Category Archives: Magazines

Sickbed reading: Wodehouse, Mitford, Horatio Bottomley

I’ve been a bit knocked sideways by illness for the past week, so the big question has been – what to read? Previously, I had been reading a lot of Henry Williamson, but he was out of the question. Williamson can make me feel queasy even when I’m in the best of health. My daughter […]

The Wipers Times (and Wodehouse?)

Next week on BBC TV there’s a promising-looking film about The Wipers Times. Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are the authors. It will tell the story of how they found a printing press under the blasted ramparts of Ypres, and put it to use to create a very witty paper.  I Like Newman’s comments on […]

P.G. Wodehouse and Shell-Shock Amnesia

The Indiscretions of Archie (1920) is an odd book, and one of Wodehouse’s less satisfactory novels. I think it was written in America, before Wodehouse returned to England after the War, though it imagines an Englishman crossing the Atlantic in the opposite direction. The original Strand Magazine serialisation began: Peace had come at last. The […]

The Spectator and the Wipers Times

I’m delighted to pass on news of a new resource. The Spectator has scanned all its back numbers, from 1828 to the present, and they can be found to read here. I warn you, though, that the scanning can be a bit erratic. You’ll need your detective boots on to puzzle out some of the […]

The Frenchman and the ‘Magnet’

Looking through wartime copies of the Magnet again,  I came across this editorial comment: Presumably the French had no equivalent of the Magnet. I wonder what the Frenchman would have thought had he actually read a copy. He might have done a lot worse if he wanted to gain an understanding of the English and […]

Rupert Brooke, competitor

I’ve just been alerted by Bill Greenwell to his new blog, about the history of the New Statesman competitions (of which he has been the monarch for several decades). It’s very much a work in progress, and so far he hasn’t got much beyond some general thoughts and accounts of the earliest comps. It’ll be […]

Dolly Dialogues

The third volume of the T.S. Eliot letters is better-edited than the second. The biographies of correspondents seem to have been cleared of the worst howlers (though Arnold Bennett’s The Old Wives’ Tale is still described as the ‘first book of the Clayhanger trilogy’, which it is not). John Haffenden’s notes are useful and learned, […]

The Wipers Times

The nice people at the Vulpes Libris blog are running a week of posts on the subject of parody. They kindly invited  me to contribute, and I sent them a short piece about the parodies in that best of all trench journals, The  Wipers Times. You can find it here.

Max Beerbohm, and postwar uncertainties

The tone of much writing in the twenties is a demoralised restlessness. The effect of war trauma? For some, definitely. The effect of economic uncertainty? A factor not to be underestimated. Also, though, there was a loss of moral bearings. During the tough days of the War, Britain had been buoyed up by the myth […]

‘Defeat’ in Scribner’s

Thanks to Jane Stemp for pointing out that the copy of Scribner’s Magazine containing Galsworthy’s short story ‘Defeat’ is online as part of  Brown University’s Modernist Journals Project. Galsworthy wrote ‘Defeat’ (originally as a one-act play, I think) in 1916, but it was not published in Britain till after the War. I had always assumed […]

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