Monthly Archives: February 2011

Back into the Wild

I am back at City University tonight to examine Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild with the creative writing non-fiction MA students. It’s a dangerous read at this point of the year, when spring is on the way and holidays are on the mind. For those of you who haven’t read/seen Into the Wild, it documents […]

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On writing books and editing them afterwards

My life seems to have acquired a jumbled, see-saw quality over the past months. Having exchanged an office job for a freelancer’s life late last year, I suddenly did not need to be rooted in the middle of London any longer. So I exchanged busy King’s Cross for deepest Staffordshire and, in the months since, […]

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Historical Miscellany #3 – Old News on Valentine’s Day (1805)

Taken from the Worcester Herald – Home News, 5 January 1805 Enterprising Lovers: – Wednesday sen-night, at Gretna, Mr. Robert Reed, a hair-dresser, aged 17, was married to Miss Margaret Pears, who has attained very nearly the same age, with a fortune of £2000. The union of this Juvenile pair being much against the consent […]

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‘Gordon Brown’s Debt’ and John Major’s Pork Pie Factory

A few weeks’ ago I watched the ex-Labour MP, Chris Mullin, taking about his diaries on one of the BBC’s book shows. At length the conversation turned to Andy Coulson and the Conservative Party’s increasing skill with political communications. Mullin said that the Conservative’s use of two specific sound-bites had been particularly successful over the […]

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A few words on the White Stripes

Red Black and White – on the end of the White Stripes It must have been around nine years ago, early on in 2002 when Fell In Love With a Girl had caught a delicate foothold in the UK singles’ charts, that I remember John Peel lapsing into one of his meandering asides about Jack […]

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Historical Miscellany #2 – William Pitt the Younger’s final words (1806)

Benjamin Disraeli heard an amusing story about what he claimed were Pitt’s last words. An elderly House of Commons waiter and keeper of secrets told him: ‘You hear many lies told as history, sir,’ he said; ‘do you know what Mr. Pitt’s last words were?’ – ‘Of course,’ said Disraeli, ‘they are well known … […]

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