Deborah Friedell

Deborah Friedell is a contributing editor at the LRB.

At the British Library: Elizabeth and Mary

Deborah Friedell, 24 February 2022

Choosinga husband for Elizabeth I was always going to be tricky, but in 1560 the diplomat Nicholas Throckmorton announced that he’d figured it out. Throckmorton’s choice would strengthen Elizabeth’s claim to the throne, unite the island of Britain and guarantee peace with France. His candidate was intelligent (if not quite as scholarly as Elizabeth), above average height...

From The Blog
5 January 2022

On Monday, twelve jurors in San Jose agreed, unanimously, that Elizabeth Holmes was guilty on four counts, including ‘conspiracy to commit wire fraud’ against investors in her company, Theranos. On the charges that she defrauded patients, she was found not guilty. On other charges, regarding particular investors, jurors were unable to reach a verdict. It was a win for the prosecution – Holmes will go to prison – though the mixed bill suggested it had been a near thing. One of the jurors (an actor with a Daytime Emmy for writing the Tiny Toon Adventures theme song) gave an interview to ABC News, reported more fully on The Dropout podcast. When it began deliberating, the jury was divided on ‘most everything’, he said. ‘It’s tough to convict somebody, especially somebody so likeable, with such a positive dream.’

Sex with Satan

Deborah Friedell, 21 October 2021

Whatwould the young Jonathan Franzen – an acolyte of Gaddis and Pynchon who identified with Kafka – make of the novels he would go on to write? That man was determined that ‘Franzen’ should connote ‘high art’, his own portmanteau of ‘high modern’ and ‘art fiction’. For years he dedicated himself to the conspiratorial plot of the...

No one​ thought that Ethel Rosenberg would be executed. At the time of her trial in 1951, no federal judge had sentenced a woman to death in nearly a hundred years. She hadn’t been accused of murder or of being an accomplice to a murder or of conspiracy to commit a murder. These, it seems, were the only crimes for which the American government might kill a woman. Female traitors during...

A Pie Every Night: Schizophrenia in the Family

Deborah Friedell, 18 February 2021

What is it like to have psychosis? Robert Kolker has spent hundreds of hours with the Galvins, but they can’t tell him. So I turn to Elyn Saks. She says it’s like a waking nightmare: ‘all the bizarre images, impossible things happening, and utter, utter terror’.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences