History

Reyt as rain

The poet Patrick Kavanagh once stated that “to know fully even one field or one land is a lifetime’s experience. In the world of poetic experience it is depth that...

  • YORKSHIRE

    Richard Morris

  • REAL BARNSLEY

    Ian McMillan

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

A token of what is to come

Glenn Close has very small eyes, but she does more with them than any actor working in film today. In her latest role, in which she plays the long-suffering wife...

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

Samuel creeps

Samuel Pepys was a serial sexual assaulter. There needs no ghost come from the grave to tell us that, largely because Pepys tells us himself, in the diary he kept...

  • THE DARK SIDE OF SAMUEL PEPYS

    Geoffrey Pimm

Classics

On translating Homer

Amid the full range of exemplary cases of pious duty to a dying friend, there can be few more bizarre than that of John Conington. Conington was the professor of...

Commentary

Centrist mums

On August 18, 1839, the Reverend Francis Close took to the pulpit of Cheltenham Minster, St Mary’s, before an unusually full congregation. A popular preacher – and enemy to all...

Fashion

Masses of shape and flare

The tailor Tommy Nutter bought his first suit from Burtons for £8 in 1959. He would later recall the brown worsted, boxy jacket and tapered trousers “so often and with...

  • HOUSE OF NUTTER

    Lance Richardson

Fiction

Liberal guilt thing

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love New York City and those who hate it. Well, not really, but that seems to be the conceit...

  • ALTERNATE SIDE

    Anna Quindlen

History

Honest Tom’s clock

In 1599, Thomas Dallam, a remarkably calm young Lancashire organ builder, was dispatched with a team of helpers to Constantinople to present the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet III with a gift...

  • THE SULTAN’S ORGAN

    Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy

Literary Criticism

Never shall meet

Mark Twain continues to bedevil the academy, if not the reading public. Like Kipling, he has been by turns reviled and revered, often for the wrong reasons; like Kipling he...

  • MARK TWAIN AND YOUTH

    Kevin Mac Donnell and R. Kent Rasmussen, editors

  • THE LETTERS OF MARK TWAIN AND JOSEPH HOPKINS TWICHELL

    Harold K. Bush, Steve Courtney and Peter Messent, editors

  • THE INTROSPECTIVE ART OF MARK TWAIN

    Douglas Anderson

  • MARK TWAIN AND FRANCE

    Paula Harrington and Ronald Jenn

  • MARK TWAIN UNDER FIRE

    Joe B. Fulton

Literature

Hell at the bottom of the heart

When Raymond Chandler wrote in 1950 that his predecessor Dashiell Hammett “took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley”, thus giving it “back to the...

  • THE ROSS MACDONALD COLLECTION

    Tom Nolan, editor

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

Who is she?

A spooky tale called “The Ghost of the Private Theatricals” appeared at the end of 1843 in The Keepsake, a London literary miscellany published annually for the Christmas book market....

Poems

When did dreams of polymathy die?

When did dreams of polymathy die and estrangements emerge on the scene? Among my most unsqueamish friends, I make cautious enquiries about their histories. Might they unearth a practically forgotten...

Poetry

We vs Them

The Plural of Us by Bonnie Costello and Carolyn Steedman’s Poetry for Historians both invoke W. H. Auden in their subtitles, and both take up the poet and his work...

  • THE PLURAL OF US

    Bonnie Costello

  • POETRY FOR HISTORIANS

    Carolyn Steedman

Politics

Bridges and walls

With the exception of a few signatures, the only surviving example of William Shakespeare’s handwriting is said to be in the manuscript (preserved at the British Library) of The Book...

  • LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE

    Daniel Trilling

  • HARA HOTEL

    Teresa Thornhill

  • BORDERED LIVES

    Hsiao-Hung Pai

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

Let there be light

Is it possible to think that Genesis, taken literally, is bad science and still be a Christian believer? Possible answers to this question fall into one of three categories. The...

  • CREATION

    Simon Oliver

  • THE GREAT MYSTERY

    Alister McGrath

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

Green, unpleasant land

Mark Cocker begins this book with the statement that he has no capacity for polemic. This may come as a surprise to people who know him, but he is in...

  • OUR PLACE

    Mark Cocker

Social Studies

Pilgrim without faith

Until the practice was outlawed in 1823, the bodies of those who had committed suicide in England and Wales were routinely buried at the inter­sections of city streets or rural...

  • THE CROSSWAY

    Guy Stagg

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

Green, unpleasant land

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

Mark Cocker begins this book with the statement that he has no capacity for polemic. This may come as a surprise to people who know him, but he is in...

Pilgrim without faith

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

Until the practice was outlawed in 1823, the bodies of those who had committed suicide in England and Wales were routinely buried at the inter­sections of city streets or rural...

Who is she?

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

A spooky tale called “The Ghost of the Private Theatricals” appeared at the end of 1843 in The Keepsake, a London literary miscellany published annually for the Christmas book market....

A token of what is to come

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

Glenn Close has very small eyes, but she does more with them than any actor working in film today. In her latest role, in which she plays the long-suffering wife...

Dissent and descent

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October 17, 2018

For a few months in 1965, Phil Ochs’s brief and turbulent career as a protest singer looked set to eclipse that of Bob Dylan. Following Dylan’s performance on electric instruments...

Never shall meet

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

Mark Twain continues to bedevil the academy, if not the reading public. Like Kipling, he has been by turns reviled and revered, often for the wrong reasons; like Kipling he...

Honest Tom’s clock

wp-admin

October 17, 2018

In 1599, Thomas Dallam, a remarkably calm young Lancashire organ builder, was dispatched with a team of helpers to Constantinople to present the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet III with a gift...

Out of the desert

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October 17, 2018

In 1971, Peter Brown published The World of Late Antiquity, which made the then radical claim that early Islam (until 750 or so) was a final and explosive phase in...

Samuel creeps

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October 17, 2018

Samuel Pepys was a serial sexual assaulter. There needs no ghost come from the grave to tell us that, largely because Pepys tells us himself, in the diary he kept...

One Anne in her time

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October 17, 2018

Anne Shakespeare, née Hathaway, has always created problems for the Shakespeare myth. As Katherine West Scheil suggests in this entertaining book, she makes him look “conventional rather than subversive”; she...