The Quest (R17)

Pursuing my private intention to discover what it is in Hilaire Belloc that I love so much, I’ve read some of his minor novels and returned to the essays. Apart from some supremely outstanding poems, his verse is negligible but the man is a poet through and through – a ‘maker’ of profoundly affecting prose […]


I continue my exploration of the work of Hilaire Belloc in a determined effort to discover why, since many of his beliefs are so inimical to me, he continues to have a very special place in my intellectual life. He would no doubt have defined me as somebody possessed of a ‘…one-legged, knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, […]


The World is Mired …in the growth of what can justifiably be called ‘fascism’, there are starving millions, anti-human activity perpetrated by people who imagine they are human, people being blown up or killed in plane crashes and nobody asks what it’s all about; the few who sit quietly doing nothing can lose themselves in […]


Greene Ferne Farm (1880) The Dewy Morn (1884) After London (1885) Amaryllis at the Fair (1887) Some General Questions Before we look at the novels themselves, I’d like to ask a few questions about reading novels in general, for instance:- Where does our understanding of a novel come from? How does it arise? How do […]

Many Passions… (R7)

…for people, places, music, books and particular writers. Some writers I discovered more than fifty years ago quite by chance have remained solid and unchanging reference points for making sense of my life. Hilaire Belloc, for example—‘The Mowing of a Field’ in an old book of essays. Sturt, Chesterton, Lynd… Reading ‘The Mowing of a […]

The Happy Life (R7)

‘How foolish is that business man who does not sell out and retire to a small country cottage with his little income of a pound or twenty-five shillings a week, where he could eat, sleep and read in peace and walk abroad admiring Nature. Thousands of businessmen could do this and would if they were […]

A Gigantic System of Systems (R6)

The Enneagram In the gigantic system of systems known as the Enneagram which depicts nine basic personality types and countless sub-types which I prefer to call ‘fixations’ since what is fixated can always be unfixed—which is the object of the system’s dynamic—I settle for the time being on defining myself as a ‘hoarder’; of musical […]