News William Blake: The 19th-century poet is not the author of 'Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room'

Misattribution of verse started by students on internet is finally corrected by blogger

Classical & Opera: Peace and inspiration

Christmas choral concerts don't have to be all `Jingle Bells' and `The Messiah'. Composer Judith Weir has devised an eclectic and pleasing mix of old and new music to be performed at Christ Church, Spitalfields

Reviews: Jazz: She knows it makes sense

Mike and Kate Westbrook The Albert, Bristol

VARIOUS ARTISTS 15 Years In An Open "Boat" On-U Sound/Virgin CDV 2833

The likes of Oakenfold and Weatherall may be better known for their remixes and indie/dance crossovers, but it's arguable that without the pioneering work of Adrian Sherwood through the Eighties and Nineties, dubwise production would never have secured quite as firm a hold within the UK music business.

Cricket: Australia set to deliver a crushing blow

Australia 235 & 395-8 dec England 161 & 130-5

Dead losses

Ever lost something really important? Don't want to be reminded?

Bright as Fire: The Westbrook Blake Salisbury Festival

Looking for the venue of Wilton church could lead you first to the baptist chapel in the marketplace, and a fit and proper setting for an evening with William Blake. It was, of course, the wrong church - though its low-ceilinged acoustic may have been just right - and the grandeur of Wilton church proper looked a bit too Byzantine for old Bill's tastes. Inscribed on the walls at either end of the altar were all the commandments possible except the one that was really relevant: "Thou Shalt Not Play Drum Solos."

O clouds, unfold!

From Jah Wobble to Johnny Depp, by way of Mike Westbrook and Allen Ginsberg, interest in William Blake and his works is at an all-time high. Roger Clarke surfs the legacy of our first multi-media artist

Here comes stubble

Jah Wobble's long musical career takes a strange new twist with `The Celtic Poets'

Obituary: Abbot Aelred Watkin

Abbot Aelred Watkin was one of the most loved and most respected monks in the Benedictine Order. The two most conspicuous features of his character - a deep spirituality combined with an infectious love of life - are encapsulated in one of his favourite quotations from William Blake: "Everything that lives is holy; life delights in life."

Obituary: Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg was the exemplary avant-garde figure of the post- war world. In verse, in politics, in his own intimate life - there was no room for a "private" life - Ginsberg resisted and disdained the orthodox, the social lie. Few people have done as much to make non- conformism respectable in our time as he did.

Independent choice: crime fiction

Edmund Crispin once put his finger on three defining aspects of the detective genre: it must, he said, be artificial, contrived and fantastic, however much the appearance of naturalism is superimposed over these attributes. You don't, in other words, look for realism in the detective novel, though it may - indeed, must - contain realistic ingredients, such as details of post-mortem procedures or the actions of rapists. The impact of the novel is partly dependent on the author's skill in creating a persuasive and addictive world, enticingly parallel to everyday experience. Sue Grafton (for example) has this skill in abundance, as do Reginald Hill and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

Obituary:George Goyder

George Goyder combined a successful business career with a wide range of other interests and an unfailing enthusiasm for anything that would make for a more civilised society. In his 88 years, he fitted in at least five different lives, any one of which would have kept most people fully engaged. He was a businessman, a social philosopher and reformer, an author, a distinguished collector of rare books and, not least, a paterfamilias.

How to be a man: walk tall, knit

the week on radio

Music: A celebration of the English spirit

Music history is littered with great composers who dedicated large parts of their lives to opera, largely in vain. Schubert and Haydn are obvious examples, unless you thrill to the experience of overlong, unstageable scores. Another is Vaughan Williams, whose five operas never made it into repertory and seem to have been bypassed in the sudden, New Age scramble to rediscover the affirmative Englishry of his orchestral works. According to the textbooks he had no dramatic muscle, which isn't true. He just had no real chance to flex it. English opera wasn't a serious proposition until 1945, when Britten turned the tide of opinion with Peter Grimes; even a name like Vaughan Williams had to be content to see his operas given student premieres - a start in life that marked them, damningly, ever after as Suitable For Amateurs. That, certainly, was the case with Sir John in Love, Vaughan Williams's affectionate adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor. It had its first performance in 1929 at the Royal College of Music, and hadn't been seen or heard for nearly 30 years. Until last weekend, that is, when the British Youth Opera gave it a revelatory exhumation at St John's Smith Square - proving that if the piece doesn't quite hit the target, it's a tantalising near-miss.
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Compton Cricket Club

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