Posted on by Frank Brinkley

There was a time when boys had hobbies. They collected stamps, pinned dead butterflies to strips of balsa wood, stole eggs from birds’ nests, painted model aircraft and toy soldiers, and spotted trains. The point about hobbies – whether indoor or outdoor – was that they had to be slightly obsessive. To have a hobby […]

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Jane Austen looked out dismally at the puddled fields and drowned crops around Chawton. Coleridge sat awake through nights of violent summer storms, marvelling at ‘this end of the world weather’. Most famously, the Shelleys watched the storms over Lake Geneva and started to tell each other ghost stories, one of which took on a […]

Seeking His Quarry

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

I am not an obvious reviewer for this book. It is a profoundly geological work concerning the very matter of the Earth, and all my adult life I have found geology, not economics, to be the most dismal science. Nor am I an addict of the sort of discursive, polymathic prose celebrated in the work of W G Sebald and favoured by Granta, the publisher of Underlands. However I have been entirely won over by Ted Nield’s manipu-lation of the subject and the genre. It is a most appealing thing that he has fashioned here, shaming me of my prejudices and granting me (I hope) pleasurable absolution.


Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese full of living maggots, and an image of this delicacy popped unbidden into my mind as I read about what we humans are doing to our fellow creatures. As we proliferate, other species die out. This is not simply a phenomenon of the industrial age. In The Sixth Extinction […]

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March