Miscarriage, Book Shelves, Refugees, Saints, Celts, Mrs Thatcher


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An Emotional History Of Pregnancy Loss

Shannon Withycombe | Nursing Clio | 12th November 2015

Americans think that miscarriages are rare, affecting less than 5% of pregnancies; that they are usually due to stress or physical exertion; and that they are a great misfortune. In fact miscarriages affect 15-20% of pregnancies; the most common causes are genetic; and some women find miscarriage a relief, though there are strong taboos against saying as much — or, indeed, acknowledging a miscarriage at all (1,980 words)

Judging A Book By Its Cover

Eric Kwakkel | Medieval Books | 11th November 2015

In the early Middle Ages you had to rely on shelf marks to tell you which book was which in the library. There was no general convention of posting information about the book on the outside of the binding, and it is not clear that books even had titles until the fourteenth century. Shelving books upright with the spine outwards, and a title on the spine, became standard practice in the seventeenth century (1,770 words)

A Journey Along The Refugee Trail

"It was a strangely softened Germany I had left. In the train stations of major cities, foreigners lay on green foam mats amid travellers rushing to catch their trains. But no one tried to shoo them away. On the contrary, Germans served them tea and sandwiches. While other countries were harassing the foreigners, so much so that they escaped on foot along highways, Germany was sending special trains to pick them up" (5,560 words)

Patriarchal Villains

Rowan Williams | New Statesman | 10th November 2015

Paul and Augustine both came late to God. Although they now count as conservative thinkers, they were radicals in their times, perhaps because they knew from personal experience that nothing was immutable. "They do something that only a few other ancient authors do – Plato being the other most obvious example: they invite their readers to imagine a social order quite different from what is taken for granted" (2,200 words)

Celts At The British Museum

Neal Ascherson | London Review Of Books | 22nd October 2015

Notes on a visit to the "visually marvellous and overwhelming" exhibition, Celts: Art And Identity, at the British Museum. "Looking round this show at the stone soldiers with their bulging thighs and mad headdresses, at stacks of bronze cauldrons for gorging hundreds of guests with beef stew, or at the kilos of gold recklessly slung around the necks of men, women and horses, you end up thinking: Yes, Asterix!" (1,630 words)

Margaret Thatcher And The Britain She Left Behind

Peter Stothard | Times Literary Supplement | 11th November 2015

Review of Everything She Wants, the second volume of Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, showing the prime minister at the height of her powers — winner of the Falklands war, mentor of Mikhail Gorbachev, right hand of Ronald Reagan, breaker of the miners' strike. The book ends with her third consecutive election victory in 1987. How could she be overthrown, by her own party, just three years later? (4,070 words)

Video of the day: St James Infirmary Blues

What to expect: Louis Armstrong performs the blues classic (3'40")

Thought for the day

Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them
P.J. O'Rourke (http://www.quoteauthors.com/p-j-orourke-quotes)

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