In college, a professor introduced me to a long eighteenth-century poem by James Thomson called The Seasons. Tremendously influential in its time, it is a lyrical and expansive description of the countryside. There is an entire language here that attends to and celebrates the natural world, and reading it, the salient feature is how rare that is. This is a loss, because it’s probably good for a person, to feel for wild places and to see them clearly. We treat this appreciation as something that comes naturally, but like anything else, you’ve got to learn it.
The 4thcoming series is all about introducing you to our authors. If you’ve ever wondered what your favourite 4th Estate author is currently reading, listening to or what their writing ritual is, then we’ve got all those answers for you.
Name: Craig Brown
What’s it about? A biography of Princess Margaret, the royal who made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up; who cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor. Combining interviews, parodies, dreams, diaries and essays, Ma’am, Darling is a breezy meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.
Get excited: Christmas is nearly here.
Ok, maybe not. But we’ve got a cover reveal which is almost as good as Christmas: Nigel Slater’s latest book is a glorious blend of recipes and diary entries featuring everything you need for the winter solstice.