Author Archives: Michael House

Michael House was born, of rural, peasant stock, in Somerset, England. He read law at Exeter College, Oxford and was elected President of the Oxford Union. In 1974, along with five colleagues, House started up a set of barristers' chambers in three little rooms in Lincoln's Inn, London, specializing in human rights and in representing the poor and dispossessed. The set now comprises 170 members and occupies a 17th-century building that was home to the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated (Spencer Perceval, 1812). In 1987, depressed by Mrs. Thatcher's third election victory, House fled to Greece for three years, where he was published in The Athenian and The Southeastern Review. He also there met his archaeologist wife, Diane. The pair returned to England in 1990 after a half-year, round-the-world trip, and settled in London and Northamptonshire. Since then, by way of escape from humdrum criminality, House has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Jordon, Libya, Mongolia, Kashmir, and Sri Lanka, where only the stout walls of Galle Fort saved him and his spouse from being swept away by the tsunami. House returns to Greece, his second home, almost every year. He has written for, inter alia, History Today, the Universities Quarterly, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Rough Guide to Greece and House practices criminal defense law from Garden Court Chambers, Lincoln's Inn Fields, in London, and hopes that if he keeps on practicing, he may eventually get the hang of it. His yet unachieved ambitions are: to farm alpacas; see Tibet liberated from the Chinese jackboot; and live to see Britain a socialist republic.

Anatomy of a Mania

“I never erase the writings of previous owners of my second-hand books: some of them are fascinating. And I always Google the names, to see if I have inherited a book from someone famous or interesting. Who was ‘William Anthony Halstead’ and where was he and what was he doing on May 28, 1825, apart […]

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Crete: Dress Rehearsal for Liberty

“We first find Skinner in March 1867 aboard the blockade-running, custom-built steamship the Arkadi, capable of 15 knots, faster than any ship the Turks had, en route from the island of Syros. With him are Colonel Sotfried of the Hungarian army and Monsieur Edmond Desmaze, described as a French sportsman from Algiers “seeking adventure.” The Arkadi anchors off the south-central […]

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P.G. Wodehouse & The Critical Code of The Woosters

“Pelham Grenville ‘P.G.’ Wodehouse, KBE (15 October 1881–14 February 1975) was the greatest writer of English of the 20th century. The snootier critics don’t agree. He is rarely bracketed with Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell, or D.H. Lawrence. He was too frivolous and he wrote too much.”—Michael House, FRGS The Polemicist By Michael House, FRGS KING’S […]

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The British Monarchy: Birds in a Gilded Cage (or Brilliant Scam-Artists?)

“People say, what does it matter? It’s harmless. The Queen is only a figurehead. It brings in the tourists. But she is more than a figurehead. Every piece of potential legislation that may affect ‘The Firm,’ as they call themselves, has to have royal consent. The monarchy costs the taxpayer £67 million a year ($86 […]

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American Democracy? (An Outsider’s View)

“If the United States were a true democracy, Donald Trump would not have become President. In 2016, Trump lost the presidential election by 3 million votes. (Why Democrats have not been shouting this fact from the rooftops for the past four years is a mystery, but it is rarely mentioned.) Trump stole the presidency through the […]

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Letter from King’s Sutton, South Northamptonshire, UK

“I’m not sure who is worse off, leadership-wise, we in UK or our friends in the USA. While your vile nincompoop is in full flow, advising people to inject themselves with detergent, ours is recovering from a bout of COVID 19 brought on by his own laziness, stupidity, and arrogance. In March, he visited a […]

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Fun & Games in Kyrgyzstan

“On arrival, we finally struggled through Security, collected our goody bags (Kyrgyz flag, orange baseball cap, four glowing sticks to wave, programme of events), and took our seats in the stadium. We had superb seats near the front, just behind the press corps. We were then treated to 150 minutes of spectacular light-shows, gymnastics on […]

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Iraklia Diary (Best of WH)

“Someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make Iraklia walker-friendly. I set off to climb the island’s peak, Mount Papas (420 meters, or 1386 feet). If that doesn’t sound high, try it. I keep on the main street through the village, ignoring signs for Profitis Ilias, the famous caves (see below) and […]

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Voyage to Cycladic Donoussa

“Donoussa had no roads until the 1950s. The Greek state gave the island funds to join the port at Stavros with the island’s two other main communities—Mersini on the south-east coast and Kalotaritissa in the far north. The workmen were paid 14 drachmas a day. The work was completed in 1955. Mersini is a delightful […]

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International Truth Day (Best of “Hubris”)

  The Polemicist By Michael House LONDON England—(Weekly Hubris)—December 19, 2016—Not one of my readers in 20 (assuming I have 20) will know about the wonderful UK radio comedy show of the 1960’s and 70’s, Round the Horne. Four very funny men and one very funny woman produced skits and sketches years ahead of their […]

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