The Latest: 40.3 | Biography

Ziauddin Sardar honours the life of anthropologist and writer Merryl Wyn Davies, Shabana Mir discovers transcendence, Jeremy Henzell-Thomas looks into his DNA, Robin Yassin-Kassab retires for a new life in Mossland, Medina Tenour Whiteman recounts the Sufi years of singer Richard Thompson, poems by the celebrated Ruth Padel, and last Words by Merryl Wyn Davies.

Those fortunate enough to have met Merryl Wyn Davies instantly noticed certain features of her towering personality.

Late in 2018 we moved to a place in the countryside of Galloway, in south west Scotland. It was only fifteen miles from our previous residence but it was still an entirely different world.

For many people, folk rock is a genre unto itself, patronised by gnomish white men with mutton chop sideburns nursing tankards of ale, rollie cigarettes, and ambitions to warlockhood, typically found in grimy pubs themed around shamrocks or Stonehenge.