The Cryptic Branch begins
I said in my last post that I was going to start a fiction serial on Substack and so I have. It’s called The Cryptic Branch, and here’s the blurb: 1900. Great Britain is the heartland of the greatest empire the world has ever seen. It is also a country of extremes — of wealth […] Continue reading
Grub Street 4.0
I signed up for a paid Substack subscription for the first time last month and I chose Ed West’s Wrong Side of History. I’ve been an admirer of Ed’s writing for some time, partly because I share his pessimistic-conservative outlook on the current state of the world and partly because he covers current affairs with a historical angle which I enjoy. Continue reading
Tools of the trade
In the extract above, Anthony Burgess is talking about his his trusty manual typewriter when he talks about ‘Qwert Yuiop’. Burgess was writing in 1986, before advent of the mass-produced, general-purpose personal computer, but a time when special-purpose word processors were beginning to edge out the typewriter. Continue reading
The writer Monica Ali said in a recent interview that the critical reaction to her 2011 novel Untold Story tipped her into ten years of depression. Critics apparently thought she had strayed too far from the subject matter that made her name and that gave her writing voice ‘authenticity’. Continue reading
Writer. Londoner. Wayfarer on the rolling English road.
the other place
I write about British places and history at theseislands.blog.