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

Robert CrawfordRobert Crawford

You’re interrupted in the book of the film
By someone ringing who’s just seen your name

As the title of an opera. You remember that doctor in Mallaig
Born long before Disney and baptised Donald Duck.

What could he have felt? Normality’s strange –
Always more of it gets delivered in cartons

With the names washed off. Maybe next century
We’ll have extra labels: a noun for the sensation

Of hearing Philip Glass while being driven in a Citroen
Or of sitting down to eat a bag of chips

With two historians of mesmerism near Inverkeithing.
Meantime I’m adjusting to my newfound status

As a matinee for schools. I’m grateful to slip out quietly
By the cellar door and leave myself sometimes

Being private in a deckchair in the garden.

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