John Henry Jones

John Henry Jones abandoned an academic career in chemistry to become a writer. His edition of William Empson’s Posthumous Faustus and the Censor appeared in 1987. He has recently been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship to work on the Faust legend.

Diary: At Home with the Empsons

John Henry Jones, 17 August 1989

One Saturday morning as I lay in bed, dying of flu, William Empson burst into my room, very sprightly, saying: ‘Now come along Jones, you must get up and come to Stonehenge.’ I croaked an apology and claimed an imminent, prior appointment with the Lord God Almighty. ‘Oh dear. I am sorry,’ he said. ‘But you would do much better to come to Stonehenge.’


On a Chinese Mountain

20 November 1986

SIR: If I may add a point of information to Frank Kermode’s illuminating review (LRB, 20 November), there is one major Empson work which has not yet been published: the long essay on Marlowe’s Dr Faustus in which he expounds his theory that the play was censored and suggests a plan of reconstruction. The theme occupied him extensively throughout the last ten years of his life; the result of his...

Tarot Triumph

4 September 1980

SIR: The trouble with Michael Dummett’s book on the Tarot, to which William Empson referred in a recent letter (Letters, 18 September), is that while it leaves us dispossessed of some of our favourite myths it does not go far enough in explaining (or attempting to explain) the origin of these cards.Professor Dummett flails the 18th century and later occultists mercilessly for their duplicity in propounding...

What Marlowe would have wanted

Charles Nicholl, 26 November 1987

The best, perhaps, has survived, but a great deal of Elizabethan drama has not. The number of titles mentioned in contemporary documents – the account books of the impresario Philip...

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