Welcome to the Autumn edition of Albion. As so often happens, some general themes seem to have spontaneously emerged from our various contributions.
The history of English political thought is the subject of an article on how the Levellers' franchise reform programme was affected by contemporary changes in property law, while, in a similar vein, Fred Donnelly is less than convinced by a new book on the father of English conservatism, Edmund Burke.
The great artist Paul Nash pops up on more than one occasion, in Mark Jones' double in-depth review of recent works on Nash and Keith Vaughan, and as a figure in the group of leading modern artists whose response to the Great War was the focus of a recent major exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, reviewed by Paul Flux. Also in art, a visit to the blockbuster Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain gave Paul cause to re-evaluate an artist previously viewed by many as an unsophisticated provincial dauber, but who in fact infused his pictures with a nebulous dread. In fiction, Neil Jackson reviews David Peace's Red or Dead, a Joycean approach to the beautiful game, and revisits a classic from the seventies, Barry Hines' subversive and disquieting The Gamekeeper. In television, I enjoy some of Jack Rosenthal's most famous plays, while the cinema section contains a review of the superb St Etienne documentary film collection A London Trilogy. Rural custom is the subject of Way of the Morris, a film about that much-maligned institution, Morris dancing, and Steve Cox discovers a poignant caesura in its development at the time of the Great War. Speaking of tradition, I was delighted to interview Malcolm Taylor (no relation), librarian and archivist of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, who has presided over the construction of the extraordinary Full English Digital Archive of materials relating to English folk song, which can now be accessed by anyone in the world with an internet connection. He kindly took the time to walk me through the project in detail, highlighting in particular the ability to search for songs from users' local areas.
The folk and rock section is full of James Turner's reviews and interviews (which include Guy Manning, Ange Hardy, Andy Tillison, Dave Radford and Simon Godfrey). In classical music, Em Marshall-Luck provides detailed evaluations of many new releases, featuring English composers both well-known and obscure. Finally, in Diversions, readers will find her round-up of new beauty offerings.
With (very early) wishes for a happy holiday season. Don't miss our tenth anniversary edition next spring!--The Editor