In Praise of the Novella

What is a novella? It’s a novel, that’s all: a novel that happens to have not as many words as some other novels do. Wikipedia, the fount of all knowledge, states that “Publishers and literary award societies typically consider a novella’s word count to be between 17,000 and 40,000 words.” That is, taking as a […]

Uncommon Assault: the Statesman and the Scribbler

I’m going to tell you the story of a case of technical assault which took place in the lobby of the House of Commons in the year 1893. What makes the incident especially unusual is that the assailant was a Member of Parliament and the victim was a Punch cartoonist. This little tale intrigued me […]

How Gilbert Became Bab (Part Two)

This post follows directly on from Part One: We left our hero first using the artist’s pseudonym “Bab” in order to conceal from his employers, the Education Office, that he had drawn a cartoon criticising their policy. In March the following year a column appeared in Fun entitled “The Education Office, Again” which laid […]

Dog’s Breakfast

Let’s talk about Brexit. We all recall how it started. David Cameron, way back when he was Prime Minister (remember that?), agreed to hold a referendum on membership of the European Union, in order to unite his party and lay that whole silly business to rest. Well, as we know, it didn’t turn out quite […]

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