You will notice that this edition is patchier than usual. This is because most of us, including myself, have been extremely busy lately, with the result that the music and cinema sections are thinner than they ought to be. The next edition will see a return to their usual plumpness.
In this edition Alexander Flux examines the three-way relationship between the English landscape, English identity and English art, Chelsey Flood interviews the new literary sensation Gwendoline Riley, and I ramble on about Powell and Pressburger. As usual, there are a number of reviews of books to do with Englishness, English culture and English identity, including Richard Weight's incisive Patriots, Westwood and Simpson's magisterial The Lore of the Land, and the superb new, extended edition of John Betjeman's Collected Poems.
Although we originally stated that the Spotlight feature was going to be confined to profiling English publishing houses, we decided that it would make much more sense to use it as a means of drawing attention to the activities of people in all fields who are doing something to preserve, and draw attention to, various aspects of our heritage. Thus in this edition we turn the Spotlight on Em Marshall, organiser of a new festival dedicated to reviving that much-maligned and neglected genre, English classical music. If you have any candidates for future Spotlights, we should be very happy to hear about them.
As you may have noticed, there is no recipe in the Diversions section this time. This is because I always test every recipe I include, and this time, what with one thing and another, I had no time to do so. (Though I did discover --by accident-- that if you add a suspicion of curry to a cup of tea, it is surprisingly tasty, and incidentally combines two great English culinary passions.)
We always have openings for new writers. If you have been thinking of writing for us, why not contact me and see what's available? You could also check our listings on idealist.org, which provide full information on areas in which we could do with some extra help.
We all hope very much that you enjoy this edition. --The Editor