Pub Idol

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

IT’S ODD THAT the two most famous ‘Dicks’ in English history should owe so much more to fiction than fact. At least Whittington really was Mayor of London, even if his cat is as mythical as Turpin’s Black Bess. Dick Turpin, hanged by jumping off a ladder in April 1739, was a petty criminal from […]

The Fraudulent Philanthropist

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

IT IS ALMOST as dangerous to write about loveable rogues as it is to get to know them. Hypocrisy can be hypnotic: it is hard not to feel for the ardent temperance campaigner when the police cart away his secret stash of thirty-year old clarets and expensive champagne. There is even some who thing endearing […]

Lemon Squeezers

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

JOHN DICKIE IS senior lecturer in Italian Studies at University College, London. He specialises in ‘representations of the Italian South, Italian nationalism, the cultural history of liberal Italy, and cultural and critical theory’. This bodes well for an authoritative history of the Sicilian mafia, from its obscure beginnings to its current resurgence after years in […]

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RLF - March