Welcome to the written world of RDN.

RDN is a complicated conservative and a Civilised Right-winger. I am a bit hippy and arty. I am currently working on poems, a memoir, and cultural essays. I nurture hopes of doing a one man show. And I am interested in the spiritual.

Page 9 of all posts

David Hare’s Skylight revived

I like the idea of liking David Hare as a pretty good playwright of the human heart who is hopeless when he lets his NW1 soft-left liberalism close his mind like a clam. But his Skylight, recently reprised in the West End, and by the NT live in cinemas, makes this quite difficult. Read more...

Published

01 September 2014

Filed in

On theatre

Hobo’s 79th Armoured Division insignia

This is the famous insignia of the 79th Armoured Division. It seems very likely that, like the 79th itself, it was designed by General Percy Hobart (Sir Percy, as he became). If so, he was as creative with a pencil as with his military planning. He was certainly close friends with writers and artists, including Eric Kennington, one of the best war artists of WW1 and WW2. The Bull's Head insignia of the 79th Armoured Division For more on this story, see below... Read more...

Published

28 August 2014

Filed in

Military Covenant, On art, On books

Stanley Kennedy North: Medieval homages, c1920s

Stanley North, or Stanley Kennedy North (and sometimes, as below in the carol work, Kennedy North) as he became on his marriage to Helen Kennedy (his second wife), was a strikingly modern illustrator but almost as much a passionate medievalist - as we see in various images in the rest of this page. The image below is a detail from SKN's triptych for the Royal Academy of Music, which best described at the RAM's online museum and best seen at the BBC/PCF site. SKN's Royal Academy of Music tribute to Tobias Matthay, detail Moving on to other rather similar Stanley North medievalist offerings, see below... Read more...

Published

27 August 2014

Filed in

On art

Stanley Kennedy North folk dance book, 1921

Stanley North, by then calling himself Stanley Kennedy North, in recognition of his marriage to Helen Kennedy, illustrated and (presumably) produced this marvellous little book, Mr North’s Maggot (so called after a folk dance formulation). It is dedicated to Helen and has a foreword by Cecil Sharp, the great revivalist… Read more...

Published

27 August 2014

Filed in

On art, On books

Stanley North WW1 “Child’s ABC”, 1914

Sometime during the autumn of 1914 (I am presuming), my grandfather, Stanley North produced these marvellous images to illustrate Geoffrey Whitworth’s “Child’s ABC of the War”. It was in the spirit of much of the artistic and literary response to the declaration of war. Here is a gallery of the… Read more...

Published

25 August 2014

Filed in

Military Covenant, On art, On books

79th Armoured Div souvenir, 1945

Gillian Parnell came across this remarkable cigarette box, presumably made in Hamburg in 1945 by or for the 79th Armoured Division. As of 25 August 2014, she has it on sale at eBay. Pix below.... Read more...

Published

25 August 2014

Filed in

Military Covenant, On art

Poem: The Kingfisher day

My wife has been actively hoping to see a Kingfisher for even longer than the 18 years we have loved each other. Various trips on or by various likely rivers - especially the Stour at Wimborne and the Severn at Symonds Yat - didn't deliver. The much less purely rural Thames at Marlow did, though. Read more...

Published

09 August 2014

Filed in

RDN's poems

Poem: House-sitting

My wife and I have been house-sitting near Henley: the large, arty house and its absent household made a big impression. Read more...

Published

09 August 2014

Filed in

RDN's poems

Selsey’s fine homage to “Journey’s End”

Last evening I saw the very moving show, The End of the Journey, A promenade performance about WW1. It was staged in the same, small Pavilion Theatre in Selsey High Street where R C Sherriff took a keen interest in a late 1933 amateur production of his play, Journey's End, the hugely successful and influential West End hit of 1929. Read more...

Published

09 August 2014

Filed in

Military Covenant, On theatre, Politics & campaigns

Poem: A Burridge day sailing

My friend, the designer, illustrator and writer, Paul Burridge, has been restoring his Macwester 28 for a couple of years and he took a couple of us on her first voyage under his ownership on 7 July 2014. It was a great day. Read more...

Published

09 July 2014

Filed in

RDN's poems
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