On Birds’ Nests

Today's poetry and painting piece features Edward Thomas, Paul Nash, W.H. Davies and birds' nests... In addition to their intrinsic beauty, the bare trees of late winter and early spring offer an opportunity for the discovery of birds' nests.  This thought brings to mind Edward Thomas, who was a great searcher ... 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...

The Other Peter the Great

  Music snobs used to look down on the supreme melodist Tchaikovsky. More fool them, says Mahlerman... More than fifty years ago, when I stopped keeping spit in a bottle and began to find pictures of native African girls in National Geographic arousing, I also became aware in my fevered wanderings that the ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Tick Tock

I’ve taken on a gig writing about culture and whatnot for sofa.com, purveyors of fine furniture and certainly the best place in the visible universe to buy a sofa, and have already written about Vincent Van Gogh's chairs, Impressionist Interiors, His Girl Friday, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette ... Read More...

Jean Ingelow: Divided

Nige unearths a neglected gem of Victorian poety by the almost-forgotten Jean Ingelow... Unless a man is an extraordinary coxcomb, a person of private means, or both, he seldom has the time and opportunity of committing, or the wish to commit, bad or indifferent verse for a long series of years; ... Read More...