History

Looking backwards

It is becoming increasingly difficult to read the news without drifting into amateur philosophy, wondering where the truth lies – or whether it exists at all. But, thinking about the truth...

  • HISTORY

    Lynn Hunt

Architecture

Integrity acts

In July last year, the New York Times ran three separate pieces about the uproar surrounding the push by estate agents to rebrand a southern part of Harlem as “SoHa”....

  • THE ROOTS OF URBAN RENAISSANCE

    Brian D. Goldstein

  • DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE

    Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch

Arts

Mythical spaces

The Glyndebourne Festival’s new production of Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by Robin Ticciati and directed by Stefan Herheim, is the company’s fourth staging of the work, timed in celebration of...

  • PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE

    Claude Debussy

  • THE SKATING RINK

    David Sawer

Biography

Walter Pater, 1890s

Renaissance man

The importance of Classics to Walter Pater

  • PATER THE CLASSICIST

    Charles Martindale, Stefano Evangelista and Elizabeth Prettejohn, editors

Biography & Memoirs

Scribblin’ to Squirrel

John Osborne met Pamela Lane in March 1951 while appearing in a farce by Fred Duprez at Bridgwater repertory theatre. He was twenty-one and still rebelling against the banality of...

  • “DEAREST SQUIRREL”

    Peter Whitebrook, editor

Classics

From weeping to sleeping

Imagine yourself to be a doctor asked to cure, or at least help, a mentally ill patient somewhere in the classical Greece of Hippocrates and company. You would not have...

  • A HISTORY OF THE MIND AND MENTAL HEALTH IN CLASSICAL GREEK MEDICAL THOUGHT

    Chiara Thumiger

Commentary

To speken short and pleyn

In 1894 the Reverend Walter W. Skeat (1835–1912), Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge University, published his six-volume edition of The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer at the...

Fashion

On their bikes

Who would guess, looking at late Victorian women’s fashions, that the Dress Reform Movement dated back to the 1830s? By 1900, the crinoline and the bustle had come and gone,...

  • BIKES AND BLOOMERS

    Kat Jungnickel

Fiction

Multiples of one

A Singaporean writer told me a few years ago that a local publisher had passed on her book. The reason? It had two lesbians in it. “One is OK but...

  • THE MAN WHO WORE HIS

    Suchen Christine Lim

History

Hacked out of history

Ferdinand Mount was for eleven years Editor of the TLS. He wrote regular columns for the Sunday Times and the Telegraph, and countless reviews for papers far and wide. But...

  • PRIME MOVERS

    Ferdinand Mount

Literary Criticism

Means of production

Henry Colburn has not been treated kindly by posterity. If he is remembered at all today it is as the purveyor of mass-market “silver-fork” novels and as a publisher who...

  • ROGUE PUBLISHER

    John Sutherland and Veronica Melnyk

  • CHARLES DICKENS AND HIS PUBLISHERS

    Robert L. Patten

Literature

Grave duty, unbridled love

What makes Balzac’s work endure? On the face of it, the answer lies in its scope, for there are few fictional projects comparable in hubris to La Comédie humaine. Big...

  • THE MEMOIRS OF TWO YOUNG WIVES

    Honoré de Balzac

Literature & Poetry

Separate dots

A haphazard group of Europeans leads a mildly pressurized life in a sanatorium high above Geneva. The pressures come from tuberculosis and the woes of history. At an indeterminate time...

  • Zofia Nalkowska
    CHOUCAS
    Translated by Ursula Phillips
    200pp. Northern Illinois University Press. Paperback, $29.95.
    978 0 87580 707 2

NB

Dylan on record

The prospect of the writer under surveillance has long held a fascination for readers. There are several books on the subject, notably Herbert Mitgang’s Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the secret war...

Poems

The Day

The day after I die will be lively with traffic. Business will doubtless be up and doing, fuelled by creative percentages; the young with their back-packs will be creeping snail-like...

Poetry

Mortal concerns

Frank Ormsby THE DARKNESS OF SNOW 128pp. Bloodaxe. Paperback, £9.95. 978 1 78037 366 9 The Darkness of Snow has five parts. The first and longest comprises mainly re­collections of...

Politics

Fully human

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the propaganda films that Islamic terror groups pump out: a young man, sometimes hooded, sometimes not, stares stony-faced into the camera...

Politics & Social Studies

Salty as the sea

The Venetian Republic hit the apogee of its gastronomic renown in 1574, with the glittering banquets held to honour Henri III. The King was meant to be racing from Poland...

  • Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
    VENICE
    Recipes lost and found
    272pp. Hardie Grant Books. £25 (US $39.95).
    978 1 74270 773 0

    Laura Zavan
    VENICE
    Cult recipes
    272pp. Murdoch Books. £20.
    978 1 74336 310 2

Religion

Cath. Quest.

The country is divided; the Cabinet is divided; Tory prime ministers, nervous of the Opposition cashing in on Tory disunity, attempt to hold the ring; a single issue obsesses the...

  • THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS

    Antonia Fraser

Science

Poster commemorating the space flight of Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.

Whitey on the moon

Zaheer Baber on NASA and pressing social movements

  • APOLLO IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

    Neil M. Maher

Science & Natural History

Blacking out

Anaesthetics is a strange medical speciality. The old joke that doctors become anaesthetists because they don’t like patients suggests that anaesthesia is a technical business distant from emotions and is...

  • COUNTING BACKWARDS

    Henry Jay Przybylo

  • ANAEsTHESIA

    Kate Cole-Adams

Social Studies

Something to say for herself

Interviews are the least praised, and least appraised, of literary forms, particularly those devoid of commentary. Perhaps this is because their intimate relationship with speech is thought to decrease their...

  • TALKING TO WOMEN

    Nell Dunn

Twenty questions

Twenty Questions with M. John Harrison

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be? Graham Greene was right, you just shouldn’t publish your first three novels

Mythical spaces

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July 18, 2018

The Glyndebourne Festival’s new production of Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by Robin Ticciati and directed by Stefan Herheim, is the company’s fourth staging of the work, timed in celebration of...

Unsettled patterns

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July 18, 2018

What a beautiful day: flaming June!” observes a beaming General Eisenhower in the opening scene of David Haig’s Pressure, but will it still be flaming in four days’ time, when...

Scribblin’ to Squirrel

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July 18, 2018

John Osborne met Pamela Lane in March 1951 while appearing in a farce by Fred Duprez at Bridgwater repertory theatre. He was twenty-one and still rebelling against the banality of...

Garden city

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July 18, 2018

One of the artworks on the jacket of Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford turns out to be Waugh’s own woodcut image of Harold Acton. Unconscionably elegant and wearing a crown of stars...

Grave duty, unbridled love

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July 18, 2018

What makes Balzac’s work endure? On the face of it, the answer lies in its scope, for there are few fictional projects comparable in hubris to La Comédie humaine. Big...

The great joy in living

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July 18, 2018

The narrator of The Tower at the Edge of the World (Tårnet ved verdens ende, 1976) pauses in his assemblage of “poetic mosaics” of early childhood to describe himself as...

Outlook poor

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July 18, 2018

Cara Anna Maria” – wrote Italo Calvino on May 21, 1953 – “in a few days you’ll receive the proofs of your book. Be happy: you have written a wonderful...

Multiples of one

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July 18, 2018

A Singaporean writer told me a few years ago that a local publisher had passed on her book. The reason? It had two lesbians in it. “One is OK but...

Born for a second time

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July 18, 2018

The French-Iranian filmmaker Négar Djavadi’s first novel, Disoriental(Désorientale, 2016), translated by Tina Kover, is narrated by Kimiâ Sadr, who flees Iran aged ten with her mother and sisters in the...

Disarmed and ready

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July 18, 2018

We meet Amir at some point in the late 1980s, his left arm and half his memories lost in battle, recovering in an opulent Iranian villa, surrounded by a garden...