Edinburgh Review

United Kingdom

Kafka’s home city has a lot to hide, writes James Hawes. The Czech capital’s architectural debt to greater Germany; its authoritarian past and history of anti-Semitism; even its most famous son’s penchant for pornography – these unwelcome truths are bad for business.

“Whether you’re a Scot, of Scottish descent, or simply love Scotland”, Homecoming 2009 is for you (or so the advertising goes). Yet scotophiles should make no mistake: the reinvented Highland culture that emerged in the nineteenth century was but a “tame accessory to British unionism”.

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“It had not occurred to me that I was violating rigid custom in appearing in a hat and gauze veil rather than a ‘chadar’ and face cloth, but the mistake was made unpleasantly apparent.” Isabella L. Bird and Louisa Jebb both travelled to the Middle East at the turn of the twentieth century. Hannah Adcock compares their journals.

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