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: Second World War
The Illusion of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy in Hungary & Russia’s Imperial War in Ukraine, 2010-23.
Welcome Back, Comrades! ‘Farewell, comrades!’ A poster from the first Hungarian free elections in 1990. When I returned to Hungary in 2011 to live after a gap of fifteen years in the UK (including a year in the South of France), it was as a husband to a Hungarian citizen with family responsibilities back homeContinue reading “The Illusion of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy in Hungary & Russia’s Imperial War in Ukraine, 2010-23.”
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 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.”
Majesty & Grace VII: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor – The Coronation; Dawn of a New Era & Dusk of Empire, 1953-58.
Map of the Coronation Procession, 2nd June 1953: The Map below commemorates a day which brought a sense of relief to the people of the United Kingdom after the trials and tribulations of the Second World War and the years of austerity which had followed it. The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2nd JuneContinue reading “Majesty & Grace VII: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor – The Coronation; Dawn of a New Era & Dusk of Empire, 1953-58.”
Majesty & Grace V: The Lives & Times of the Windsors – King, Country & People’s War, 1940-45:
‘Ribbentrop’s War’ – The Assault on the West: After the defeat of Poland, Hitler wanted to wage a winter campaign in the west, but bad weather prevented it, and both sides sat through a winter of ‘phoney war.’ For this reason and with some justice, the Second World War has been called ‘Ribbentrop’s war.’ AlthoughContinue reading “Majesty & Grace V: The Lives & Times of the Windsors – King, Country & People’s War, 1940-45:”
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. “
A Gentle Gulliver – Warwickshire Adventures & Sojourns
Mooching with Seymour Henry: Forty years ago this summer (2022), my grandfather, Seymour Henry Gulliver, died aged eighty-two. He was born at the beginning of the twentieth century at Ufton-on-the-Hill, Warwickshire, the seventh child and one of the younger sons of a large family of thirteen children, eleven of whom survived into adulthood. Seymour wasContinue reading “A Gentle Gulliver – Warwickshire Adventures & Sojourns”