Tag: Britain

Ondaatje’s Long War

In a scathing review of The English Patient, Hilary Mantel called Michael Ondaatje’s most feted work “uneven, unresolved, unsatisfactory.” Her criticism has since become a regular complaint about the ...

Brexit or Utopia?

Ali Smith’s Autumn, the first installment of a four-volume “seasonal quartet” that now continues with Winter, was hailed on its release as “the first great Brexit novel.” As any reader of the book knows, there ...

The Netflix Queen

“What a marvelous way of looking at the history of modern Britain,” enthused the socialist historian Raphael Samuel when fellow historian Ben Pimlott told him in the 1990s that he was writing a ...

When Stuart Hall Was White

I do not recall when I discovered that Stuart Hall was black. Growing up in Britain as neoliberalism first began to take shape under the rule of Margaret …

When Stuart Hall Was White

I do not recall when I discovered that Stuart Hall was black. Growing up in Britain as neoliberalism first began to take shape under the rule of Margaret Thatcher, I found that Hall’s work helped me …

Shakespeare in 2016

Over the last four centuries, we’ve reinvented Shakespeare to suit our purposes, much as Shakespeare borrowed from his past to do the same.1 2016 commemorates the four hundredth anniversary of ...

A Fantasy of Whiteness

Here’s a British history factoid to wield this winter: Margaret Thatcher was born in Grantham, a market town in southwest Lincolnshire, where her father, famously, was a grocer (as well as mayor). If ...

Illegals

At the height of the refugee crisis in Germany, the following slogans made their appearance on the Hamburg streets: Wir sind alle illegal (We are all illegal) paired with Kein mensch ist illegal (No ...

O My Swineherd!

The last century may have ushered in an epoch of wars that have no end, but Homer’s Odyssey continues to inspire. You do not have to be James Joyce or Derek Walcott to find the story of a man’s ...

Suffragettes Take Hollywood

An industrial laundry in 1912 London, the steam infusing the air, the sweat on the workers’ faces so vivid the viewer herself feels the heat. These laundries were not only literal sweatshops; they ...

The New School Tie

In 1998 Harrow school opened a satellite campus in Bangkok. Founded in 1572 by Royal Charter from Elizabeth I, Harrow is one of Britain’s ancient “public” schools, fee-paying institutions independent ...

Bond? James Bond?

Just as no prophet is recognized in his own country, James Bond always incarnates to cries that he is not James Bond. Sean Connery, in the view of Ian Fleming, was not Bond but rather “an overgrown ...