Last week the UK government raised £4bn by selling a bond which is due for repayment in 2073, over 50 years hence. Such was the enthusiasm shown by the buyers that it could have sold ten times that much. The previous week inflation, the force that destroys bond values, reached a five-year high and is widely expected to pass 7 per cent soon. The government is paying just 1.2872 per cent.
Holbein’s tiny portrait projects us into a private moment in the life of an ordinary middle-class woman living in the reign of Henry VIII.