Richard D North.

On culture, Nature, liberal issues, monasticism, spirituality

Latest posts

Glasto ’24: Boomers to Gen Z

This started as jottings about Glastonbury 2024, as seen on TV. It has morphed into a rather long account of all sorts of Glastonbury memories, and incorporating other festival moments, but ranging over the way the entire music scene has evolved in my time.

If some of the remarks seem judgmental, you might kindly put it down to the fact that I have been immersed in writing from the 19th and earlyish 20th Century when unfettered waspishlness was last in vogue. 1 Read more...

Published

07 July 2024

Filed in

Civilised Right-wing, Mind & body

Bernardine Bishop: a novelist in her 20s, and 70s

Bernardine Bishop wrote two novels in her 20s, then became a psychotherapist until her 70s, when - forced by cancer - she abandoned her profession, and wrote three last novels. I look here at the first of her late books (published in 2013) and of her early books (published in 2013), both well received on their arrival. (Footnote 1) Read more...

Published

12 April 2024

Filed in

Mind & body, On books

Spirituality and the Material Universe

It has taken me many years to fret out what I mean by the question: What to do with words like 'spirituality' when applied in a material universe? Now that, at last, I think I have something like answers, the next question is: Can I usefully express myself on the matter? This post will be something of an evolving draft. Here goes.... Read more...

Published

22 November 2023

Filed in

Mind & body, On art

SKN and Lucie Rie

Excellent and, as usual, tantalising evidence of Stanley North's nature has quite suddenly been put my way. Tanya Harrod, the writer on the history and relationship of the worlds of art and of crafts, wrote asking me for some information about Stanley. Along the way Dr Harrod told me that Lucie Rie, the crucial modernist potter, had formed a strong relationship with Stanley, shortly after her arrival in London and late in his quite short life. Read more...

Published

18 November 2023

Filed in

Mind & body, On art

Let’s end Totalitarian Liberalism

I want to show something of the workings of the soft-left, green, anti-Tory, 'progressive', Woke ideals which have coalesced to enfeeble so many of the brightest and best adults of our day. They have unconsciously but comprehensively embraced several linked varieties of liberalism (Kindergarten, Smug, Snobbish, and Bossy - even Totalitarian). They have abandoned a liberalism which is tough and self-challenging. I mourn how so many nice, intelligent people have allowed their minds and hearts to be hijacked to the point where they can't see the merit in the Rigorous Liberalism which could make them useful to our polity.

Read more...

Published

08 October 2023

Filed in

Civilised Right-wing, Mind & body

Filson Young’s novel of love, lucre and lighthouses

Filson Young was often a passionate being, and quite often, it seemed, a bit buttoned up. He had two marriages and many affairs. He had a very wide acquaintance, literary, military and political. He grew a big reputation very young, not least because of his affiliation with the lively publisher, Grant Richards. Their team-work produced his first novel, Sands of Pleasure in 1905. It concerns a lighthouse and rural society in Cornwall and chandeleers and courtesans in Pairs. Read more...

Published

15 March 2023

Filed in

Mind & body, On books

Filson Young: BBC pioneer

This is an account of some parts of Shall I Listen? of 1933. It was the penultimate book by Filson Young (1876-1936). He was a BBC pioneer with instincts about the future of broadcasting which foreshadow the podcast age. He was a snob who disparaged Reithian London-centricity. He was a Londoner who invented a new style of outside broadcasting from a Cornish village. Read more...

Published

14 March 2023

Filed in

Civilised Right-wing, Mind & body, National Media Trust, On books, On TV & Radio

Do TV presenters really investigate?

In May 2022, the Lucy Worsley Investigates series had a film on the Black Death (repeated in February 2023, when I saw it). We were given the story of mid-14th Century Britain’s response to the dreadful plague. The BBC promotional blurb was full of how our heroine would investigate the… Read more...

Published

14 March 2023

Filed in

Civilised Right-wing, On books, On TV & Radio

Fake History on-air

BBC Four Extra in the small hours can be exceptionally moving. It’s something to do with listening to headphones in the dark. A good case was the hour-plus omnibus edition of Radio 4’s Curtain Down at Her Majesty’s, which I hadn’t heard before its outing in January 2023 (first broadcast… Read more...

Published

14 March 2023

Filed in

Civilised Right-wing, On books, On TV & Radio

The Dearmers: Three pilgrim generations

Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) was an inventive and creative churchman. His son, Geoffrey Dearmer (1893-1996), was a fine WW1 poet who was re-discovered when he was aged 100. His grand-daughter, Juliet Woollcombe, now in her 80s, fulfilled the ambition of his feminist circle: she was ordained a priest in 1994. There is much more to be said about this remarkable family, and not least about its women. I attempt to tell some of that story, which I characterise as a pilgrimage, below the fold. Read more...

Published

10 March 2023

Filed in

Mind & body, On art, On books
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