Letter from the Editor: Death of a Bohemian

21 Jul|Tom Hodgkinson

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun, Ecclesiastes, 8:15

Dear Idlers of the world,

This week we heard the sad news that Peregrine Eliot, owner of the Port Eliot Estate, has died. Perry always supported the Idler. For the last few years we have run an area at the estate’s annual festival, and Perry indeed always declared that he himself was a genuine idler, citing “mucking about” as a hobby in his Who’s Who entry. But although Perry said he did nothing, he did in fact tirelessly bring people together and looked after countless poets, philosophers and artists over the years. Another great bohemian lost.

This year’s Port Eliot Festival starts next week and we’re busy packing books and bunting. We’ve programmed about forty great events so come and learn the arts of philosophy, husbandry and merriment with us. The following weekend we’re off to the Wilderness festival where we’ll be running the festival bookshop and teaching philosophy in informal groups with such luminaries as John Lloyd, Mark Vernon, Jules Evans and John Mitchinson. And they’ll be wearing togas. At both festivals we’ll be running a competition to win a hammock and a subscription to the Idler print magazine.

London idlers, look out for Julian at our stall at Caught by the River Thames, the same weekend as Wilderness.

The new Idler has now gone to the printer and we’ll be mailing out subscriber copies at the beginning of August. It’s a lovely summer issue and includes contributions from Michael Palin, Matthew Green, Zed Nelson and many more, plus a rambling interview with Dominic West about the search for the numinous (whatever that means). You may subscribe here and save 20% on the cover price.

I’m also pleased to tell you that we have been filming a new online course: “The Idler Academy Latin Course with Harry Mount”. This is going to be a fantastic course, divided into the three sections, great fun for kids and adults alike. As you all know, we are the Idler are great fans of Latin and the old ways. More news as it happens.

Pip pip and stay idle in the sun.

Tom xxx