Archive for the ‘UK’ Tag

Fiona Sampson’s Limestone Country “reveals how the rocks under our feet shape every aspect of human existence…”

Fiona Sampson

John Burnside writes in The New Statesman:

At 15 I was too foolish to take an interest in geography; if I had, I would have known that this beautiful object was “the map that changed the world”, paving the way for Darwin’s theories and revolutionising the study of geology. It was created by William Smith, a blacksmith’s son whose life was dogged by betrayal and poverty (including a spell in debtors’ prison), but who, in later life, gained something of the recognition he deserved.

 I was prompted to remember Smith while reading Fiona Sampson’s lyrical and highly insightful Limestone Country, in which she describes four limestone landscapes – in England, France, Slovenia and Jerusalem – and the various ways people live with and relate to them. The book reveals how the rocks under our feet shape every aspect of human existence, from agriculture and art to our emotional and psychological weather.

Sampson concentrates not on the chemistry and physics of what she calls “the cannibal earth reconsuming her own”, but on how the geological terrain governs our imaginings and our potential – and how an engagement with limestone landscapes offers all manner of rewards, from the fine wines of the Périgord, to the spiritual revelations of the Holy Land and, most importantly, a deeper appreciation of the environment as a whole. “Really living in these landscapes means paying radical attention to how they behave,” she says.


Elizabeth Taylor “led a perversely mild and parochial life”

Elizabeth Taylor

Benjamin Schwarz writes:

Like Jane Austen, the writer with whom she’s most often compared, Taylor led a perversely mild and parochial life. Before she was married, she worked as a governess and a librarian. With her husband, the director of his family’s confectionery company, she had a boy and a girl (her fiction displays a remarkable ear for the speech of children and a subtle grasp of their peculiar obsessions, suspicions, and insecurities). Ensconced in an upper-middle-class Buckinghamshire village, she was fascinated and deeply comforted by the daily routine of domestic life, the details of which she gave minute attention in her fiction. “I dislike much travel or change of environment and prefer the days … to come round almost the same, week after week,” she said.

“Millett explained women’s complicity in male domination…”: Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel writes:

“Sexual Politics was published at the time of an emerging women’s liberation movement, and an emerging politics that began to define male dominance as a political and institutional form of oppression. Millett’s work articulated this theory to the wider world, and in particular to the intellectual liberal establishment, thereby launching radical feminism as a significant new political theory and movement.

In her book, Millett explained women’s complicity in male domination by analysing the way in which females are socialised into accepting patriarchal values and norms, which challenged the notion that female subservience is somehow natural.”

“William Tyndale and Thomas More: The Eternal Controversy”: An Interview with Neil Langdon Inglis

Neil Langdon Inglis

Interlitq publishes “William Tyndale and Thomas More: The Eternal Controversy”: An Interview with Neil Langdon Inglis, U. S. General Editor of Interlitq, and a contributor to Issues 18, 19, 20 and 21 of Interlitq and English Writers 1, English Writers 2 and English Writers 3.

Read Neil Langdon Inglis’s 3 question interview to Interlitq.

Will there ever be an Ian Rankin archive?/ Video

Ian Rankin

Will there ever be an Ian Rankin archive?/ Video.