Isabel Sutton

Engrossing and original fantasy

Only once before have I encountered a fantasy novel.  I was offered the job of abridging the latest work of a prestigious science fiction writer and I readily accepted the opportunity of employment.  It cannot have taken me more than an hour to realise my grave error in accepting this task. I couldn’t understand where

An ambitious project

The renowned Indian economist Amartya Sen probably isn’t used to hearing his writing described as ‘the logic of the clever school boy’ but, in India:A Portrait, this is Patrick French’s response to academic notions that don’t ring true. In his new book about the evolution of India since Independence, French amalgamates history, biography and reportage

Discovering poetry: Larkin’s ‘Here’

In a recent review of Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness, Robert Macfarlane remarks that the English scrubland between town and countryside is a theme that seems currently to be occupying the national consciousness.  The border country that this book describes is the territory which people pass through on their way to other places; the

A simple reading exercise

For a long time, one of my favourite radio programmes has been Something Understood, presented by Mark Tully on BBC Radio 4.  For those who have never tuned in for its Sunday evening slot, the format is as follows: each week Tully presents a selection of literary and musical extracts all connected by a one-word

English is passed from coloniser to colony

Secondary school pupils aren’t taking modern languages.  I can’t claim to be surprised at this news: in 2004 the Labour government made it non-compulsory to learn a foreign language after the age of 14 and the invitation to dump vocabulary tests and listening exercises has been gratefully received.  What an error.  Having carelessly dropped Spanish,

KJV 2.0

The annual BibleTech Conference – where bible study enters the cyber cafe – is to be held in Seattle this March.  In between consultations about the latest Bible apps, one wonders how much attention will be paid to the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the Bible. Steadily, Anglicans have put aside the King