated younger brother Augustus deliberately overshadowed her career though he [...]

August 2, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Age of Innocence/Edith Wharton

Having enjoyed The Reef I moved onto Edith Wharton’s best-known work The Age of Innocence. Published in 1920 when she was 58 it won her the Pulitzer prize , the first woman to achieve this. The central character is Archer Newland, a young and rich lawyer, and the novel is set in the Gilded Age of [...]

May 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

What is – and is not – equality in elite sport

My effort today – which will no doubt make me few new friends or fans from the section of the community that might self-describe itself as the young, the diverse and/or the “woke” – is a simple statement of some of the factual and indeed inevitable practical issues faced by the general [...]

April 5, 2023 // 0 Comments

Manderley Forever/Tatiana de Rosnay

My immediate reaction upon reading Tatiana de Rosnay’s biography of Daphne du Maurier is do we need another one? Margaret Forster has written the definitive biography. Justine Picardie’s Daphne covers a critical period in her life when the latter was under time pressure to produce a biography [...]

March 29, 2023 // 0 Comments

Gina Lollobrigida R.I.P

I was saddened to learn of the passing of La Lollo. Of the big three Italian post war stars – Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Gina Lollobrigida – she was my favourite. Sophia Loren, guided by her husband Carlo Ponte, had the bigger Hollywood career, Claudia Cardinale was the more [...]

January 18, 2023 // 0 Comments

Elite female sport 2022: a year of big advances but also some complications

Over time it has become a bit of a cliché, but “back in the day” – when comic Frankie Howard (1917-1992) was a British household name milking his “conspiratorial” relationship with his stand-up audiences and/or television viewers – he often compounded the effect by chiding them for [...]

December 23, 2022 // 0 Comments

The legend that is Marilyn Monroe

I do not like the word iconic but I cannot think of a better one to describe Marilyn Monroe. She was recently the subject of a podcast on Rest is History by historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook. Better was the Discovering series in Sky Arts profiling her. In  her time – the [...]

October 1, 2022 // 0 Comments

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