What exactly is a “Swansong”?

According to tradition, many ancient peoples believed that swans, creatures whose “voices” are not as melodious as those of other birds, burst into clear song when they felt death nearing. The fifth-century B.C. Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have explained that this voice transformation occurred because the swans were …

The Almighty Dollar……

That great man of letters, Ben Jonson, recognised that the regard for wealth often engendered a quasi-religious respect as he wrote in his letter to the Countess of Rutland in 1616: Whilst that for which all virtue now is sold, And almost every vice, almightie gold. Two centuries later the …

The affluent society……

As far back as AD 115, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus acknowledged that Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; man~ amid great affluence, are utterly miserable. So the awareness wasn’t new. After World War II, Canadian born economist John Kenneth Galbraith contemplated the growing prosperity and …

The Rachel Papers….

The Rachel Papers was Martin Amis’ first novel and was about a young man running around London in the seventies trying to get laid (mainly by a girl called Rachel) and cram for the Oxford Entrance Exam. I’ve always had a soft spot for it as I read it back …