Arts > The wisdom of age

28 January 2016 | by D.J. Taylor

The wisdom of age

Osbert Sitwell once remarked that the really awful thing about advancing age was that all the things old men had told you in your youth turned out to be true. No such gloom attended Richard Holloway’s series of rapid-fire inquisitions into the possible tribulations of life in your ninth decade (18-22 January). Certainly, the former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church was sometimes rueful; he was frequently matter-of-fact (as when assuring us that most of the actions we embarked on were down to DNA rather than free will); but his general conclusion seemed to be that we should all be grateful for what we had.Each of the five 15-minute homilies that followed could probably have been boiled down into a single abstract noun – “regret”, for example, “extinction


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