JOE KENELM reviews the essay collection At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond by Esther Freud, Margaret Drabble, and Sophie Mackintosh.  ‘When I tell people I love swimming in the Ladies’ Pond there are two reactions,’ writes Deborah Moggach in At the Pond, a collection of 14 essays by Daunt Books on the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond. ‘The first: “Ugh, isn’t it muddy/dangerous/cold?” The other is, ‘How wonderful, lucky old you.”’ It is a good observation. Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club are frequently subject to long and mystified stares, bemused exclamation, or even incredulous photography. On the other hand, I was recently addressed as I changed out of my bathing suit by a passing jogger—‘So you can swim in there?’ On being assured that was indeed the case, he promptly took off his shirt and barrelled into the green water. In At the Pond, the treatment of the…Continue Reading

At The Pond

IMOGEN GODDARD explores the complexities of translating from book to film, and the ways in which these media can work in tandem. Books are always better than their screen adaptations, right? This is what the literary world tells us, but perhaps the answer to that questions should be: well, maybe. The effectiveness of this intersection has always been an interesting topic of discussion, but has become more and more relevant in recent years with the increasing prominence of films and television in our culture.  There are some terrible films created from brilliant books, but is this immediate (and in all honesty, slightly snobbish) reaction always valid?  Let’s properly examine whether too much of a book is lost in its screen version, in which case we can toss it aside without a second glance, or if successful adaptations really can be created.  Of course, there is a degree of subjectivity in this…Continue Reading

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