"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
From The Spectator, a report on the opening of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum:
Among the objects to catch my eye were a 19th-century boar-tusk bracelet worn by a hula dancer, an opium display — pipes and a ball of the stuff, with a special scale to weigh it — and the different objects used as currency, whether it’s the Katanga copper crosses used in the Congo or the twisted iron rods (‘Kissie Penny’) favoured in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
It is not just to the 19th century, when the Empire was the largest the world has ever known, that the mind returns again and again, but also to its waning in the early 20th century. Why is it that the most emotive adverts seem to be for Fry’s Pure Soluble Breakfast Cocoa and Wincarnis tonic wine, for Camp coffee, Horniman’s tea and Player’s Empire Navy Cut cigarettes? Does your reviewer need a sola topi and the echo of Noël Coward to engage with this vanished world? No, the imagination is brisk enough. It must be something to do with period humour or the historical appreciation of decline and fall. And it must be for similar reasons that I find the boast of one 1930s missionary propaganda film so poignant: ‘Mill Hill sheds light on the dark places of the earth.’ I wish it still did, so buoyantly. In part it is the definiteness of our forebears, their extraordinary certainty, which makes for such intoxicating viewing. Oh, for things to be so simple! (Another myth, of course, but a cherished one.)