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


One day when I was walking down the street
You’ll never guess who I did meet.
Margaret Thatcher, who got out of a car
And went into a Public Bar.
Up to the counter she walked briskly
And ordered up a pint of Whisky.
In came MP Michael Foot –
He had been cleaning a chimney and was covered in soot –
With the rest of the Labour Party shortly behind.
Mrs Thatcher drinking whisky – what a find.
Thatcher made the headlines clear,
Drinking whisky and sometimes beer.
Reporters round her all the time,
She consulted the law: ‘Was drinking a crime?’
All they said was: ‘You should know.’

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