Tag: Britain

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 ...

The War in the Air

The staggered beginnings of Kate Atkinson’s remarkable new novel, A God in Ruins, take a lurching upward trajectory, moving from earth to sky. Its fleeting prelude offers a glimpse of a Royal Air ...

Loving Pickwick

The amorphous literary period that directly preceded Queen Victoria’s ascension to the English throne in 1837 is notorious for true crimes of book history, from the suspicious disappearance of the ...

Unstill Life

English nature writing has never been all that natural. While their American counterparts tend to imagine natural landscapes as “the last remaining place where civilization … has not fully infected ...

Queen Victoria’s Power

Mike Bartlett’s verse play King Charles III, which finished an extended run at Wyndham’s Theatre in London this past January, stages a near-future crisis for King Charles III. Parliament has put ...

Japanese on Montagu Street

This is the latest installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery.   “My colleagues think I’m going to come back with this crazy haircut,” says the ...

The Road to the Holy Mountain

Twenty years ago, I stumbled upon one of the most unusual places on earth. A young student of logic, I was attending a workshop in Thessaloniki with extra time to spare, and the teacher suggested ...

Geoff Dyer’s American Liberation

Geoff Dyer may be the greatest complainer in contemporary literature. It’s a quality of Dyer’s writing that is often noticed but rarely celebrated, the snobbish and insecure voice on the page that’s ...

Bigmouth Strikes Again

I never expected Morrissey to be a hopeless romantic. But then again, I never expected that I would be one, too. As a struggling queer growing up a generation after the moody singer, I relied on our ...