Photograph: Getty Images

Happy the man, whose wish and care/A few paternal acres bound/content to breathe his native air/In his own ground. (Alexander Pope) I wandered lonely(...)

Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Three Young Women (1895).

In Vilhelm Hammershøi’s lifetime (1864-1916), art changed arguably more than in all previous centuries combined, evolving from impressionism to post-i(...)

When we are sick what we want is someone who loves us to swoop in and pick us up. Photograph: iStock

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke believed that a loving relationship is always an exercise in balancing the ultimate solitude in which we all do and must l(...)

The statue of James Joyce off O’Connell Street. In a modern day Ireland where Irish writers in the English language would be seen as an unfortunate blip in a living literature 2,000 years old, where would Joyce fit in? Photograph: Cyril Byrne

I had the extremely disconcerting experience recently of sitting through an academic conference in Prague that was being conducted in two languages I (...)

Mrs Brown’s Boys: Refrain from actually watching it and it’s easy enough to believe it’s a masterpiece

This has been a difficult time for elitist media snowflakes. We peer at one another through monocles while harpsichord music spills across the Regency(...)