Farewell, farewell! We’ll never meet again, this side of 2014

It feels a little odd doing a year-end wrap-up of a mostly silent blog year, but I think I can handle it; in fact, I’m going to enjoy this opportunity to run off at the mouf a bit. Anyway, the usual, hey? Highlights, a few lowlights, and some mush about what’ll go down in 2015 (because I…

Human tyranny

One of the things that makes Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall so compelling is that she took as her subject one of English history’s greatest villains and humanized him. She complicated and enriched history’s view of Thomas Cromwell as an irredeemable thug; she gave him an inner life unrelated to the work he did; she made…