Literature

Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace

On Good Friday, a review of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2017It does not take long to see what matters most in our society: the bottom line is the proverbial dollar. Watch the news for more than a few minutes and you’ll discover it’s the economics that drives political decisions. Does it have to…

Night Trains by Andrew Martin

More than nostalgia for a quickly vanishing way of travelAndrew Martin’s Night Trains is a compelling piece of travel writing. Part documentary account of his own travels and – perhaps inevitably given its subject – part social history, this is not mere trainspotter fodder. All over Europe, sleeper trains are rapidly vanishing. While rail travel is…

Re-Reading Waterland

How does our understanding of a novel shift over time?I first read Graham Swift’s Waterland as a university fresher. Twenty-five years later, I’ve recently re-read the novel as I prepare to teach it to a group of A level students. Reading the novel afresh has been an interesting exercise in how we read and how…

Not only a ‘Shepherd’s Life’

James Rebanks’ ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ is much more than a conventional biography, challenging us to rethink our attitudes to the landWe spend a lower percentage of our incomes on food than ever but what we eat dominates the media, whether it be this year’s winner of The Great British Bake Off,  Tesco’s latest marketing rip…