The Rowling furore part 1

My name is Penelope Wallace. I am a white, middle-aged, middle-class, able-bodied Christian British woman, living in England but with Scottish roots. This isn’t everything I am, but it’s a start. On 10th June 2020 the author JK Rowling posted a blog on trans and gender issues...

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Children’s Literature (3)

In last Saturday’s Guardian Review, John Mullan reviewed AN Wilson’s “The Mystery of Charles Dickens,” and quoted him on a famous section of “Dombey and Son” - (spoiler) “The death of Paul Dombey is so schmaltzy that we simply refuse to be moved, but then, dammit, we...

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Children’s Literature (2)

It's interesting that the guest posts of Stephen Hall and Judith Renton (both of whom to my knowledge read fantasy as adults) chose practical children's adventure stories. I don't want to denigrate the wonderful authors they chose, but maybe in the days when we were growing...

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Trials and smiles of an author (8)

It’s been quite a few months since my last “trials and smiles” post (https://www.penelopewallace.com/trials-and-smiles-of-an-author-7-with-particular-reference-to-the-servants-voice/  ) and maybe it’s time to update readers on progress with book 4. The first thing to say is, Don’t hold your breath. The very fact that the book doesn’t yet have...

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SH on Arthur Ransome

Stephen Hall works and lives with his family in Edinburgh, playing board games and walking the dog when not Munroe-bagging. He has been part of my life for a long time, being my younger brother, and is also responsible for the maps in the “Tales...

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Guest post: JR on Malcolm Saville

If you want to start a conversation, just ask for people's views on children's TV or literature! You may not have been expecting a post this week, but I've been grateful to be inundated by several readers (two so far) eager to share their own...

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The Prophet Ezekiel and Women

(Apologies to those who tuned in hoping for Children's Literature Part Two: that's next time. This week we're back to the Bible.) A while ago (here: https://www.penelopewallace.com/why-i-get-annoyed-by-the-thirty-third-chapter-of-jeremiah/) I posted a little rant about the apparently unfulfilled prophecies in the prophet Jeremiah. Now it’s the turn of...

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Children’s Literature (1)

We all have our favourite authors from childhood; and the best ones last into adult life too.  Who is your favourite? Long ago, I put together my top three: and, be warned, I’m going to post about all of them. (Honourable mentions: AA Milne, Tove Jansson, Arthur...

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The Big Issue

(NB Far wiser people than I are writing everywhere about the political, social and spiritual ramifications of the current pandemic and isolation. For the time being, I shall endeavour to make this blog a nearly corona-free zone.) We recently watched again the very first Ninth Doctor...

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