Noel Malcolm

Noel Malcolm is a fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His De Dominis (1560-1624): Venetian, Anglican, Ecumenist and Relapsed Heretic has just been published, and he is writing a biography of Hobbes.


What is a Bosnian?

28 April 1994

Paul Tvrtkovic (Letters, 9 June) is wrong to say that I wrote my book Bosnia: A Short History to support currently fashionable theories. I wrote it in order to dispel a large number of fashionable myths and fallacies, among which, I am afraid, Mr Tvrtkovic’s all-Croat theory is one.He accuses me of inventing a Bosnian identity and concealing the fact that the people of Bosnia were always ‘really’...

Citizen Hobbes

Noel Malcolm, 18 October 1984

Hobbes studies are booming. The production of books and articles on Hobbes and everything (Hobbes and Laughter; Hobbes and the American Constitution; Hobbes and Vico, or Dryden, or Hegel …) has reached record levels. Yet the essential scholarly machinery on which one might expect such a thriving industry to depend is in fact jerry-built and creaking with age: the standard edition of Hobbes’s works was published nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, and suffers from incompleteness, unreliable transcriptions and an often arbitrary choice of copy-texts. Scholars have always known that most of Hobbes’s works have complex textual histories, but they have usually shied away from the task of tackling them editorially. Now at long last Howard Warrender has produced what promises to be the first work in a new complete edition of Hobbes’s philosophical writings. The text he has tackled is one of the most complex of all, and it is not surprising to learn that his painstaking work on it took nearly twenty years to finish (though it is rather surprising that it then apparently spent more than four years in the press).

Good to Think With

Helen Pfeifer, 4 June 2020

From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Europeans saw the Ottoman Empire not only as an opponent on the battlefield, but as an intellectual resource.

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Modernity’s Bodyguard: Hobbes

Phil Withington, 3 January 2013

Four historians in a Cambridge bar, c.1998: one literary, a second legal, the third political, and the fourth a social historian. All specialise in the 16th and 17th centuries. The social...

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There’s a porpoise close behind us

Michael Dobson, 13 November 1997

How far could, or even should, a history of nonsense make sense? This is one of the questions raised by Noel Malcolm’s study of English nonsense verse – a book which is itself,...

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Although Thomas Hobbes lived to be 91, and was one of the most famous philosophers of his day, there are only 211 surviving letters to or from him. This compares with 3656 to or from Locke, some...

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What is a Bosnian?

John Fine, 28 April 1994

The war in Bosnia has produced a number of historical myths, all of which have proved useful to those Serbs and Croats seeking to tear Bosnia apart, for they justify the inaction of the...

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