Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption Roger Scruton, Allen Lane, 2020, 208 pages, hb, £20 Parsifal was Wagner’s last opera, staged at Bayreuth less than a year before he died. It is therefore sadly suitable as the subject of Roger Scruton’s last book. Parsifal was inspired by the early 13th century German epic, Parzival,… Continue reading
The Dominant Animal, Kathryn Scanlan, Daunt Books, 2020, 118 pages, £9.99 Iowa-born Kathryn Scanlan emerged onto the literary scene in 2019 with Aug 9 – Fog, which took the found, real diary of an octogenarian stranger and turned it into an oddly poetical meditation on ‘ordinary’ life and mortality. The Dominant Animal is made up… Continue reading
The History of The Bible John Barton, Allen Lane, 2020, 622 pages, £9.99 Western civilization is inconceivable without The Bible. Its assumptions, language and metaphors resound through our activities and imaginations, even if we think we have rejected religion as superstition. But how did the Bible develop from folkloric Near Eastern origins to today’s omnipresence?… Continue reading
Losing Eden – Why Our Minds Need the Wild Lucy Jones, Allen Lane, 2020, 272 pages, £14 Since the start of civilization, jaded townspeople have dreamed of escaping from the city and reconnecting with nature. In this highly personal but also well-informed study, Lucy Jones demonstrates that this is not just a sentimental yearning, but… Continue reading
My regrettably short review of Lawrence Joffe’s enjoyably evocative Abandoned Sacred Places in in the current (2 August 2019) issue of The Lady.
Still Water – The Deep Life of Ponds by John Lewis-Stempel My short review of John Lewis-Stempel’s engaging, informative and salutary Still Water – The Deep Life of Ponds is Book of the Week in the current issue of The Lady (21st June).