Category Archives: London

March 11, 2010, 4:14 pm

London Calling: A Few Thoughts On The Mother Country

What — the Radical is tracing her heritage to England? Well yes, sort of. To make a long story short, the Paternal Unit’s family came to the colonies, from England, in the seventeenth century. The Mother of the Radical (MOTheR) traces her line of descent from somewhere in the Germanic middle of Europe and from Selkirks, who were herded onto ships two loaves short of starvation and sent to make a living in Canada circa 1811. The latter group, although ruined by colonialism were then, in a twisted historical accident, saved by it. As a result, my family came to identify as English in Canada. True, until Canada began to recognize that there were not only white people in the world, one had limited choices: English or French, Protestant or Catholic. Nevertheless, I have met other Scots-descended Canadian folk who identify ethnically as Scottish and do a lot of Scots nationalist things…

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March 7, 2010, 6:07 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Rockin’ In The UK Edition

This week’s roundup is posted from the London, where your favorite Radical has done six bookshops in 24 hours. The last two were in the company of fellow blogger and Cliopatrician Rachel Leow, of A Historian’s Craft, who also led me on a terrific quickie tour of Cambridge University. We stood on a bridge and watched punters on the Cam, and she gave me the inside dope on the punt racket, which has taken a vicious turn lately. On her advice, as we traipsed through the ancient enclosures, I did not step on the grass. This practice is forbidden to all but fellows of the colleges (I have a friend who was reprimanded for walking on the grass the day prior to taking up his fellowship.) You get a real feel for England’s highly advanced visual practices for staking out hierarchy as you walk the long way around these inviting emerald squares of weedless turf. I imagined, for example, a…

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