CLAMOROUS VOICE

stage, spires, and Shakespeare

Reginald is Saki’s most exquisite hero, a natural successor to Algernon Montcrieff, and the precursor to Waugh’s Anthony Blanche and Nancy Mitford’s Cedric Hampton. The piece below comes from Christmas 1904, and was originally published in the Westminster Gazette.

Then comes DINNER.

This is super as there are turkey crackers nuts cream plum puding jely and everything. We wash it down with a litle ginger ale but grown ups all drink wine ugh and this make all the old lades and grans very sprightly i must sa.

Christmas-tree-decorating is joyous, technical, and highly ritualised. DEPTH. PRIORITY. THE FANNING OF BRANCHES. My preferred aesthetic is somewhere between Liberty’s of London and the Disneyland Hotel (two spiritual homes). Growing up (I say this like I am now (a) tall, and (b) different), my favourite decorations included the gorgeous wooden and china ones my mother had …

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I last fashioned a blog advent calendar approximately 300 years ago, with a modicum of planning and pretensions to festive continuity. This year, I’m emerging from eight weeks of twenty-four tutorials, twelve lectures, five seminars, and one short-trade-book-coming-out-in-January (of which more soon!), to a weekend’s pause before we enter the frenetically flapjack-fuelled Most Wonderful Time …

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