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One of These Dead Places by Jane Burn Jane Burn has forged her characteristic poetical voice in what can only be described as the most difficult of circumstances. In fact, it is all voice, an expressive working-class woman’s voice, at times roused to anger by the injustices of the world, at other times loving and enraptured. To use Martin Heidegger’s terminology, she illustrates our ‘geworfenheit’, in other words the way in which we are thrown into existence, and her life experiences clearly demonstrate how she has embarked on a journey of self-realisation from her original state of ‘uneigentlichkeit’ to one of ‘eigentlichkeit’ (i.e. from an inauthentic to an authentic mode of being.) The pr

The Sword of the Templars - a review

The Sword of the Templars by the Canadian author Christopher Hyde (writing under the pseudonym of Paul Christopher) was first published in the USA by Signet in 2009 and subsequently appeared in Great Britain in 2011 via Michael Joseph and Penguin Books. Where page numbers are cited in this review the pagination is that of the latter paperback edition. The main protagonist – a lecturer in his late fifties at West Point – is called Lieutenant Colonel John ‘Doc’ Holliday. Wearing a black eye patch as a result of an accident sustained whilst serving in the US military, he’s an ersatz Indiana Jones figure. Sharing a second-cousin relationship with Holliday is Peggy Blackstock – a Pulitzer prize-w

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