Fatal flaw

I love the story of Jane Eyre more than life itself, which has never been much cop but, infuriatingly, I could not love this adaptation. I say ‘infuriating’ because what it does right it does very right. It is stunningly mounted, for example, with ferocious landscapes and howling winds and the sort of storms that

Lucky charms

I have just finished a book (writing one, not reading one, you fool) and, as ever, I am hoping that it’s good enough and people will like it. Can you ever know? In this respect, and in quite a few others, it’s a little like a band putting out a new album, which they may

Arts feature

Killing comedy

There is a ban on comedy flyering in Leicester Square. Westminster Council has decided that flyers are litter and that the flyerers — usually anxious baby comedians – ‘harass’ the tourists. This is ridiculous. Most comedians would scream at their own reflection in a pint. Even so, if the council finds any flyers it will

Out of this world | 10 September 2011

Lloyd Evans meets Tara FitzGerald and is struck by her uncanny beauty and her desire to hear what he thinks Tara FitzGerald’s beauty is fabulous. Literally, there’s something unworldly about the surfaces and contours of her face. It’s as if the codes of her biology had been transmitted to earth from a higher realm, from


Divine punishment

Once or twice a season Shakespeare gets booted out of the Globe. In his place a modern author is given a chance to shine. The Scottish writer Chris Hannan’s new play, The God of Soho, opens with a frolicsome nod to classicism. We are in heaven where two demotic deities, Mr and Mrs God, engage


But is it any good?

Writing to his friend and fellow-author William Dean Howells in 1907 about the Prefaces to the New York edition of his novels, Henry James said, ‘They are, in general, a sort of plea for Criticism, for Discrimination, for Appreciation on other than infantile lines — as against the so almost universal Anglo-Saxon absence of these


Money for nothing

When future historians sift through the wreckage of Western Civilisation to try to find out where it all went wrong, I do hope they chance upon at least one episode of The World’s Strictest Parents (BBC3) and one of Deal or No Deal (Channel 4). The World’s Strictest Parents is another TV variant on the


Spirit of place | 10 September 2011

In the Weston Rooms of the Royal Academy’s main suite of galleries is the third of a series of exhibitions designed to show the processes by which artists arrive at their work. In the Weston Rooms of the Royal Academy’s main suite of galleries is the third of a series of exhibitions designed to show


One day

‘History is not a dull subject,’ warned Caryl Phillips, the novelist, at the end of his 9/11 Letter. ‘It’s a vital, contested narrative, peopled with witnesses to events which touch both head and heart. It’s the most important school subject because not remembering is the beginning of madness.’ Perhaps he should have said ‘not remembering