Posts from 24th March 2009

24
Mar 09

Dr.Quack’s DUCK review

FT2 comments • 297 views

I see a book has been published on DUCK. (Victoria de Rijke, Reaktion Books, 2008). My subject. No-one asked me, but I certainly have an opinion.

Well, my ducks, it could be so much braver, so much more than the sum of its careful, scholarly parts. I should explain at this point that I offered my expertise at several early draft stages and though Dr. de Rijke originally gave me the right to reply in the early versions, any improvements I made have been firmly ironed out, by the Great Editing Machine, no doubt. Truth be told, it should either have been a debate between us, or, still better, I should have written all of it.

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How Queen Victoria Used To Live

FT4 comments • 241 views

Maybe it was Emily Blunt’s big stamp head on the side of all the buses in London that made me want to see The Young Victoria. Maybe it was the surprising use of the definite article in the title. Whatever I went to see the costume and facial hair drama and got a definite whiff of How We Used To Live about it. In many ways it reminded me of a modern day How We Used To Live about me in the early eighties watching a How We Used To Live about Queen Victoria. Because for all its half hearted stabs at drama, The Young Victoria both desires and is destined to end up in the classroom, probably after yet another history syllabus revision which stresses learning about Kings & Queens rather than empathising with smallholding farmers. (One assumes this would be a Tory revision.)

Its a staid, PG affair which would have many uses in the classroom – not just in history. It would be invaluable in a needlework or dressmaking class. There are integral art lessons involved, as Victoria of tries and fails to paint a still life of her unstill doggie.

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