Author Archives: Rob Maslen

Autumn Lights

At nightfall when the cottage lights went on the street should have been plunged in an abysmal darkness; but where Mr Printon (being an educated man) knew the stars must be, although he had never seen a star, there was … Continue reading

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Comedy Comes of Age in Shakespeare’s All’s Well

[I gave a version of this piece as a lecture at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, in 2009, at the invitation of John Jowett. It’s pretty closely in dialogue with my book Shakespeare and Comedy (Arden, 2005), especially Chapter 3, ‘Lightness, … Continue reading

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Change in William Morris’s The Wood Beyond the World

In her fine biography of William Morris Fiona McCarthy claims that his late romances are unlike anything else written in the nineteenth century.[1] One could just as easily say that they’re unlike anything else written at any time, including the … Continue reading

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Little Ships

These days when she dreamed it was as if she were talking face to face with friends long dead, and when she woke she opened her eyes onto sepia tints inside a narrow frame, a dim imitation of her colourful … Continue reading

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Cloud Palace

Stretched out in my seat in row 7, absorbed in my book, I detected a tentative touch on the crook of my arm. An old woman was sitting beside me; her scent was of herbs And the light cotton tunic … Continue reading

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Summer Songs

MAYFLY The little mayfly flew about Until the mighty sun went out. A minute more the mayfly flew – And then the mayfly went out too.   MIDGES Have you ever seen the midges Dancing on a summer eve? Tropic … Continue reading

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Celtic Fantasy and War: Patricia Lynch and William Croft Dickinson

[I started thinking about Celtic Fantasy in May, when Geraldine Parsons invited me to take part in a Round Table on the subject with herself and Thomas Clancy at the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies here in Glasgow. The event … Continue reading

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Comedy, Gender and Freedom of Speech in the Plays of Lyly and Marlowe

[I’ve recently been working with Dermot Cavanagh on a special issue of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance in honour of our friend Alison Thorne, who was forced by illness into early retirement. While writing the introduction to the issue … Continue reading

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The Outer Circle

Eighteen years after leaving Old Earth I’ve made planetfall, and my ship has fallen silent. Can you understand what that means to me? For the first time in eighteen years the cabin has ceased to throb to the pulse of … Continue reading

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Inaugural Address for GIFCON 2017

[I gave a version of this address at the opening of GIFCON 2017 in March, and am publishing it here as a brief historical record of the activities that led up to that event. When I gave it I forgot to mention … Continue reading

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