The Quest


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 […]

MORE OF HILAIRE BELLOC


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 TWENTY-NINTH OF OCTOBER 1902


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 […]

FOUR NOVELS OF RICHARD JEFFERIES (R9)


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 […]