Monthly Archives: March 2019

Emile Ford

Emile FordWhat do Ford Hermann Hueffer and Michael Emile Telford Miller have in common? Well, they both ended up being called Mr Ford and they both have blue plaques in Kensington.

Ford Hermann Hueffer became Ford Madox Ford, with a plaque in Campden Hill Road. And Michael Emile Telford Miller became Emile Ford, with a plaque in Kensington Church Street. Continue reading

Second EU referendum and democracy

peoples voteThere are those who say a second EU referendum would destroy faith in democracy. Their argument seems disingenuous. I can understand people taking this line if it is in their interest to. But for every person who sees a second referendum as an affront to democracy there could well be at least one other who sees it as an assertion of democracy. Continue reading

Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox FordOn Campden Hill Road in between Observatory Gardens and Tor Gardens is an elegant semi-detached house displaying a blue plaque to novelist and critic Ford Madox Ford. The plaque was put up in 1973 not by English Heritage but by the Greater London Council – ah, those halcyon days! Continue reading

James Joyce

James JoyceOne down from Gloucester Walk is Campden Grove, W8, where an English Heritage blue plaque records that James Joyce lived there in 1931.

It seems he and Nora Barnacle were only there from May until September 1931. During this time he worked on the final draft of Finnegans Wake. He didn’t like the flat though, and thought Campden Grove should be renamed ‘Campden Grave’ as it was so full of mummies. He presumably meant Egyptian-type mummies rather than yummy mummies. Continue reading

La Belle Sauvage

La Belle SauvageI’ve just started Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, the first volume in his new trilogy The Book of Dust, set in the parallel worlds Pullman first explored in His Dark Materials.

La Belle Sauvage itself is a prequel to His Dark Materials, whereas the second volume, The Secret Commonwealth – to be published later this year (please!) – will apparently be a sequel to His Dark Materials.

I am only two chapters into La Belle Sauvage but it is like meeting up again with an old friend.

© Chris Lawrence 2019.

I Believe I Can Fly

Clifford William KingdonThanks to leisureguy I came across a welcome affirmation that, despite ‘t internet, AI, fake news, Donald Trump, Cambridge Analytica and what have you, William Clifford’s 1877 The Ethics of Belief is still being read and taken seriously today.

This is good as I’m desperately close to finishing a PhD on Clifford, The Ethics of Belief and William James. Continue reading

Social conservatism and Brexit

Giles Fraser at the School of Advanced Study, University of London November 2015

Giles Fraser 2015

I just came across a very enlightening exchange in the blogosphere.

In the blue corner is a contribution to the Brexit debate from Giles Fraser, who is apparently priest-in-charge at St Mary’s, Newington. He is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and The Moral Maze. According to Wikipedia, he was ‘educated at a prep school, Hollingbury Court in Sussex, where he was beaten several times a week by the headmaster for minor misdemeanours’. This may or may not be relevant to the very enlightening exchange. Continue reading

Random likes and dislikes #2


West Highland Terriers
School-age climate change activists
Thomas Hardy
Visions of Johanna
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg


Parents publicising their offspring on social media
Sprawling groundfloor cosmetics departments with no obvious way out
Interviewers grilling EU politicians in general as if it’s their fault
Interviewers grilling Irish politicians in particular as if it’s their fault