more than 95 theses


A journal, commonplace book, and Wunderkammer by
Alan Jacobs.

My blog on technologies of reading, writing, and knowledge is called Text Patterns; I am an occasional contributor to the Technology channel of The Atlantic; I'm a Contributing Editor for The New Atlantis. Also, I tweet.

My biography of the Book of Common Prayer has now been published by Princeton University Press, and I’ve created an associated tumblelog.

My critical edition of W. H. Auden’s long poem For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio is now available.

My next book will be about Christian humanism in a time of total war.

I invite you to a meditative encounter with my online project The Gospel of the Trees.

Please consider supporting this tumblelog by buying some of my books. I will thank you, my family will thank you, and the internet — surely — will thank you.

”Reverting to Type: a Reader’s Story”

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

The Age of Anxiety, by W. H. Auden — a critical edition. A PDF of my Introduction to the poem is available online.

Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant

Original Sin: a Cultural History

Looking Before and After: Testimony and the Christian Life

The Narnian: the Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis

Shaming the Devil: Essays in Truthtelling

A Theology of Reading: the Hermeneutics of Love

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age

What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden’s Poetry

  • November 11, 2012 4:56 pm


    Robbie first contacted me in 2005. He telephoned me out of the blue from a hotel in Blackpool where he was filming the video for his song “Advertising Space.” He said he liked a book I had written and was thinking of spending a night in a haunted house. “Do you know any?” he asked.

    I spent a week sending e-mails: “Dear Lady, I’ve read that, if the portrait in your drawing room is moved, a ghost is apparently disturbed and manifests itself. Recently I have been contacted by the pop star Robbie Williams who would like to spend a night in a haunted house and so I wonder whether he and I can pay a private visit.”

    I expected not to hear back from anybody, but, in fact, once I invoked Robbie’s name, owners of country piles started flinging their ghosts at me as if they were their debutante daughters.

    "One of the guest bedrooms is definitely haunted by a young woman called Abigail who was starved to death by a monk in 1732," e-mailed one baroness. "Robbie is more than welcome to spend the night."

    I was surprised to find how widespread the belief in ghosts was among the aristocracy. One hundred percent of the people I contacted responded instantly to say their houses were definitely haunted and Robbie was more than welcome to spend the night. Then Robbie e-mailed to say he didn’t really have time to spend the night in a haunted house after all.


    Lost at Sea : NPR

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