Category Archives: Books

The making of John Ruskin’s Eurythmic Girls

John Ruskin’s Eurythmic Girls is a Radio 3 Sunday Feature which airs this Sunday Feb 26th at 645pm Intellectual and art school champion of medieval art he may have been, but it is John Ruskin’s alleged horror of female pubic … Continue reading

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How to win the coming culture war in 2017

A version of this article first appeared in The Big Issue magazine in January 2017. Journalism worth paying for. Available weekly from street vendors or subscriptions here. History rarely falls into neat numerical decades. I would assert the 1980s (yuppies, … Continue reading

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Adjust your privacy settings now, fool! Reading The Woman In White in the instagram age

  (Warning contains some partial but not big spoilers!) “Habits of literary composition are perfectly familiar to me. One of the rarest of all the intellectual accomplishments that  man can possess is the grand faculty of arranging his ideas. Immense … Continue reading

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Ladybird books: Constructing the future past of modern Britain

I used to visit a beloved university English professor  and his wife. He had won the Military Cross for hand to hand combat in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 but never talked about the terrible things he’d seen. … Continue reading

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We’ll get the President we deserve: Suzan Lori Parks on Hillary Clinton & America’s woman problem

“You’ve consumed too much of the Kool-Aid that the man has been serving you.” Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Susan Lori Parks came into the Front Row studio last week to talk about When Father Came Home From The Wars opening at … Continue reading

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From Jane Eyre to Mary Poppins – de-coding the Brontes on film

I wrote this blogpost for a panel discussion we held with a screening of Jane Eyre (1943) at the Picturehouse Cinema at the National Media Museum in Bradford last Saturday. Novelist Mick Jackson, Bronte Parsonage Museum arts officer Lauren Livesey … Continue reading

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The men are weeping in the Oval Office…

Lucy Dichmont and I have made a Something Understood for Radio 4 about Weeping. I knew I wanted to talk about the Wailing Women in the Bible and especially that I wanted to talk again to award-winning poet Andrew McMillan … Continue reading

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The Teen Within…

This week’s Something Understood gives voice to people who I reckon are rarely heard on radio. Teenagers. The readings are all done by young actors and much of the music and poetry you’ll hear was written by them, or about … Continue reading

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Marriage, Margaret Thatcher & the closet of female expectations

This article first appeared in The Big Issue. Journalism worth paying for (subscriptions available) For years my mother kept an entire cupboard where she used to save up things for my trousseau; the old fashioned concept of a bride’s personal … Continue reading

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What should we read into bookshelf wallpaper?

This article first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine in August 2015 I went to a fancy middle class holiday camp the other week. You know the ones. It was fabulous. We did fencing, crossbows, rode Segways and swam every … Continue reading

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