Notes for a Young Gentleman

The opening of the new novel:     and the opening of the new novel:   Until you have read this through, do not write in it. If you choose to do so thereafter, that is your own mistake. It was spooked England, all laid out below and invisibly rushing up towards one—thirty-two feet per […]

Wrestliana ; Or, an Historical Account of Ancient and Modern Wrestling

      This is the original Wrestliana – my great-great-great grandfather’s history of wrestling (as the oldest and greatest sport in the world) Two shillings and sixpence is what it would have cost you in 1823. In 2018, a first edition will cost you around £800. If you can find one. It’s still available print-on-demand – […]

Wrestliana – Things to do with wrestling with things to do with things to do with wrestling

[This is a different version of the first chapter of the book – currently up on the Galley Beggar website.] The story of my great-great-great grandfather’s life is the best true story I know. It has everything – a strong, handsome, charismatic, tragic lead man (William Litt). It involves crime, disloyalty, poetry, love. It’s a […]

Wrestliana

  When I was looking for a publisher for my non-fiction book, Wrestliana, I put together this poster. It’s based on the posters that Cumberland & Westmoreland wrestling matches used to be advertised with in the early 1800s. That’s when my great-great-grandfather William Litt was doing his best wrestling. More about him next time. I did […]

John Donne is Alive

Earlier this year I wrote a short article for the British Library website about John Donne.   It’s intended for ‘A’ Level students, but I said some things I wanted to say about the moment by moment nature of Donne’s poetry. It’s amazing but weirder and weirder the closer you look at it. https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/a-close-reading-of-donnes-song-go-and-catch-a-falling-star

Watching Chess

I watch a lot of chess. (I also watch skateboarding and, more recently, surfing.) I mean on YouTube mostly, though sometimes live. I’m not a good chess player, and although I’ve learned something about openings, tactics, strategy and endgames, I’m still a patzer. (Chess word for rubbish player.) I’m not sure exactly what it is […]