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Richard Mason was born in South Africa in 1978 to activist parents who settled in England when he was ten. Brought up and educated here, he wrote his first novel, The Drowning People, whilst a nineteen-year-old at Oxford. In the intervening years, Richard finished his degree, then set up an educational charity in memory of his sister Kay, who died as a child. Under Desmond Tutu's patronage, the Kay Mason Foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged South African children, paying for them to attend some of the country's best schools.
This lusty, erotic tale of an exceedingly handsome provincial dutch lad, Piet Barol, making his way in the world is a pleasure to read. Rich period detail, beautifully observed social situations and sharp dialogue – we can only hope there is a sequel.
A number of themes are covered in this book from aging, to family relationships to war.Joan is suffering from Alzheimer's, her high flying daughter has put in her in a home, unable to cope with her mother, as well as the demands of a high flying job. The Boer War comes in to the plot through the diaries of Joan’s grandmother and her accounts of time in a concentration camp and Joan’s desire to find out what really happened to her family. The themes of how society judges and treats people whether is be on the grounds of race, sex or age makes for a very thought provoking read.
This book is the fullest study in English for many years on the role of God in Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza has been called both a 'God-intoxicated man' and an atheist, both a pioneer of secular Judaism and a bitter critic of religion. He was born a Jew but chose to live outside any religious community. He was deeply engaged both in traditional Hebrew learning and in contemporary physical science. He identified God with nature or substance: a theme which runs through his work, enabling him to naturalise religion but - equally important - to divinise nature. He emerges not as a rationalist precursor of the Enlightenment but as a thinker of the highest importance in his own right, both in philosophy and in religion.
This collection of essays by a group of leading authorities is addressed primarily to a non-specialist readership, with the aim of introducing people and achievements associated with the University of Cambridge over the past 150 years. It explains, in simple terms, what has been done in a wide variety of fields - including philosophy (Ray Monk on Russell, Peter Hacker on Wittgenstein, Robert Grant on Oakeshott); economics (Geoffrey Harcourt on Keynes); anthropology (Ernest Gellner on Frazer); the study of English (Stephen Heath on Richards and Leavis). Some who have made important contributions to Cambridge science describe their own work and discoveries - Max Perutz in molecular biology; Antony Hewish in radioastronomy; Simon Conway Morris in palaeontology. As a whole the book offers an intellectual portrait of many of modern Cambridge's most notable achievements which will be of interest to a broad range of readers within the University and far beyond.