Fighting Irish

I have always had a weakness for the Regency period, and a dilettantish interest in dangerous exertion. In Regency Rogue (1976), Patrick Myler tells the story of Dan Donnelly (1788?-1820), one of the most renowned of the bare-knuckle boxers, a sport intimately associated with that rakish period. “No other man”, observes the author, “who ever… Continue reading

George Borrow revisited

GEORGE BORROW REVISITED George Borrow’s Second Tour of Wales in 1857 Edited by Ann M. Ridler, Wallingford, Oxon.: Lavengro Press, 2017, £15 paperback or as PDF from George Borrow’s 1862 Wild Wales is a classic of a peculiar kind – the record of a bombastic, exhibitionist philologist’s 1854 cross-country peregrination to gratify a boundless… Continue reading

A watch in the Middle Marches

A WATCH IN THE MIDDLE MARCHES “O, the wild hills of Wales, the land of old renown, and of wonder” George Borrow, Wild Wales I step silent across the flagged floor below weathered slates and beams, sleep-held family breathing behind, the only other sounds the scratching of terriers’ claws as they push past into rain-remembering… Continue reading