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Samuel Pepys’ diary

Assorted tech-savvy wags have created blogs for major literary figures ( G.K. Chesterton , for example), so it was inevitable that someone would create a blog for perhaps the most prolific diarist in English literary history. Samuel Pepys (pronounced Peeps) was a successful seventeenth-century . . . . Continue Reading »

Lazy August aphorisms

Devoted readers of this page already know that in hot weather I have energy only for aphorisms , not novels or larger works. Admittedly, when the weather cooled off, I managed to dip into a few weightier tomes¯novels, biographies and the like . But now, a mere week before school starts, the . . . . Continue Reading »

King Charles and Catholicism

Mary Ruiz’s amusing post on Samuel Pepys and his “towsing” of “ladies not his wife” puts me in mind of that most intelligent and charming of English monarchs, Charles II, who was famous for his dalliances with the ladies. (G.K. Chesterton, in a ballad from his . . . . Continue Reading »

Christianity and American politics

The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., with which I am pleased to be affiliated, was founded in the 1970s in large measure to combat the perception that an intellectually and morally impoverished understanding of the dominant American religious traditions had rendered those . . . . Continue Reading »

English law and lesbianism

The trouble with thinking of home is that it’s not always very pleasant. At least if one is an English exile thinking of his homeland. There is an odor of decay surrounding the British body politic and a sense that the memory of a living European culture is in an advanced stage of . . . . Continue Reading »

Movie “Children of Men”

Wilfred McClay’s thoughts on the “party of death” and the grasping for life brought to mind a movie trailer I saw recently for Children of Men , due in theaters December 25 . Those of us who read this unsettling P.D. James novel were struck by the implications of its plot. In a . . . . Continue Reading »

English history and eccentricity

The English have an amiable, if bizarre, fondness for eccentricity, especially if the eccentricity is peculiarly English. The English landscape is dotted with architectural follies, and English history is dotted with the sort of eccentric who would build them. Edith Sitwell , who was something of . . . . Continue Reading »

The principle of human equality

I continue to disagree with Wesley J. Smith ( here and here ) that the near universal assent to a norm of human equality is likely to help much in making the case for all the positions that Smith and I agree in supporting. As I said in my previous post, when people invoke a principle of equality, . . . . Continue Reading »

Psychology, fame, and death

There’s a good article in this morning’s New York Times , about the desire for fame as driven by an existential need for meaning in the face of death, and by the need for acceptance by others. Thanks, psychology! For catching up, that is . . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Human equality and rights

I am not sure why Robert T. Miller is so determined to focus on the empty half of the partially filled glass, rather than acknowledge the portion that contains fluid. I have acknowledged that society’s general belief in equality is not game, set, and match, but rather that the philosophy of . . . . Continue Reading »



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