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The Portrait Game

If Lady Alexandra had sat for a portrait before, she might not have fallen for it. When the portraitist had offered to cut her price in half if she would allow his student, Mr Bridger, to paint her in place

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

A Wise Hunter

I was hunting for a duck when I found a king. I was stalking the river bank like I do every morning but Sunday, fowling piece in my arms and an eye open for tonight’s dinner. A wise hunter knows

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Follow the Girl

When the girl perches on the edge of a pool beneath a fountain to open the envelope, she’s kind enough to do it opposite a café. I can sit inside with a cup of coffee and look like any other

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Traveller on the Moor

Horace saw the traveller immediately after the sun dipped below the horizon. A piece of darkness in the shape of a cloaked man, barely visible by the lavender sky as it moved through the heather and gorse toward him. Horace

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Jack Liberty’s Son is in the Heinous Concoction

It started in front of the Old Bailey. I stood on the flagstone pavement, surrounded by lawyers grabbing coffee from the street cafes. I imagined what I’d have been looking at if I’d stood there two hundred years earlier, when

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Posted in Publishing news

Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on the life and project

Shortly before her death, Susan Sontag said ‘that somewhere along the line, one has to choose between the Life and the Project’. Hilary Mantel quoted her in the third of this year’s Reith lectures, while she was talking about the

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Greater Minds: Hilary Mantel on adapting the past

The Reith Lectures are an annual pleasure from the BBC to the world. Every year, a prominent speaker gives a series of lectures on a subject close to their heart, followed by questions from an audience that usually includes some

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Veterans

“She’s a beauty.” I pointed at the tug. “She’s filthy,” said Elizabeth. “She’s all black. She looks as if she’s wearing a gown of her own smoke.” My sister was two years older than me and when she didn’t have

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greenland Shark

A peristaltic spasm threw her from a cold place to a colder place. The change in the cold registered less than the disappearance of the electrical impulses around her snout. She had no name for what she was detecting or

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Red Snow

“What was that?” asked the pilot. “Just turbulence,” said the co-pilot.  “She’s fine.” The pilot heard a voice over the intercom, but the words were indistinct. “Was that you, Dusty?” “Sorry, nothing,” said the navigator.  “Coming up on the coast

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
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