Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 19 June 2008

A basket of literary truffles

Besides The Monarchist and a judiciously filled (very, very filled) hipflask, the next thing the troubled man of today needs is a good read. Put aside the swelling packages from the pharmacy; avoid the other more casual pharmacy in his hooded top and jeans on the corner of your road; not for us the druggism of the 21st century. Books can do the job perfectly well. Is it any mere coincidence that the decline of literacy is exactly inverse to the rise of junkiedom?

There are, of course, numerous kinds for numerous purposes. If one aims for some sort of paper-based sleeping pill, pretty much anything from the shelves of modern fiction will do it.

As for a little appetite suppressant, may we heartily endorse anything from the Current Affairs section?

But to be electrified? To have the hairs quivering on end, the mind breezy and elevated, the eyes well popped? Let us turn a page back to that happy historical summertime of Edwardian Britain.

Which is precisely what Penguin have done. In charming two-tone covers with excellent retro design and cover illustrations, they have relaunched into the world everything from Childers’ gloriously vivid thriller ‘The Riddle of the Sands’ to Chesterton’s ticklingly clever and hearty ‘The Man Who Was Thursday’. The only thing missing from this series is a railway station bookstall to buy them from, accompanied by the vigorous whistle of an incoming steam engine as you pass over your sixpence piece.

They are, however, £7.99 in the Great Britain of today. This horrific fact alone will probably do enough to keep you up at night, regardless of the thrilling contents within. Happily for Canucks, though, they are less damaging at $10.

Well worth filling a shelf with.