In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

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

HeritageMartin Green

Stockport, Cheshire; Heath Street, Hampstead,
A basement off the Gray’s Inn Road;
Coram Fields, the Foundling Hospital,
My father dressed like a gipsy
Sawing his cello in Lyon’s Corner House,
Grandpa with the Sunday joint
And a trip to the gods at Sadler’s Wells
On Saturday afternoons.
This was my heritage;
And many demonstrations,
An infant revolutionary wheeled in a pram –
Speakers’ Corner meant more to me
Than did the statue of Peter Pan.
The first theatre I ever saw
The inside of was the Unity;
Lenin and Stalin were nursery gods
And at night behind the curtain
There were meetings, meetings, meetings.
At nursery school (Methodist, Kingsway Hall)
I came across gentle Jesus meek and mild
Who suffered little children unto him.
The infant mind can hold many contradictions
But my mother was not amused
At my Christ on the Cross
On every lamp-post all the way home.
The god who looks after children
Protects them from rational fears
(Death and disease, loneliness and age)
And gives them in return
Wild, vibrant fears of the dark,
Beasts and banshees, wolves and bears.
I had a happy childhood
Frightened of the dark.

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