It seems that Michael Gove, like Kenneth Baker before him, wants to draw up a list of canonical authors that no child should leave school without having read. First up is Dryden: I do look forward to hearing how they get on at my old comp with "Absalom and Achitophel", that perfect primer for scheming politicians. Not that I will, since this is just the kind of crowd-pleasing banner that people like Gove like to wave around at conference time. It did however spark a discussion on the Today programme this morning, during which I was pleased to hear one teacher praise The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (published 50 years ago this month) both for its own qualities and as a perfect way of firing children up to read Chaucer and the Gawain poet. Alas, the same man went on to pull the rug out from under his own bona fides by claiming that Steven Moffat was, like, way better than Pope. Up to a point, Lord Bolingbroke.