Well, here we are, having finally arrived at the spring edition of Albion. Various events conspired to delay publication, but once I was able to devote myself to this edition, I had a marvellous time working on it. I hope that you will gain as much pleasure from it as I did. It leads with two very different articles: Paul meticulously examines the bizarre career of eighteenth-century poet, controversialist and Johnson contemporary Richard Savage, while Mary throws into sharp relief the nineteenth-century craze for nature printing and the beautiful, sometimes hallucinatory images which it produced.
Art contains Mark’s lyrical appraisal of a recent book by Matthew Craske on the famous, enigmatic and contrary Joseph Wright of Derby, known for his deployment of dramatic contrasts of dark and light. Paul evaluates an intriguing new offering from Lisa Tickner on the sixties London art scene, which provides a number of illuminating case studies, and also reviews Kevin Sharpe's book on the persistence of regal iconography from the Tudors through to Cromwell’s Commonwealth, in the process giving a concise and elegant overview of that tumultuous period.
In Books, we are honoured to feature a guest piece by former BBC war and diplomatic affairs reporter Martin Bell OBE, in which Peter Johnston’s history of the British Forces in Germany prompts personal reminiscences of Bell’s own experiences of BAOR (as it was then known). Charles Dickens’ complex personality is the subject of a new volume by A. N. Wilson, reviewed by Mark, who also examines an even more disturbing and labyrinthine figure, the Northern comedian Frank Randle as memorialised by Jeff Nuttall in his hilarious, grotty and poetic biography King Twist.
Cinema features Neil Jackson’s stylish and amusing take on The Good Die Young, a vehicle for the elusive Laurence Harvey. I examine the recent, very surprising Netflix film The Dig starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, which went quietly viral on my social media following its release early this year.
In Music, James provides an appreciation of Judy Dyble’s last work —a collaboration with David Longdon finished shortly before she passed away— and by extension of her illustrious career. There are many glorious new releases to choose from in the classical section, in which Em reviews recordings of Holst, Somervell, Ian Venables, Richard Blackford, and many others.
All best wishes for what will hopefully be a very nice summer of fresh air, sunlight and conviviality, and see you in the autumn. --The Editor