Flows of history

Rivers of Power – How a Natural Force Raised Kingdoms, Destroyed Civilisations, and Shapes Our World Laurence C Smith, Allen Lane, 356 pages, £20 Geography can be history, and history geography – and sometimes the most obvious things are overlooked. Rivers of Power seeks to make us see beneath the surfaces of arterial waters, and… Continue reading

Dubliners of a different kind – Dublin Seven by Frankie Gaffney

DUBLINERS OF A DIFFERENT KIND Dublin Seven, Frankie Gaffney, Dublin: Liberties Press, 2015, pb. This uncompromising story about Dublin drug-dealers was published to acclaim in Irish literary circles, although this is the first UK review. Though the subject may seem parochial and is at times squalid, like Trainspotting (with which it was inevitably compared), Dublin… Continue reading

John Aubrey – remembrancer, romantic and forward-thinker – John Aubrey, My Own Life by Ruth Scurr

JOHN AUBREY – REMEMBRANCER, ROMANTIC AND FORWARD-THINKER John Aubrey, My Own Life Ruth Scurr, London: Chatto & Windus, 2015, hb., 518pp, £25 Just as English painting is renowned for portraiture, so English letters have been illuminated by some of the greatest biographers ever to burnish world literature. After Boswell, the best-known is John Aubrey (1626-1697),… Continue reading