RIP Frank Key

  The inestimable Mr Frank Key - also known as Paul Byrne - died last week.  There really was nobody like him, was there? Frank was the first regular columnist we recruited, and Key’s Cupboard ran every Friday, more or less without fail, from August 2010 to February 2016. Those years were, without any ... Read More...

RIP Malty

Some sad news. John Jobling - aka the wonderful Malty - died in September. Malty was a prolific commenter on The Dabbler and its satellite blogs and there was no one quite like him. Actually, there was nobody remotely like him. Who can forget his idiosyncratic lexicon, peppered with unexpected Teutonisms ... Read More...

David Bowie: Six Songs from Six Decades

  Daniel Kalder gives his take on David Bowie's long and consistently great music career, from Space Oddity to Blackstar... David Bowie: what a career, what a talent. When the news of his death broke on Monday I immediately shelved the piece I had prepared on his recent (and excellent) release, Blackstar. Instead- I now ... Read More...

Lord Berners – The man who left Lesbos

Steerforth remembers one of the more flamboyant dabblers of the 20th century... One of the most colourful and unjustly forgotten characters of the last century is Lord Berners. Born Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson in 1883, Berners went to Eton and worked as a diplomat until he inherited his title. For the remainder of ... Read More...

Adrian Carton de Wiart: Happy Odyssey

Gaw pays tribute to one of the most remarkable soldiers this country has produced... Adrian Carton de Wiart's soldiering career extended from Boer to Second World Wars, taking in many events of large historical importance. He was usually to be found in the thick of the action, winning a VC during the ... Read More...

Eric Ravilious’ Wood Engravings

  Nige enjoys the masterful wood engravings of the great Eric Ravilious... One of the most welcome birthday presents I've ever received was a handsome volume of Eric Ravilious Wood Engravings, beautifully produced by the Mainstone Press. The versatile and prolific Ravilious was as naturally gifted a wood engraver as he was a watercolorist, ... Read More...

Churchill’s Great Contemporaries: Welsh Wizardry

On the anniversary of Churchill's death we pick out some highlights from his portraits of the era's great men. Here's how David Lloyd George's mysterious Welsh wiles confounded a very grand statesman... I’ve just finished reading Churchill’s Great Contemporaries, a collection of biographical essays. You rapidly realise how he managed to earn huge sums from ... Read More...