Welcome to our summer edition, for which the Albion writers have outdone themselves. We are very pleased to welcome two new contributors, Dr Fred Donnelly and Imran Javaid Butt.
When I settled on English radicalism as the topic of my Exploring Englishness article for this edition, I did not expect it to spark so much interest from other writers, which suggests, perhaps, how little this theme is addressed by the mainstream media. Fred Donnelly has contributed a scholarly article on the Yorkshire Rebellion of 1820, as well as a piece on the London radical James Parkinson. Just to show that English radicalism is not dead, Alex Betts puts forward his arguments for an English parliamentary republic. I was very pleased to be able to interview Leon Rosselson, a modern-day English radical who has drawn heavily on the English radical tradition.
This edition is certainly not all politics, however. There are lots of film reviews, including Kamran Riaz-Mohammed's thoughtful evaluation of The French Lieutenant's Woman and an article on Ken Russell's beautiful Elgar, while Imran Butt gives us a psychoanalytical review of Shane Meadows' sombre This is England. Along with his usual CD reviews, James Turner contributes an article on the thriving music scene in his home town of Sheffield, while Em Marshall pens an insider's interpretation of a piece that Gustav Holst wrote about her old school. Alex Flux looks at a number of recent art books, including offerings on Hogarth and on the representation of Black people in Victorian art. In fiction, Chelsey Flood interviews Clare Sudbery, author of The Dying of Delight, and reviews Gwendoline Riley's latest novel. I found it a particular pleasure to interview Imran Ahmad, author of the lovely Unimagined, for the non-fiction section.
The Spotlight this time focuses on the Public Catalogue Foundation, a charity that exists to record and make known the vast number of publicly-owned paintings in England, so that we can become aware of the art treasures available to us: a time-consuming project, involving extremely meticulous work. In our interview, Editor Sonia Roe explains the process involved.
As we publish our eighth edition, I feel especially proud that our team includes writers from a number of different English regions, and a wide range of backgrounds. I hope they will pardon me for saying what an inspiring experience it is to work with such enthusiastic people, and how much I continue to learn from the different perspectives that they bring to the magazine.--The Editor