Sunday Reading: The Letters of Sam Knight from the UK

Ever since Sam Knight started writing for the new yorker from London in 2014, he was blessed (or cursed) with a number of turning scandals, public health crises and political fiascos to cover. Boris Johnson’s breaches covid the quarantine, known in the tabloids as Partygate, dominated UK headlines and, at least for a time, sparked rumors that the Prime Minister could enter that condition known as ‘spending more time with his family. Knight’s articles on this and Johnson’s other encounters with the banana peel always give deep and insightful examinations of the British condition.

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As Knight prepares for the release of his first book, “The Premonitions Bureau,” on Tuesday, we bring you a selection of his reporting. In ‘The Empty Promise of Boris Johnson’, Knight portrays the embattled politician a month before his ascension to 10 Downing Street. In “Britain’s Idyllic Country Homes Reveal a Darker History”, he examines the nerve that connects the nation’s aristocratic estates and its colonial past. In “The Psychiatrist Who Believed People Could Tell the Future,” the play that inspired his new book, Knight explores an intriguing mystery about self-fulfilling prophecies. Finally, in ‘Reading about the Black Death with my daughter during the coronavirus outbreak’, he offers a poignant look at how his family (and the British people) navigated the early days after the pandemic arrived in Europe. “Yesterday morning, I dropped off my daughter at the school gates. There was the usual group of families waiting,” he wrote. “’Are we going to run through the crowd?’ asked my daughter. I shook my head. »

David Remnick

Boris Johnson’s empty promise

The man who is set to be Britain’s next Prime Minister makes those in power, including himself, look ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean he would dream of handing power to someone else.

A grandfather and grandson walk through a museum surrounded by artifacts of colonialism
Britain’s idyllic country homes reveal a darker story

Large estates are among the treasures of the country. But their ties to slavery and colonialism force visitors to heed myths they may not want to let go.

An illustration of people throwing bodies into boats on a canal during the Black Death
Reading about the Black Death with my daughter during the coronavirus outbreak

A child’s fascination with the scourge of the 14th century takes on a sobering tone as Britain scrambles to avert another catastrophe.

Illustration of a person with glasses
The psychiatrist who believed people could predict the future

After a national disaster, a British doctor began to collect disturbing visions. Soon they approached him.

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