A short history of Lent (and how to survive it)

A short history of Lent (and how to survive it)

This first appeared in the March 2019 issue of The Field For millions of people around the world March 6 this year marks the start of a rather daunting six weeks of self-denial. To Christians Lent symbolises the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert after being baptised, where according to the Gospel of St Matthew he was ‘led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil’. And so it is a time for self-sacrifice,… Read on

Review of Tom Holland’s Dominion, the mega-long version

Review of Tom Holland’s Dominion, the mega-long version

My review of Tom Holland’s Dominion was published in the Catholic Herald back in October, but the book contained so much of interest I had a draft of 3,500 words before I had to cut it down, so here’s the full thing, if you have time on your hands. The Romans are the most ‘epic’ figures in history, as my young son says about anything he finds cool, exerting a… Read on

The Spectator Book Club podcast: are conservatives doomed?

The Spectator Book Club podcast: are conservatives doomed?

Yes, obviously. 

The things we do for love

The things we do for love

At UnHerd, writing in favour of arranged marriages. One small illustration of the social values of the age comes via a poem celebrating William Marshal, a tournament star and member of Eleanor’s entourage. Marshal went on to serve four kings and helped save Magna Carta, becoming the epitome of medieval chivalry and also providing the inspiration for A Knight’s Tale and Ser Barristan the… Read on

True-Born Englishmen

True-Born Englishmen

At UnHerd, on that whole Horrible Histories Brexit thing and the internet’s worst and weirdest anti-nationalist argument.

War! Famine! Plague!

War! Famine! Plague!

The 14th century had it all. On special offer on kindle offer in the United States, Canada and Britain.

Declining institutions >>> more unbalanced people in power

Declining institutions >>> more unbalanced people in power

At UnHerd We fight over these issues because the decline of formal institutions has made it far easier for extremely dysfunctional people with personality disorders to rise to positions of power. If you look at medieval history, for example, it’s filled with extremely popular preachers who were able to attract large numbers of people. These men and women — people like Peter the Hermit, for instance — were very charismatic but also extremely unbalanced, extreme… Read on

Poem of the month: The War-song of Dinas Vawr

Poem of the month: The War-song of Dinas Vawr

Shamed by my lack of poetry knowledge – especially compared to niall_gooch – I’ve decided to try learning a poem a month. Not sure how far I will get, but this month – and only because I read about it in Christopher Caldwell’s new book – I’m going for “The War-song of Dinas Vawr”. The poem comes from The Misfortunes of Elphin, Thomas Love Peacock’s Victorian romance about sub-Roman Britain and the clash of warlords in… Read on

My articles for @UnHerd

My articles for @UnHerd

February 11 Why arranged marriages make sense January 22, 2020 Everything You Know about Europe is Wrong December 11, 2019 Why Tories are becoming extinct November 27 Britain’s Divisions go way back November 15 Why child labour beats school October 21 Harry Potter and the importance of soft power October 2 Brexit… Read on

Everything you know about Europe is wrong

Everything you know about Europe is wrong

Me at UnHerd on why Brits of both a Leaver and Remainer tendencey are very insular.