With all eyes on Newport for the next week, here’s a lovely but unsentimental view of my hometown from some people who really know it.
This image is of ‘The Magic Crystal’ or ‘The Crystal Gazer’, by Gertrude Käsebier, 1904. It’s from the the Royal Photography Society collection at the National Media Museum in Bradford I know it, of course, from the cover of ‘Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops’/ ‘Spangle Maker’ EP by Cocteau Twins.
Two extraordinary and contrasting images from the Folio Society edition of Hugh Thomas’ comprehensive history, ‘The Spanish Civil War.’ Above is a picture of the jailed Catalan government in May 1935. Amongst those staring at the camera from behind bars, Lluís Companys is third from left. The image below is much earlier – from 1926 … More Friday Picture (s) Spanish Civil War
Much as I love Conrad, he can be a bit hard-going and I’d held off going back to him after struggling through ‘Chance,’ which is a great story suffocated by way too much of Marlow’s ponderous opinions. By contrast this volume of tales shows off Conrad at his best: strange stories of people buffeted by … More Joseph Conrad, ‘The Duel and Other Stories’
I’ve never been much of a James Bond fan and have only ever watched two or rather three of the films all the way through. They were one of the Timothy Dalton movies, I can’t remember which, and both versions of ‘Casino Royale.’ However a few years ago I read the excellent Sebastian Faulks Bond … More James Bond
What this amazing book is not is a conventional, comprehensive history of the First World War. What it is instead is first-hand testimony, a chronological selection from letters, diaries and written accounts by those at the front, accompanied by masses of photos, some of them illicitly taken and some of them taken by the men … More ‘Tommy’s War’ by Richard Van Emden