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Par Avion

A random sample from the British periodicals

Par Avion

Hard Glamour

Monmouth Michael Clarke: At a grand durbar in Lahore in 1846, Lord Hard­inge asked Rajah Golab Singh if he could see the Kohinoor. It was produced, and Singh and my great-­grandfather, William Edw­ards, who was on the gov­­er­­­nor­­-general’s staff, were told to show it to the asse­mbled rajas. It did its tour and was passed from hand to hand for more than 20 minutes before my great-grandfather was able to return to its rightful owner, Maharaja Duleep Singh. If it goes on tour again, it should certainly end up in the Punjab.

The Times

Cure, Not Cower

Sheffield Professor Edward Garden: If you suffer from musical ear syn­d­rome and are unable me­ntally to stop hearing an irritating tune interminably, listen to the opening theme of Schubert’s last piano son­ata in B flat major D. 960. This melody will take you straight to heaven. You will never tire of hearing it, and it will certainly clear your mind of any musical clutter.

The Times

Long-Winded Matter

Berkeley Venkat Anantharam: Johnson, rumin­ating on the secret meaning of “feisty” (Feb 13) would have done well to have provided a whiff of etymology. In Mark Forsyth’s marvellous book, The Etymologycon, and largely corroborated by the Oxford English Dictionary, feisty in the sense of “spirited” is deri­ved from ‘fist’ or ‘feist’ meaning a small dog. This comes from the phrase “a fisting hound” where to fist means to fart.

The Economist


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