Lifting the Whole World

December 2015 Leigh Hunt often comes to mind at this time of the year. Widely known throughout the first half of the nineteenth century as both a poet and a prose writer, Hunt fought courageously against political injustice… Read More

Open to Persuasion

November 2015 When I was asked a few years ago if I would like to edit one of Jane Austen’s novels, I quickly answered that I would be happy to, and especially if I could edit her greatest… Read More

Opium’s Invasion

October 2015 “Who is the man who can take his leave of the realms of opium?” demanded the French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire in Les Paradis artificiels (1860). Not Thomas De Quincey. Opium was the central fact… Read More

Lucy in the Sky

September 2015 What is the relationship between drugs and human creativity? Consider the case of opium. The ancient Greek epic poet Homer almost certainly refers to it in The Odyssey as “a drug to quiet all pain and… Read More


August 2015 My first thought was, “Why is Ronnie Wood at The University Women’s Club in Mayfair?” But then I quickly realized it wasn’t Ronnie Wood. It was instead the man I was waiting to speak to: Dr… Read More