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Watership Down is not a Children’s Book

Watership Down is not a Children’s Book

Chorus: Why do you cry out thus, unless at some vision of horrorCassandra: The house reeks of death and dripping blood.Chorus: How so? ‘Tis but the odour of the altar sacrifice.Cassandra: The stench is like a breath from the tomb. These lines, a quote from Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, constitute the opening of Watership Down. If ever an author wished to give a better signal to the audience that this book was not a children’s book, it would be hard to imagine…

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On the Categorisation of Hymns

On the Categorisation of Hymns

NB: This is intended to be a light-hearted and not entirely serious piece. I do not consider the classification below to be based on far reaching principles or to have great explanatory power. Hymns(1) are often categorised according to their style of music: old or new, upbeat or staid, intended to be played by organ or by guitar. However, by focusing on the lyrics, an alternative categorisation appears. Theological. The principal feature of these hymns is that they fit in…

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Four political tribes

Four political tribes

A lot of commenters have observed, particularly post-Brexit, that the old divide between left and right seems to be breaking down. At the last election, age and level of education were better predictors of how someone voted than income or what one might traditionally think of as class. In truth, the new voting patterns are simply revealing differences that have been growing for many years, with or without Brexit: similar – if differently presenting – changes can be seen in…

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