The seventeenth-century poet, politician and prose satirist Andrew Marvell has been a large part of my life for the past 20 years. A short commemoration of that journey. … More Andrew Marvell at 400
A touch of history, frustrations with Brexit, regret for my family, and coming from Sunderland. … More Is Brexit another Revolution?
I owe much of my interest in the seventeenth century to the late historian, Christopher Hill (1912-2003). I went to see Justin Champion deliver an impassioned defence of Hill and his work at a memorial lecture in Newark. … More Christopher Hill, Andrew Marvell, and the Dissenting Tradition
The difficulties of dealing with involuntary celibacy, from desolation to misogyny, seem to haunt some of Andrew Marvell’s most famous lyric poems. … More Was Marvell a seventeenth-century ‘incel’?
Review of Kate Loveman, Samuel Pepys & His Books: Reading, Newsgathering & Sociability, 1660-1703 (Oxford University Press, 2015). … More Samuel Pepys and His Books
Hanya Yanagihara’s enrapturing novel A Little Life (2015) finds astonishing depths in suffering and the efforts to make it tolerable. … More A Little Life
There is no hard evidence that Andrew Marvell’s ‘Horatian Ode’ ever left his hands. Yet, it may have come to John Dryden’s attention. How is Dryden the privileged one? A brief study of hard and soft evidence. … More Marvell, Dryden, and the Horatian Ode
There’s no escape from growing old, but can we escape the sense of inadequacy it can bring? Watching this unfold is perhaps the most uncomfortable aspect of the BBC’s new drama, Apple Tree Yard. … More Dealing with inadequacy: Apple Tree Yard
Recalling the final lecture I gave to undergraduate students – and its crazy Disney comparisons. … More A former academic favours Aladdin
Students at UCL have contributed to a gaming project that is designed to engage people with literature and question the stereotypes that ‘demonise’ video-game players. … More Man, monster, or both? Bringing Beowulf to the gaming sphere