Tuesday 13 October 2015
Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
Photos April to September

Between the vernal equinox and its autumnal confrère tomorrow there has been perhaps an excess of fevered activity. read more

Politics Putin: ‘I’d really like to see Europe show some real independence and sovereignty’

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, granted an interview to Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) in St Petersburg this summer, covering (among other issues) the balance of power, independence and sovereignty in Europe, and relations with the United States. read more

Heraldry Caped Bear Cubs in Canadian Arms

As my sister was educated (or something to that effect) by Ursulines, a recent addition to Canada’s Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges caught my attention. read more

Brazil In Old Rio

“The city’s administrative and electoral units were its parishes, and the tallest buildings were all church towers,” writes historian Jeffrey Needell. “The day of the colonial port began with the cannon shot announcing the beginning of harbour commerce, at half past five.” read more

Architecture A Horror in the Hague

The Netherlands’ Royal Academy of Fine Arts has existed since 1682, but there’s quite a contrast between the temple they built in the early nineteenth century and its Bauhaus replacement from the twentieth. read more

Architecture Shedding light on the Cape Baroque

Dr Hans Fransen, the leading authority on Cape Dutch architecture, intends to shed new light on the Cape Baroque style through an examination of the work of the sculptor Anton Anreith. read more

Advertising New Yorkers: See New York!

The ‘See Your City’ ad campaign evokes old-school travel posters of the 1920s & 30s. read more

Internet Ones to Watch (or Read)

In this commonwealth of knowledge, it is necessary to share out our sources of insight and wisdom. Here are just a few sites (“blogs”, even) that readers of this little corner of the web ought to take notes of. read more

Books Rowing Blazers Book Launch

A launch party at Ralph Lauren, New Bond Street, for Jack Carlson’s new book Rowing Blazers. read more

Newspapers Italy inspired by Wall Street

Looking back at the first edition of Il Foglio, it’s interesting how the design so obviously takes its inspiration from that of the Wall Street Journal. read more

New York End of the Line for Rizzoli Bookshop

In New York, good things are only allowed to last a little while: eventually they must all be destroyed. The latest to add to the pile is the Rizzolli shop on West 57th. read more

Maps & Heraldry A Bunny Rampant

As a map-lover it’s a fine thing that I spend half my life in South Kensington where you’ll find two of the best antiquarian map merchants around. read more

Vexillology Two Flags Based on the French Tricolour

The French tricolour is one of the most influential flags in history, and inspired two flags in Canada and South Africa. read more

Hungary L’Osservatore Romano goes Hungarian

Magyarophiles will be pleased to learn that L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, will begin appearing in Hungarian. read more

Architecture Football at S. Maria Maggiore

“The enormous church of S. Maria Maggiore stands on one of Rome’s seven famous hills,” writes Steen Eiler Rasmussen. read more

Newspapers Zeitung für Deutschland

My favourite advertising installation is the massive logotype for the world’s greatest newspaper which spans the tracks at the Frankfurter Hauptbahnhof. read more

Theatre The Tragedy of Romeo and Rosaline

Sharon Jennings’ play explores the most famous love story of all time from the perspective of Rosaline, the niece of Capulet mentioned yet never seen in Shakespeare’s play. read more

Photos Late Summer, Early Autumn

As the light of summer dies and the cold grey monotone of winter approaches, here are a few photos from the past month or two. click to view

Architecture St Paul’s Gothicised

Wren’s classical masterpiece transformed into an absurd gothic creature. read more

Heraldry A Lecture by Andrew Cusack

‘Three Annulets Or: the van Riebeeck arms and their South African legacy’ at the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society on 17 September 2013. read more

London Saturday: Day of Fasting & Prayer for Peace in Syria

Given the urgent situation, please see the following from the Fathers of the London Oratory. read more

Architecture The Dome of the Custom House, Dublin

The most recent series of the ITV detective drama “Foyle’s War”, though set in London, was filmed entirely in Dublin. read more

Newspapers IHT, RIP

The New York Times Company, owners of the International Herald-Tribune, announced they are going to kill off the 126-year-old newspaper. read more

Design Danzig in Flag & Arms

The arms and flag of the Baltic city combine the usual strong characteristics of any design: simplicity and beauty. read more

Painting An Original Cusack

This painting of St Patrick’s Church in Monaghan Town is one of the few fruits of art class from school days we’ve bothered preserving. read more

Architecture Two More from Andrew Gould

These two houses were built at the back of a lot on Ashley Avenue in Charleston. read more

Rome The Roman Corner

Friends are continually sending me postcards from Rome. read more

Austria Vienna Views

A few photographic impressions from my jaunt to the Kaiserliche Hauptstadt. read more

Cooking The Ever Useful Haggis

In my limited (but slowly expanding) culinary experience, I have found haggis a rather useful addition to the repertoire. read more

Academiana University Nicknames in South Africa

Maties and Ikeys and Tuks, oh my! read more

New York The Cathedral of the Bronx

The Church of St Nicholas of Tolentine dominates the busy intersection of University Avenue and West Fordham Road in the Bronx. read more

The Papacy Better late than never

After Benedict XVI’s surprise, the Los Angeles Times asked me and ten other Catholics what they would like to see in the new pope. read more

Austria Irish Vienna

The Irish, of course, have a long history of interaction with Mitteleuropa, and with Vienna in particular, from the earliest days. read more

Books Hark, the Heralds!

Jack Carlson’s Humorous Guide to Heraldry is a welcome addition to the Cusackian library. read more

Heraldry Pope Francis’s Arms

Italian heraldist Marco Foppoli releases his rendering of the new pope’s arms. read more

Pope Francis From the provost

Please, warns Fr Julian Large, do not let your attitude to the Pope be determined by the media. read more

Italiano Una bellissima città mai costruita

My article on Ernest Gimson’s design for the Australian capital is now available in Italian. read more

Dearadh Na clúdaíonn leabhar Karl Uhlemann

Roinnt oibre ag an Karl Uhlemann dearthóir. féach

A writer, blogger, and historian, born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, now based in London. read more
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Patron Saints
Reviews & Periodicals
Arts & Design

Europe The End of Liberalism

The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban says the current “identity crisis” of liberalism presents both “huge risk” and “a new opportunity”. “The most dangerous combination known in history is to be both rich and weak,” he argued. read more

Pilgrimage Chartres 2015

Chartres is filed in my mind as the cathedral of my childhood. I must’ve been around 4 or 5 when I first walked amidst this medieval vision of stone and stained glass — some years before I ever visited the cathedral of New York where I was born. read more

Architecture UNHQ

Among the legacies of my New York childhood is a sentimental fondness for the United Nations, and especially for the stylish swank of its 1950s headquarters. read more

Periodicals What You Should Read

Publications wise, what is the well-read gent, or lady, reading? A post at ISI’s Intercollegiate Review suggests a few, but here is a brief summary of my own recommendations. read more

France Faith, Freedom, and Respect

Religion grows in the very depths of our being. Mocking it, ridiculing it, can be especially hurtful, argues French historian François Huguenin in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. read more

South Africa Kerkplein, Pretoria

Pretoria exudes a detached respectability enlivened by the ceremony of its century-long status as the executive capital of a unified South Africa. And sitting at the heart of the city of jacarandas is Kerkplein — Church Square. read more

Academia Papal Mace for St Andrews

Scotland’s oldest university already boasts the world’s finest collection of medieval maces, but the Archbishop of St Andrews recently presented it with a new mace on behalf of the Catholic church to mark the university’s 600th anniversary. read more

Newspapers Change in the air at the Catholic Herald

Britain’s leading Catholic publication, the Catholic Herald, is to cease operating as a newspaper and will relaunch as a magazine before the end of this year. read more UPDATED 30 OCT.

Architecture Russia’s Classical Future

For the past fourteen years a St Petersburg boy — Vladimir Putin — has been the man at the helm of the ship of state in Russia, and while Moscow is still the top dog St Petersburg is increasingly stealing the limelight. read more

La République des Lettres The Cusackian Academy

The other day I started drawing up a list. It started out as a list of people you should know, but then it took on its own life in the realms of my imagination as an assemblage of notables whether of thought, word, or deed. read more

France Evolution of a Napoleonic Parliament

What few tourists know when they brave the teeming hordes of the Salle des états to view the Mona Lisa is that they are shuffling through the room that once housed France’s parliament. read more

The Levant Les jours heureux du Liban

A conversation the other day sparked a look at Lebanon in the old days: black-tie dinners, summer in the mountains, the casinos and the glamour of Beirut. read more

Scotland The Crowned Banner

Legislatures often have symbols employed for their own particular use — the red portcullis for the House of Lords, a green one for the Commons, the flax plant for Stormont — and the Scottish Parliament is no different. read more

Namibia Kolmanskop

As you make the four-hour drive from Keetmanshoop to Lüderitz, before you reach the coastal town you can turn off to visit the eery colonial ghost town of Kolmanskop: Kolmannskuppe in the original German. read more

Vexillology Flags, Northern Ireland, and the Union

Speculation on the Union Jack after Scottish independence is joined by proposals for a new flag for Northern Ireland. read more

Cinema ‘Bon Voyage’

Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s ‘Bon Voyage’ balances perfectly all the elements of drama, comedy, action, and romance, in a convincing historical context. read more

London & Oxford Diary

It is truly a sad thing for a summer to end, and yet it is an inevitable part of the endless cycle of life. There were the usual rites of July, then some parties in August, and a number of outbreaks of jollity in Oxford. read more

Journal Florence to London on Twenty Euros

There comes a point in every young man’s life when his trust fund manager goes on holiday, writes Alexander Shaw on his journey hitchhiking from Tuscany to England. read more

Scandinavia Some Norwegian Catholics

The Church in Scandinavia is on a slow but steady ascendant, and it’s telling that there are now more seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Nordic countries than there are for all of Ireland. read more

Argentina A Maori in Buenos Aires

So far as I can tell, the first Maori to visit Argentina was Te Pehi Kupe, a young nobleman and military leader of the Ngati Toa tribe, in October 1824. read more

Lebanon Into the Qadisha Valley

The Holy Valley cuts down like a gash in the earth, with the cathedral city of Bcharré on the clifftop, almost hanging off of it. read more

Diary Lebanon Diary

Early evening sun illuminates the pendentives and architraves of the Maronite church. Discoloured prints of numerous saints — of East and West — crowd one of the few side altars. read more

Photographs Lebanon Without Comment

A gallery of photographs taken during my latest trip to the Lebanon. view here

Diary Curiosity Killed the Cat

All sensible right-minded people love the Phoenix and hate the Phoenix. It is a wonderful place, yet somehow attracts the very worst and most tiresome lot of humanity. read more

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