Andrew CarpenterIt is hard to know what to expect from a new biography of Swift so soon after Leo Damrosch’s massive Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press, £10.99pb) in 2013, especially if the latest book  is clearly designed for the same kind of general audience as Damrosch’s.The facts of Swift...

The Editor Regrets...by James Good (Lettertec; copies from the author, Parkview, Church Street, Douglas, Cork)  Ah yes, what novice contributor to the press has not received one of those rejection slips that give Fr James Good of Cork the title of his collection of essays, largely unpublished? As his own publisher, Fr Good can present...

J. Anthony GaughanPope Francis declared Mary Aikenhead to be Venerable on March 18, 2015. This is the first step towards canonisation. It was a much deserved accolade.Mary was born in Cork on January 19, 1787. Her father, David Aikenhead, was a doctor (then known as an apothecary) and the proprietor of a chemist shop. He was a Protestant, the son...

It’s hard to imagine a more inflammatory title for a blogpost than ‘Catholic pro-lifers at the Women’s March? Get used to it’, but American blogger Simcha Fisher has never been one to pussyfoot around.Writing at simchafisher.com, she starts with a bang. “Were you surprised, even shocked, to see Catholics and other pro...

If there’s a more natural actor than Casey Affleck working in films today I’d like to hear about him. I wait for his films to come out like I once waited for those of Robert de Niro. He’s our new James Dean, our new Montgomery Clift. He understands the conflicts inherent in every scene with an innate intelligence. He seems...

The ‘myth kitty’ – if I may borrow Philip Larkin’s famous phrase – of this atmospheric crime flick ranges from The Godfather and Goodfellas through Scarface, The Road to Perdition and Chris Cooper’s Black Mass.A more immediate reference point might be Ben Affleck’s The Town, which mirrors it in its...

Last Sunday Netflix launched a new documentary, Hostage to the Devil, about the legendary exorcist and former Jesuit Malachi Martin. My appetite had been whetted by an interview with one of the producers, Sharon Lysaght, on The Ryan Tubridy Show, Wednesday morning of last week. As documentaries go it was excellent, a fascinating story well...

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