Seeing in the New Year, with Peter Hitchens

Today is the day we must recall these fine words from Peter Hitchens, written in 2010 but still so relevant: I am actively hostile to the ‘New Year’, a celebration of nothing in particular.   In that spirit, Happy New Year from all at The Dabbler! You can find that quote, and many more like ... Read More...

Boulevard du Temple, Paris, 1838

Today, a small Dabbler tribute to the endurance of Paris. Nige celebrates an extraordinary photograph... The Parisian street scene above dates from 1838, and was captured by Louis Daguerre, who was born this week (18 November) in 1787. Daguerre, who achieved worldwide fame with his Daguerrotype process, began his photographic researches with ... Read More...

Wanted: a different sort of book review

Mark Pack would like to hear more about books you thought you knew enough about - but probably didn't. A mere seven years after it came out, I’ve just finished reading (or more accurately, listening to) Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science. In case you think I am a remarkably slow reader, I ... Read More...

James Barlow: the revival starts here

Having successfully revived the novelist David Karp, Steerforth champions another undeservedly forgotten author... It isn't easy to find a more obscure novelist than David Karp, but I think I've succeeded. A  visit to Camilla's Bookshop in Eastbourne yielded this novel, published in 1961: Yes, that is Larry Olivier on the front cover ... Read More...

The name’s Leithen…

Bond is back (you can hardly avoid him) but Gaw sets out to find a new hero for our time, or at least for his age. Pushing on through the blizzard of Bond film PR - a storm that blows up every few years - I find myself finding it less ... Read More...

Don’t Leave a Message After the Tone

Why does nobody bother to check their voicemail messages any more? Henry Jeffreys investigates the strange death of the answerphone... Have you noticed how nobody seems to call you back anymore? Don’t worry, it’s not because people don’t like you, the truth is that many people and even businesses no longer regularly ... Read More...

Beverley Nichols: Mostly whimsical

Some pretty twee writing on a wall prods Nige's memory of a once-famous author... Quotations have their uses. Without them, according to Wodehouse, any conversation between chaps would be nothing but an endless succession of 'What ho's. Oddly, these days, they are increasingly becoming an element of interior design, gracing the ... Read More...