Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

All the week’s wisdom in one place
27 August-2 September 2021

Behind the headlines

Global Update


Deacon 27.8

“Romeo and Juliet isn’t the only one of Shakespeare’s plays that could offend those of a sensitive disposition. Hamlet may be upsetting to anyone whose late father has reappeared as a ghost to inform them that he was poisoned by their uncle. Julius Caesar may bring back traumatic memories to anyone who has been assassinated by a cabal of Roman senators. And Titus Andronicus is bound to distress anyone who has ever been fed to their mother in a pie.”

Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph


Noted toothbrush 27.8

A French start-up has come up with a “miracle” toothbrush that can clean teeth in just 10 seconds, says Le Figaro. The Y-Brush has 35,000 nylon bristles designed to clean all the user’s teeth at the same time. A starter pack costs £108.



Quoted Irish Goodbye

“To commit to the Irish Goodbye is to insist on being remembered at your best – telling a joke on the balcony, mixing a good cocktail at the bar – rather than at the always-awkward departure, rummaging through a great pile of coats before struggling into your own.”

Sophie Haigney in Gawker

After Hours

The cottage

Near Slapton Sands beach, in south Devon, Boathouse Cottage has an upside-down layout to make the most of the coastal views. The main bedroom is downstairs and the open-plan kitchen and living area are on the first floor, with a second bedroom at the back. It’s a 20-minute drive to Kingsbridge or Dartmouth. £500,000.

The hideaway

This pretty Tuscan farmhouse is in Montecastelli Pisano, a fortified village 11 miles from the Chianti hills and an hour and a half from Florence. Set in four acres, with an orchard and an olive grove, the renovated five-bedroom property retains its arched windows, terracotta floors and beamed ceilings. It has two kitchens, a saltwater pool and a fishpond. €590,000.

The townhouse

William Pitt the Younger lived at this Grade I listed townhouse in Bath in the early 19th century – there’s a smart bronze plaque on the façade. It’s now a luxurious, modern four-bedroom home with original cornicing, high ceilings, fireplaces and views of the River Avon. The price includes a year’s membership of the Gainsborough Bath Spa and gym. £3.4m.

The country house

Georgian Westbrook Hall, near Horsham, West Sussex, is grand but homely, says Country Life – “cosy, even”. The Grade II listed house has six bedrooms, four receptions, a wine cellar and eight acres of grounds with a pool, stables, outbuildings and specimen trees. It’s a 25-minute drive to Gatwick. £3.295m.

The pied-à-terre

This two-bedroom pad is on the ground floor of a townhouse on Royal Terrace, Edinburgh – thought to be the longest Georgian row in Europe. A 15-minute walk from the Royal Mile, it has a large, bright living area with a marble fireplace. The owner can use the private Regent Gardens for a small annual fee. £550,000.


Coren 27.8

“Nobody seems to care about extreme weather events, wildfires, species extinction, the increased likelihood of wars and refugee crises, mass homelessness and the possible end of civilisation as we know it, but if we can get the message across that anthropogenic climate change could affect the price of a pint, well, I think people might finally sit up and listen.”

Giles Coren in The Times

On the way out

On the way out 27.8

Rapper Kanye West, who has formally requested that his legal name be changed simply to Ye, his longstanding nickname. “I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means you,” he said in a 2018 interview. “So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us.”

Five of the best


Chefchaouen, Morocco

Lotus Gate, Jaipur, India

St Edward’s Church, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire


Zuccari Palace, Rome


Sharro 27.8

“As I grow older I’m becoming more and more like the American empire. For example, I’ll walk into a room and then think ‘Why did I come in here?’”

Satirist Karl Sharro on Twitter


It’s trending… Peachy Den

Pick up this slinky mesh dress, £95, from Gen Z’s favourite brand. Its dreamy summer Margot collection also features tank tops, miniskirts and bralettes, all available in Blue Curacao and Aperol Spritz.

It’s exquisite… London Basin Company

Brighten up your bathroom with this porcelain Melody washbasin from the London Basin Company, £799. Too pricy? Etsy has a blue Moroccan basin for £148.85.

We’re loving… Caudalie skincare

The French brand will solve all your skincare problems, says Buro247. Its Vinergetic C+ Instant Detox Mask, £23, is a huge hit on TikTok. It uses pink clay and fruit enzymes to decongest and brighten your post-sun skin.

It’s lit… Aegean Chevron Lampshade

This pink and green shade is Birdie Fortescue’s “summer statement piece”. Block-printed by artisans in India, it comes in four sizes, from £65.

It’s practical… the Curl

Leatherman’s latest offers 15 tools in one, including a stainless-steel knife, wire cutters, a screwdriver and two sets of pliers. It weighs 212g and costs £99.95, giving you plenty of “bang for your buck”, says InsideHook.


From the archives

Trouble in the kitchen

Prickly chef Marco Pierre White is opening a new restaurant in the West End after 10 years away from London. His new spot, Mr White’s, is due to open in October on Leicester Square, serving steaks and pizzas. Here he is in 1988, explaining why he kicks out “obnoxious” guests from his restaurant Harvey’s.

Quirks of history

Quirks 27-08

The first bicycle came about because of an environmental disaster. The largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, Mount Tambora in Indonesia, gave the planet a “year without a summer” in 1816. As crops failed in Europe, many people killed their horses because they couldn’t feed them. The German Laufmaschine (“running machine”), or “dandy horse”, a bicycle minus the pedals that you pushed along with your feet, was a convenient alternative for getting from A to B. 


Aug 24: Ankara, Turkey, 28C 🏇

Aug 25: Sydney, 16C 🌊

Aug 22: Moscow, 15C 🌕

Aug 22: New York, 23C 🌧

Aug 23: Raqqa, Syria, 38C 💦

Aug 24: Portsmouth, Hampshire, 20C 🌤

Aug 24: St Tropez, France, 19C ☁