Tattooing is an ancient practice with profound religious and cultural significance. While western tattooing centers on three main traditions – Polynesian, Japanese and Euro-American – it has been recorded more or less everywhere. Beginning with the birth of the tattoo, John Miller explores this unique expression of personal, cultural and national identity, the tension between tattoo’s status as a fashion item and its roots in subculture, and the relevance of magic – a crucial part of tattooing’s origins – in contemporary society. As the inherent shock factor of tattoos decreases, tattoos are becoming more extensive, public and challenging in response, prompting an upsurge in avant-garde tattoo projects and ‘extreme’ tattooing. ‘The Philosophy of Tattoos’ investigates the innate human desire to mark the skin, and what tattooing might tell us about that obsessively asked question: what does it mean to be human?
Since Odysseus’ curious crew first unleashed the bag of winds gifted him by Aeolus, the God of Winds, literature has been awash with tales of bad or strange weather. From the flood myths of Babylon, the Mahabharata and the Bible, to 20th century psychological storms, this foray into troubled waters, heat waves, severe winters, hurricanes, and hailstones, offers the perfect read on a rainy day-or night. Featuring a selection of some of the finest writers in the English language – Algernon Blackwood, Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, and more – this collection of weird tales will delight and disturb.
As the fog thickens and the smoky dark sweeps across the capital, strange stories emerge from all over the city. A jilted lover returns as a demon to fulfil his revenge in Kensington, and a seance becomes a life and death struggle off Regents Canal. In the borough of Lambeth, stay clear of the Old House in Vauxhall Walk and be careful up in Temple – there’s something not right about the doleful, droning hum of the telegram wires overhead. Join Elizabeth Dearnley on this atmospheric tour through the Big Smoke, a city which has long fuelled the imagination of writers of the weird and supernormal. Waiting in the shadowy streets are tales from writers such as Charlotte Riddell, Lettie Galbraith and Violet Hunt, who delight in twisting the urban myths and folk stories of the city into pieces of masterful suspense and intrigue.