Riceyman Steps – a Clerkenwell Tour in the footsteps of Arnold Bennett

Riceyman Steps - Hanslip Fletcher

I doubt that Riceyman Steps would be the first title you thought of if I challenged you to name something by Arnold Bennett, even though it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1923. You’d be more likely to come up with one of his stories set in the Five Towns, and to think of him as a Northern writer. Riceyman Steps, though, is a London novel, set in a specific and still recognisable part of Clerkenwell. But how much of it still stands? Join Arnold and me on a little tour and we’ll find out. Continue reading

Koshu Japanese Calligraphy in Clerkenwell

Koshu Calligraphy

There aren’t many opportunities to see Japanese calligraphy in London – the last exhibition I saw was Tairiku Teshima back in April. So when I heard that Akemi Lucas was having an exhibition at the Frameless Gallery on Clerkenwell Green I had to take a look. What I found was calligraphy in a tradition that goes back in a direct line to the Meiji era at the end of the nineteenth century, presented with a modern twist. Continue reading