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Spell
by
Michael Wallerstein
with a Preface by
Ian Robinson

ISBN 978 0 9567048 3 2
50 pp. paperback
demy 8vo £4.80


Spell is the third and last of a series of short books in which Mr Wallerstein defends English against a “loss of linguistic resource” inseparable from the cultural collapse of the last thirty or so years.
     English prose has become much less expressive and coherent, as he demonstrated in Dear Mr Howard. Lexical and grammatical incorrectness in speech is shown, in The Liza Doolittle Syndrome, to be a failure to make sense.
     Now Spell takes on the spelling reformers who say that English spelling is chaotic and needs to be made more simply phonetic. Wallerstein demonstrates that this view comes from a drastically simplified idea of what spelling and punctuation do, and ignores the graphically informative nature of the system—another way of missing linguistic resource.
     The three booklets together constitute a defence of English in our time, that is, of whatever possibility we may have of making sense in our own language.
     They may be had for £4.80 each post free or the set of three post free only from this website for £10.00: to order go to
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  • “He has a sharp eye for orthographic patterns
    . . . and impressive convictions concerning the underlying rules of the written language.”—TLS


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    Who Killed the Bible?
    by
    Ian Robinson

    second edition, with a new concluding chapter
    “The English Bible and the Idea of a Christian Society”

    ISBN 978 0 907839 87 3
    xii + 136 pp A5 paperback £9.60

    Mr Robinson’s argument, that all recent English translations of the Bible go wrong because they put into practice both mistaken theories and a mistaken notion of theory, needs to be followed in detail. This much-revised second edition concludes with a new chapter about the relation of the English Bible to the nation. It should be read in conjunction with the downloadable essay “Is the Bible a Book?” listed in the third column on this page.

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    Paperback editions of Christopher Morgan's two collections

    The Fire Jump
    and Other Poems


    and

    Stalking the A4

    From the cover of the latter:

    Especially in the twenty-first century it is not faint praise to call a writer a supreme master of the iambic pentameter, and Morgan's fluency in other forms is amazing. But Christopher Morgan should not be offered as a poets' poet, to be relished only by connoisseurs of verse: these poems are moving and funny as well as immediatey appealing.

    For the new edition of The Fire Jump Morgan has included one new poem, discarded the French and Spanish poems, and revised and re-ordered the whole collection.

    Stalking the A4
    978 0 9567048 1 8
    60 pp. demy 8vo £6.00

    The Fire Jump & Other Poems
    978 0 9559996 6 6
    85 pp. demy 8vo £6.00

    To order one or both go to
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    The St Peter’s
    Chant Book

    compiled and arranged by
    David Wulstan

    This handy-sized volume, made for the choir of St Peter’s College, Oxford, has settings for all the chants of the Matins and Evensong of the Book of Common Prayer. The Psalms are organised by days, as in that Book, and there is a range of alternatives for the Te Deum, Benedictus, Benedicite, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis and Easter Anthems / Venite. Composers come from all the centuries of Anglican chant and include no less than four Purcells.
         Professor Wulstan is perhaps the only living scholar distinguished both as a Hebraist, a musicologist and a conductor—he founded and for many years conducted the Clerkes of Oxenford, the pioneers of authentic performance of Tudor church music—but is also an experienced church organist and has a good idea of what choirs and congregations are likely to be able to sing well. His advice about phrasing and pointing is practical as well as authoritative.
         The Introduction gives a succinct account of the development of Anglican chant and its relation to the original Hebrew of the Psalms, together with some useful Notes for Musical Directors. A version of this Intro-duction appeared in Faith & Worship 69, Michaelmas 2011, and can be read on the Prayer Book Society website.
         Any musically literate person following the Prayer Book custom of reading through the Psalms once a month could for a change enjoy using this book to sing them, but its most likely users are church and college choirs or choir-led congregations. Any choirmaster or church-warden ordering ten or more copies may have a discount on the already low price: please email us to inquire or to request a specimen copy.
    pp. x + 36
    ISBN 978 0 9567048 2 5
    10.2 x 7.2 inches ringbound, £8.00 post free

    to order go to
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    Directors Brian Lee (chairman)
    Ian Robinson (secretary)
    Michael DiSanto      Duke Maskell

    Since 1970 we have been publishing criticism, fiction, poetry, theology, politics. Our list shows that what Matthew Arnold called criticism of life can still flourish.

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    LEAVIS   AND   LAWRENCE

    A one-day conference is to be held at Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, on Friday 19 September, on Leavis on Lawrence. Organised by The Leavis Society as part of the Lawrence Festival. Four talks and plenty of discussion. Admission free!

    For more information and to book a place contact the secretary of The Leavis Society, Glenys Willars: glenyswillars@sky.com Tel: 01664 569719 Mobile: 07947 411671. See also the Leavis Society website from the Links button above.







    CHRISTOPHER  MORGAN

    Christopher Morgan died
    after a long illness
    on 24 July,
    in his seventy-first year.

          Love and song will never cease
          While poets sing the lover’s tale.
          Say now, we are not too frail
          For passion, nor too tough for peace.
                                            The Human World, February 1971






    copyright © 2014 Revd Dr Peter Mullen


    Truth by Head-count

    The BBC are advertising a new series in which they will ask one of those nebulous questions they delight in. This time it’s “Is Britain still a Christian country?” The blurb adds another question, presumably dependent on how you answer the first: “Should Christianity still play a role in public life?” This is predicated on the statement that there are fewer people calling themselves Christians in this country than there used to be. In other words, the truth value of Christianity is not to be measured by attention to scripture, to historical investigations or theological and philosophical reasoning, but by counting heads. It’s that shibboleth “democracy” again, the prevailing fantasy of our age.
         They will not ask the one question that matters: Is it true? because to the modern mind there is no such thing as truth, only opinion. And every opinion is adjudged to be as good as every other, no matter how idiotic, incoherent and uneducated. In these conditions the only recourse left is to count heads and frame your policies on what the larger part of the mob . . . I was going to say “thinks”, but the blundering mob doesn’t think: it only feels, emotes and reacts.
         As a matter of fact there are coherent philosophical and theological arguments for the truth of Christianity. The new programme will not even mention these. There is strong historical evidence for the reliability of the gospels. This will not be gone into. They will only ask petulantly what “right” have Christians got to a say in the public realm in this wonderfully progressed and superbly diverse society of ours.
         Furthermore, the truth of Christianity is not a theoretical truth, but an existential, moral and eschatological truth. Specifically, we are all going to die and after death comes the judgement. It is vital that we prepare for this properly. Whosoever will be saved, it is necessary above all things that he hold the catholic faith. And the catholic faith is this: that God is Trinity in Unity; men are fallen, sinners, Christ died to save us; he rose again and ascended into heaven where he is even now preparing a place for us.
         Tell you what though: the BBC would never dream of trying to establish the truth-value of the theory of evolution by counting heads. Just a thought.                               Peter Mullen





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    The Brynmill Press Ltd.

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    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

    Some pages from Ian Robinson’s book Untied Kingdom make a comment that we have not seen elsewhere. To read, click on
    read.

    For the whole book go to

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    Our e-books are down-loadable pdfs [portable document files]. They are made from the same files as the printed books and so are exactly the same as the printed versions and are sent to the purchaser’s email address usually within one working day of ordering, usually in a zip folder. They are fully protected by copyright and available only from this website.

    For details and prices click on

    Web Texts


    E-texts

    The new edition of Who Killed the Bible?, re-ordered, substantially revised and with a new concluding chapter “The English Bible and the Idea of a Christian Society”, can be had now as an e-book for £4.00.

    The reset editions of Wittgenstein on Frazer and Roger Elliott's “Discourses that Persuade . . .” can both be had as e-texts.

    FREE TO READ ONLINE
    OR DOWNLOAD


    Is the Bible a Book?
    by
    Ian Robinson

    Modern scholarship tends to ignore the whole by concentrating on the parts and their origins. This essay shows that the Bible can be one book only if the New Testament is allowed to read the Old Testament.

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    F. R. Leavis
    the Cambridge Don

    by
    Ian Robinson

    An extensively revised talk previously published in an abridged form in
    The Use of English

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    Every Literature Helps
    Presidential Address
    to the Leicester Theological Society
    by
    Duncan Campbell OP

    How literature does good is one of the great questions raised by all serious readers and unlikely to receive a definitive answer. Also, the world’s literature is very extensive. So to survey it in an hour’s lecture, organised around the question (asked from the point of view of a Christian priest) how literature helps, is to undertake at least two daunting tasks at once. Fr Campbell does so jauntily and as a critic with fresh responses to some wonderful works. Because this is genuine criticism it invites replies of the form “yes, but”. The memorable remark on the damnation of the leading characters in Wuthering Heights would be even better if extended to include the self-righteous Nelly Dean. The deepest insight in Bleak House is surely not about renunciation of the beloved but about forgiveness. (On which theme we see the notice about The Comedy of Forgiveness in column 1.) And so on. Here, that is, is a treatment of real questions that deserves attention and discussion—as a new demonstration that literary criticism is a non-scientific non-methodical form of thought.

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    Poetry in the New Matrix
    The Poet Laureate
    and the Bane
    by
    Brian Lee

    This thirty-two page pamphlet continues the series that includes Poetry and the System with some reflections on recent events and their bearing on the state of poetry and our common life.
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    Translation
    vs
    Paraphrase

    by
    A. C. Capey

    Mr Capey’s long-promised criticism of twentieth-century Bible translations


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    Memories
    of
    F. R. Leavis
    by
    David Matthews

    Mr Matthews’s memories of more than sixty years, going back to the great days of Downing, are a fresh testimony to the greatest English critic of modern times.
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