LRB Diary for 2022

When was George Bernard Shaw introduced to sexuality? Did Rome really fall in 410 AD? What caused Andrew O’Hagan to decide to hate football for life? Which day in the life of Samuel Pepys is the most memorable? How astrologically auspicious was the date of the LRB’s founding? For whom did the events of 4 June 1989 change everything? Find the answers to these questions, and many more, in the LRB Diary for 2022, which has once again mined the paper’s archive to find an incident from history, tall tale or seasonal poem for every week of next year. Buy it now

Diary: What I did in 1990

Alan Bennett, 24 January 1991

2 January 1990. I seem to be the only Western playwright not personally acquainted with the new President of Czechoslovakia. I envy him, though. What a relief to find oneself Head of State and not...

Prospects for Ambazonia

Adewale Maja-Pearce, 25 October 2018

On 5​ January this year, Nigerian security operatives abducted 12 men from a hotel in Abuja, the federal capital. All were members of the self-styled government of the Republic of Ambazonia,...

Dishevelled: Tennessee Williams

Wayne Koestenbaum, 4 October 2007

One event dominated Tennessee Williams’s life: his sister Rose’s bilateral prefrontal lobotomy, performed on 13 January 1943, two years before The Glass Menagerie, the play he forged...

A man has been mistaken for somebody else. He has been kidnapped, forced to drink a bottle of bourbon and sent off to meet his death in a stolen car. He survives, and decides it is time to get...

Shaw tests the ice

Ronald Bryden, 18 December 1986

In his last will, made the year before he died, Shaw let his modesty hang out for once. He left his diaries, with his account books, cheque stubs, box-office statements and business records, to...

The First Protest

Stephen Frears, 24 May 2018

On​ 9 February 1968, the day before I got married to the present editor of the LRB, the head of the French Cinémathèque, Henri Langlois, was sacked – by André Malraux,...

Nobody Liked Her: Witchcraft Trials

Lee Palmer Wandel, 3 December 2009

Anna Fessler was a young mother. Her death, on Shrove Tuesday, 20 February 1672, was typical of those that brought about thousands of witch prosecutions in early modern England, North America and...

Omnipresent Eye: The Nixon/Mao Show

Patrick Wright, 16 August 2007

It is a cold, clear morning, and the soldiers gathered at the airfield are singing ‘The Three Main Rules of Discipline’ as an American jet labelled ‘The Spirit of 76’...

One Winter’s Night

Gunnar Pettersson, 18 May 1989

Facts are hard to come by in the Olof Palme case. On the corner of Sveavägen-Tunnelgatan in central Stockholm, at 21 minutes past 11 p.m. on 28 February 1986, the Swedish Prime Minister was...

Getting Ready to Exist

Adam Phillips, 17 July 1997

‘True originality,’ Cocteau, Pessoa’s contemporary, wrote, ‘consists in trying to behave like everybody else without succeeding.’ It was once characteristically...

See you in hell, punk: Kai su, Brutus

Thomas Jones, 6 December 2018

Brutus insisted that no blood should be spilled except Caesar’s: murdering anyone else would weaken the apparent righteousness of their cause. When the moment came, one or more of the conspirators kept Antony outside to prevent him intervening. Tillius Cimber pulled the toga from Caesar’s shoulders. Casca stepped up with his dagger. The others piled in. Caesar was stabbed at least 23 times. 

In 1824, a Scottish merchant was sailing down the Mekong when he saw a ‘two-headed Hydra-like creature’ climbing into a dinghy. He had been on the lookout for new ways to make money in Siam; that summer’s day, he found one in the body of two identical young boys connected at the chest by a thick band of flesh.

‘I mounted​ the stallion of reading,’ Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri wrote, recalling the moment, around the year 1316, when he quit his job. He had been a financial clerk in the...

A Topic Best Avoided: Abraham Lincoln

Nicholas Guyatt, 1 December 2011

On the evening of 11 April 1865, Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd in Washington about black suffrage. The Civil War had been over for a week. Lincoln had already walked the streets of Richmond,...

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