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Category: October 2021

Ever so slightly off-key

Of the first-rank composers within the generally accepted pantheon, three took holy orders in the Roman Catholic Church: Monteverdi, Vivaldi and – more incongruously perhaps – Franz Liszt, the 210th anniversary of whose birth falls this October. Celebrated as a young man for his brilliant technique and showmanship at piano recitals (a form of concert

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The son-in-law also rises

Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries (Volume 2): 1938-43by Chips Channonedited by Simon Heffer Hutchinson, £35, 1,120 pages ________ This doorstop of a book is the second of Henry Channon’s long and much-anticipated uncensored diaries, and it’s well worth the wait. For many decades his heirs withheld permission of publication, fearing Channon’s more stinging comments on

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Stilted but endearing

Silverviewby John le Carré Penguin Viking, £20.00, 208 pages ________ Posthumous novels are rarely a good idea. A great writer’s literary executors find a discarded, unfinished manuscript in the bottom drawer, polish it up a bit and send it out into the world hoping to make some money before anybody notices that the book isn’t

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Catholic Herald October Issue

Leaders The Synod needs you Mass appeal should be for everyone Vocations need not be consigned to the past Diary – Adam Dant Columns Long Division – In an age of medical apartheid, it’s time for some acts of love, Constance Watson Reading runes – Revelling in the theology of George Mackay Brown, Serenhedd James Compulsory Church

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William, it was really something

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout Viking Penguin, £14.99, 256 pages ________ The best-known and certainly the most dramatic novel about a former spouse is probably Rebecca. Not every story about an ex features murder, infidelity, madness and arson (much as we may wish it to). Nonetheless, exes engender lasting feelings, irritation, resentment and occasional bursts

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Strengthening those in despair

You might think poets make natural martyrs. Passionate, idealistic, enraptured by visions of artistic immortality; throughout history, barricades and prisons have been crammed full of poetic talent. But the best poets are, by necessity, listeners and observers, detached from the action where martyrs are found. When they strive for heroic death, more often than not

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