In the latest issue:

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Alan Bennett: The Habit of ArtAlan Bennett
At the Bookshop

Alan Bennett: The Habit of Art

The Habit of Art is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W.H. Auden. During this imagined meeting they are observed and interrupted by, among others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. The play looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, the ethics of biography, creativity and inspiration, growing old, and on persisting when all passion is spent.

Alan Bennett reads from his introduction to the Faber-published text of the play, before answering a barrage of questions from the audience about the play, and about his life and work to date.

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