Samuel Johnson

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Trump announced plans for a major firework display at the Lincoln Memorial. ‘Like no one had ever thought of fireworks on the Mall before’- this photo from 2000. Photograph:  William Philpott Reuters

Halloween is sugary. Thanksgiving is fattening and fraught. Christmas is expensive. New Year’s Eve is annoying. Memorial Day is laced with melancholy.(...)

 Over the past six months I kept coming across men who were not just unafraid of nappies but actively fretting about how to nab more paternity leave

Last year a reader wrote to say that a sentence I had written was a total load of tosh. In an article about five-hour work days, I had said I thought(...)

Depression, from Latin depressare; to press down, depress

I didn’t so much wake up as emerge slowly from a grim thicket into consciousness. Trapped. As though a great weight lay across my body, pinned to the (...)

Belfast-born composer Deirdre Gribbin’s new piece   Kindersang addresses the   movement that brought 10,000 Jewish children to safety in Britain and Northern Ireland in the months before the outbreak of the second World War

Francis Humphrys, director of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival – which runs in Bantry until Sunday July 8th – is by nature a protester. Give him a(...)

Buckingham Palace may be a tourist magnet, but only the architect’s mother could love it 

When Samuel Johnson said that thing about the man who was tired of London being tired of life, he seemed to imply that, while the city’s appeal might (...)

 The Natural History Museum on Dublin’s Merrion Square is earmrked for priority funding under the National Development plan. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The wonder, as Samuel Johnson said of a dog standing on its hind legs, is not that it is done well but that it is done at all. For the first time in t(...)

Irish philosopher George Berkeley, the Bishop of Cloyne and a noted metaphysician who declared: ‘To be is to be perceived’. Image: Hulton Archive

A scientific explanation of the “hard problem” of how the material structure of the brain underpins consciousness would represent a major coup for sci(...)

The Very Revd Dean William Morton pictured with the death mask of Jonathan Swift at St Patrick’s Cathedral to launch the Swift Festival marking the 350th birthday of Dean Swift. Photograph:Cyril Byrne

Jonathan Swift, born in Dublin 350 years ago next week, has the distinction of being a very robust and prolific political writer who is best known as (...)

Adolf Hitler addressing a military parade at a Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. Xenophobia and nationalism are  coursing through the world’s veins. Photograph: Hulton Archive

In the spring of 2010 I received an unlikely invitation from a city in western Ukraine: the law faculty from the university in Lviv (also know as Lwów(...)

Samuel Johnson: “What entitles Sheridan to fix the pronunciation of English?” he asked. “He has, in the first place, the disadvantage of being an Irishman.”  

To modern ears, “Greet Britain” could be a slogan for our neighbouring island’s tourism industry. But there was a time when it might have become the s(...)

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