Obituary Hugh Cecil

Historian and biographer with a Bloomsbury background who unearthed forgotten writers of the First World War Hugh Cecil wrote The Flower of Battle Hugh Cecil had a special sympathy for the lost generation of young soldiers and writers of the First World War. When he...

A Slice of Life in Lockdown

A pre-lockdown magazine feature The Amazon delivery guy rang the bell, then scampered off to safety behind the garden gate, a good distance, but not so far that he couldn’t hear and acknowledge my “thank you.” My wife is so far coping with her duties as a Parish...

The Young Rembrandt: not a prodigy

Self-portrait in a cap, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, 1630 When you walk down one corridor in the current Ashmolean Museum’s exhibition of Young Rembrandt you see half a dozen tiny-to-small, though not quite postage stamp-size etchings, which are self-portraits of the...

Beckett: A bit of Rough at the Old Vic

February 5, 2020 by Paul Levy Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe in Rough for Theatre II (Photo Manuel Hardan) For one reason or another, we hadn’t been to the Old Vic since the daft unisex loos were installed, and, said my wife, “Something else has changed.” It was...

The Mystery / History of the Bottle in the Box

THE BOTTLE On Thursday, 23rd January, we had a small party at Millwood Farm. Though as it happened all our guests had our recovered good health to celebrate, that was not the reason for the gathering. Our excuse to dine on foie gras, tomato salad and burrata, and...

How Brilliant Are My Friends, After All?

A scene from My Brilliant Friend Part 1, image by Marc Brenner As I’ve relished all four volumes of the identity-mysterious Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, I was more than willing to sit through the four/five hour double-bill of the National Theatre’s production...

La guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu, Or did it ever do anyway?

Jean Giraudoux’ 1935 play’s title in English claims “The Trojan War Will Not Take Place,” but his tragedy’s use of the future tense is actually a denial of Cassandra’s prophecy – in the face of all the evidence that an even worse war was to begin shortly. For the...