Count him out, not out of order. I didn’t read this on the 7th of March when Gary Lineker posted it. I was following him on Twitter, but I finally left this ‘forum’ after Donald Trump was reinstated on it last year, even while his role (and his tweeting) was still being investigated for incitementContinue reading “The Lineker-Braverman Controversy: Migration, Language & History – Troping the Thirties.”
Category Archives: Catholicism
Where in the World is Wales? Celebrating St David’s Day, 1st March – a retrospective after forty years ‘in exile’.
St. David’s Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi) is the first of the four national days or patron saints’ days in the British calendar. Saint David (Dewi Sant in Welsh) is the only of them to actually hail from the country for which he was canonised. Yet we know very little of a factual nature about his life. Apparently,Continue reading “Where in the World is Wales? Celebrating St David’s Day, 1st March – a retrospective after forty years ‘in exile’.”
Ukraine from Askold to Zelensky: Language, Culture, Art & Architecture, 862-2022.
“The British have not forgotten how the Nazis wiped out Coventry, … bombed forty-one times. They have not forgotten the Luftwaffe’s so-called ‘Moonlight Sonata’, in which the city was under contant air-raids for eleven hours. They have not forgotten how Coventry’s historic centre, how its factories, how St Michael’s Cathedral were destroyed. When they see the missiles hit Kharkiv and damage its historic centre, its factories and the Assumption Cathedral, they remember. … when they recall how Birmingham was bombed, and they see its sister city Zaporizhia under attack, they remember.”
Majesty & Grace X: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor – Winter of Discontent to Golden Jubilee, 1979-2002; Part 2 – The Peace Process & The People’s Princess.
The Sectarian Divide in Belfast & the Peace Process, 1980-98: After the Provisional IRA assassinated Lord Mountbatten on his boat off the Western coast of Ireland in 1979, the mainland bombing campaign went on with attacks on the Chelsea barracks, then Hyde Park bombings, when eight people were killed and fifty-three injured. With hindsight, the emergenceContinue reading “Majesty & Grace X: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor – Winter of Discontent to Golden Jubilee, 1979-2002; Part 2 – The Peace Process & The People’s Princess.”
Majesty & Grace IX: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor, 1963-78: Part 1 – Rebellious Britons.
Protest & Planning, 1963-68 – Youth, Vietnam & Grosvenor Square: The 1960s were dramatic years in Britain. Demographic trends, especially the increase in the proportion of teenagers in the population, coincided with economic affluence and ideological experimentation to reconfigure social mores to a revolutionary extent. In 1964, under Harold Wilson, the Labour Party came into power,Continue reading “Majesty & Grace IX: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor, 1963-78: Part 1 – Rebellious Britons.”
An Epilogue for Beren & Lúthien: Tolkien’s Last Years, 1966-1973 & The Work of Christopher Tolkien (-2017).
The Road Goes Ever on – Headington to Bournemouth: Although life retirement sometimes seemed ‘grey and grim’ to Tolkien, it also had many elements that suited him. For one thing, he and Edith, at last, had enough money. However, the tax authorities took a large proportion of his earnings, and on one occasion, Tolkien wroteContinue reading “An Epilogue for Beren & Lúthien: Tolkien’s Last Years, 1966-1973 & The Work of Christopher Tolkien (-2017).”
Faith, Fantasy & Fairy Tales – Tolkien, ‘Jack’ Lewis & ‘The Inklings’, 1926-66: Part Two – ‘Shadowy Abstractions’
There was a good stretch of time between Jack Lewis’s conversion on the way to Whipsnade and his writing of the Tales of Narnia. Throughout this time, while Tolkien was writing his Hobbit stories, Lewis was musing on the physical similarities that men and beasts have in common. This is why he felt that Kenneth Grahame, in The Wind in the Willows, made exactly the right choice in giving his principal character the form of a toad
Faith, Fantasy & Fairy Tales – Tolkien, ‘Jack’ Lewis & ‘The Inklings’, 1926-66: Part One – Creator & Sub-creators.
Entertaining Angels Unawares: When Tolkien returned to Oxford in 1925, an element was missing from his life. It had disappeared with the breaking of his fellowship of the TCBS at the Battle of the Somme, for not since those days had he enjoyed male friendship to the extent of emotional and intellectual commitment. He hadContinue reading “Faith, Fantasy & Fairy Tales – Tolkien, ‘Jack’ Lewis & ‘The Inklings’, 1926-66: Part One – Creator & Sub-creators.”
The Making of an English Mythology; from Reality to Fantasy and back again, 1917-1954: Tolkien’s Creative Years.
Following his recovery from the Somme and ‘trench fever’ on his return from France in 1916, Tolkien was determined to create an entire mythology for England. He had hinted at this during his undergraduate days at Oxford when he studied and wrote of the Finnish ‘Kalevala’:
“I would that we had more of it left – something of the sort that belonged to the English.”
This idea now grew during his recuperation until it reached ‘epic’ proportions. This is how Tolkien expressed it when recollecting many years later:
“Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen), I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large to the cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply: to England, to my country. “
J. R. R. Tolkien & Birmingham; the Formative Years, 1896-1916: Part Two (1908-16) – ‘Lang.’, Lore & Love.
Inventing Language: As a result of his insatiable love of words, Ronald started to invent his own languages. Some children have rudimentary private languages that they like to share together. This was what Ronald’s cousins Mary and Marjorie Incledon had done. They now lived outside Birmingham at Barnt Green, the neighbouring village to Rednal, andContinue reading “J. R. R. Tolkien & Birmingham; the Formative Years, 1896-1916: Part Two (1908-16) – ‘Lang.’, Lore & Love.”