Linda Holt

Linda Holt was lecturer in German at Hertford College, Oxford in 1992-93. At the moment she is researching the history of Jersey’s Jews, and preparing a PhD on the women in Goethe’s love poetry.

From The Blog
5 September 2018

Alex Salmond has launched a judicial review of the Scottish government’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against him. The first few days after the news broke were marked by a curious reticence on the part of both the commentariat and the political establishment in Scotland. We can speculate as to the causes, although I think both shock that a colossus such as Salmond could be struck down by the #MeToo movement, and a complete lack of surprise about what insiders whispered was ‘an open secret’, played their paradoxical parts. Doubtless there was also a sense of ‘there but for the grace of God’ for some people; and for the other political parties, a fear that #MeToo might open the door on their own skeletons. One party even told some of its councillors to refrain from commenting on the allegations on social media because Salmond was so litigious.

From The Blog
17 December 2015

My parents were self-made immigrants who never completed their secondary education. Displaced by war and poverty, their families survived by focusing on food and such inflation-proof assets as diamonds and property. The material plenitude my parents showered on their children did not include books because, as my father once asked about poetry, what was the point? My parents didn't get libraries, though they appreciated that they were free, while being disturbed that library books, like the handrails on public staircases we were warned not to touch, bore the imprints of countless strange and unhygienic hands.

From The Blog
18 September 2014

Polling day is suitably dreich in Fife. Since yesterday morning the damp mists of a haar have loomed over us like a hangover that won't go away. We cannot see the Forth, the Isle of May or the Lammermuirs marking the horizon beyond. In Arncroach, where I live, there's just the polling booth adorned with a single large Yes poster. The most striking thing about the referendum is the extent to which it has turned out to be not about Scottish independence.

Our Dear Channel Islands

Linda Holt, 25 May 1995

In 1968, when I was five, my parents moved to Jersey as tax exiles and bought a house in the west of the island. During the German Occupation it had been the site of a slave worker camp. Next door’s garden pond had formerly been the camp’s well, while just over the fence at the bottom of our garden there were grey concrete bunkers covered in brambles and bracken. As children we picked blackberries off them and speculated about what they might contain, but never found a way in. Like our parents, and like many native Channel Islanders, we didn’t give the recent past a second thought: the bunkers, gun emplacements and massive sea walls seemed to have always been there, like the beaches and granite cliffs they overlooked.

Soon after my review of Madeleine Bunting’s The Model Occupation appeared I was mystified to receive a personal letter from its author. It contained a ‘complete copy’ of her letter to the LRB (Letters, 22 June), uncut and unchanged, a vituperative covering note and no return address. This appears to be Bunting’s practice with critical reviewers; John Keegan also received a personal letter complaining...

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