Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels I've always had a love-hate relationship with running and exercise. On the one hand, nothing quite beats the feeling of knowing you’ve just completed 10 k. Running is also good-quality thinking time. I’ve made some pretty important — if not life-changing — decisions whilst running. It’s also a great time… Continue reading Running Away those January Blues
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash Rewind back to the spring of 2018 and celebrated Irish author, Roddy Doyle, is being interviewed by Stephanie Merritt as the celebrated Hay Festival enters its 30th year. The topic is Doyle’s latest offering: a harrowing story of childhood trauma, secrets, and self-revelation. The date of Doyle’s interview is significant: the 25th… Continue reading The Best of 2018: Roddy Doyle’s ‘Smile’
The city of Budapest is steeped in a rich, yet volatile history. From its beginnings as part of the Roman Empire in the First Century BC to its contemporary reputation as a city of resplendence and astonishing beauty, this tale of two cities has always had a unique story to tell. Behind the neo-gothic architecture… Continue reading Shoes on the Danube Bank
For those of you who don’t know, Jeremy Bentham is something of a name around the Campus of University College London, in Bloomsbury. The moral philosopher turned-spiritual founding father of the university is perhaps less well known for his moral philosophy and writings on legislative reform than his eccentricity and peculiar perspective on mortality. His auto-icon – otherwise known as his straw-stuffed skeleton – has recently been on display at the Met Breuer Museum in New York. Bentham was featured in an exhibition called ‘Like Life: Sculpture, Color and the Body, 1300-now.’ But lest UCL students fear that they have lost him forever as he finally achieves his dream of travelling to America, be reassured that Bentham will return in time for UCL graduation selfies in September.
Wish I’d read this before my Shakespeare final. As fascinating and engaging as ever.
From the early 1590s, at the beginning of his career, all the way through to its end, Shakespeare grappled again and again with a deeply unsettling question: how is it possible for a whole country to fall into the hands of a tyrant?
“A king rules over willing subjects,” wrote the influential sixteenth-century Scottish scholar George Buchanan, “a tyrant over unwilling.” The institutions of a free society are designed to ward off those who would govern, as Buchanan put it, “not for their country but for themselves, who take account not of the public interest but of their own pleasure.” Under what circumstances, Shakespeare asked himself, do such cherished institutions, seemingly deep-rooted and impregnable, suddenly prove fragile? Why do large numbers of people knowingly accept being…
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