Archive | January, 2011

Discoveries: Sarah Bakewell on Irmgard Keun

I interviewed Sarah Bakewell last month about her biography of Montaigne for the new Interview of the Month slot on the Blackwell Online website (that interview will be available there very soon). Visiting her website recently I saw her post about Irmgard Keun, a writer I had never heard of. It turned out that Sarah […]

Continue Reading · 18 January 2011 · literature, podcasts

46. Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity

“Elephants are not treated much differently now than they were in the mid-eighteenth century: they are objects of awe and conservation, yet legally hunted, made captive, abused, and forced to labor for human gain. What then has research and learning served?” In Elephants on the Edge, Gay Bradshaw makes an eloquent but always scientifically reasoned […]

Continue Reading · 17 January 2011 · natural history, podcasts, science and philosophy

Whose crisis? Whose future?

Susan George is an internationally renowned political scientist and author of over a dozen widely translated books. She was born in the Midwest during the Great Depression, but moved to France in the 1960s and subsequently took French citizenship. She still lives in Paris. Susan George achieved prominence in 1976 with her first ground-breaking book, […]

Continue Reading · 12 January 2011 · history and politics, podcasts

One-Minute Word Histories: No.3 – Skulduggery

In the third of this short series of films, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles talks about the history of the word ‘skulduggery’ and suggests a reason for its enduring appeal. There are more tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself in her new book, How to Read a Word (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Continue Reading · 6 January 2011 · language, video

One-Minute Word Histories: No.2 – Twitterati

Historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles introduces us to some of the words whose histories she traces in her new book, How to Read a Word (Oxford University Press, 2010). In this, the second in a series of short films, she talks about the origins of the word, twitterati.

Continue Reading · 5 January 2011 · podcasts

Daljit Nagra on the ‘whoosh’ of poetry

An Interview with Daljit Nagra from FaberBooks on Vimeo.

Continue Reading · 5 January 2011 · poetry, video

One-Minute Word Histories: No.1 – Avatar

In the first of this short series of one-minute word histories, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles explores the origins of the word “avatar”. If this inspires you, Elizabeth’s new book, How to Read a Word (2010), contains lots of tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself.

Continue Reading · 4 January 2011 · film, language, video

6. Books of the Year – Catherine Arnold

Our final guest who shares the highlights of her past twelve months of reading is historian Catherine Arnold. I first interviewed Catherine about the second book in her London trilogy, which explores the darker aspects of the city’s past, Bedlam: London and its Mad. You can hear the interview here. (The first volume of the […]

Continue Reading · 2 January 2011 · biography and memoir, historical fiction, history and politics, podcasts