Author Archives: David

Quintilian and L’Oréal: a commonplace book entry

This term I am teaching a series of classes on broad themes relating to the contexts of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature (e.g. Renaissance humanism, the Protestant Reformation, the Civil Wars). We are doing various fun things like listening to songs … Continue reading

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View from the Second Floor of Cambridge Central Library

Looking out from the window of the back side of the city library, a jumble of roofs – not the straight street lines; the soaring spires just out of sight; instead – whitewashed houses with crooked tiles; a wooden trellis; … Continue reading

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skunks, nuns and dragons: a dialogue en route to Lincoln

(Overheard recently on a train journey to Lincoln:) “Skunks aren’t real.” “Yeah, skunks are real.” “Oh, I thought skunks weren’t real. I thought they were like dragons.” “Dragons used to be real, though.” “No, dragons can’t be real because people … Continue reading

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overheard on train

I overheard half of a phone conversation recently on the train from Cambridge. If this was a TV drama I would think the dialogue was somewhat improbable. Lady on phone: “We can’t plan our lives around them not knowing they’re … Continue reading

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a strategic use of hats

I have recently been reading through an anthology of “newsbooks” from the English Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century. These are sometimes seen as the first English newspapers, in that they were the first weekly publications containing English news. However … Continue reading

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the bend in the road

Hello again. For all tuning in after the intermission, I am writing this from Sleaford, Lincolnshire, back in England. Having had a fabulous time in Canada, I’m currently in an in between phase, waiting to see what comes next (having … Continue reading

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John Stott, double listening and dependency

Wednesday this past week (27th July) saw the death of the Rev John Stott at the age of 90. In 2005, Time magazine named Stott as one of the 100 most influential people in the world then living. This may … Continue reading

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