Rosemary Hill

Rosemary Hill’s most recent book is Time’s Witness: History in the Age of Romanticism. Her four-part series, Romantic History, can be found on the LRB Podcast. She is a contributing editor at the LRB.

Letter

Humble Pie

17 December 1992

Having taken the authors of London: World City to task for getting a date wrong it was particularly unfortunate that I promptly did the same myself (LRB, 17 December 1992). The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834 not 1835 – apologies and humble pie all round.
Letter

Late Call

2 November 1995

It was never my intention to imply, nor does Sally Festing suggest in her book, that Barbara Hepworth committed suicide. In contrasting her posthumous reputation with that of Wood – who did kill himself – I wrote a sentence that lent itself to this construction. It was careless and I apologise. Of Festing’s accuracy it is difficult in many instances to judge, without, as Alan Bowness points out...
Letter

Draw what you see

30 March 2017

I am interested to know from Anthony Paul that Gerald Scarfe intended his drawing of the ageing Churchill to convey pathos rather than hostility (Letters, 20 April). Much as I admire Scarfe I don’t think he realised his intention in this case. The original, which is charcoal on four sheets of paper, did hang in Portcullis House, but is there no longer. On 5 April it appeared as lot 134 in Sotheby’s...
From The Blog
6 July 2009

The Guildhall Library has just finished cataloguing Elizabeth David’s archive of cookery books and memoranda, down to the last wine-stained post-it note and quite right too. It is impossible to know what will interest later generations. The Belfast Women's Institute will go down to history as perpetrators of the ‘most revolting dish’ David ever came across. A nasty confection involving macaroni, tinned pears and raw carrot it nevertheless evokes some sympathy in me, and a certain queasy nostalgia for my mother’s more elaborate efforts.

From The Blog
7 July 2009

From my desk I can see the Lakanal flats which caught fire so catastrophically on Friday. I've looked at the modernist slab block, end-on, almost every working day for the last three years. On Friday afternoon there was thin grey smoke coming from one window. As I went out into the street a woman from across the road told me that she'd just called the fire brigade. While we watched the smoke turned black and then with a muffled sound, somewhere between a thud and a roar, flames burst out of the front. Glass and burning debris started to shower down. After twenty minutes or so I left. I wasn't doing any good. People were running towards the estate but by this time the police had tape up and were holding them back. Lakanal, named after Joseph Lakanal (1762-1845), the French revolutionary educationalist, is part of the Sceaux Gardens estate.

Leave me my illusions: Antiquarianism

Nicholas Penny, 29 July 2021

Moonlight on broken stone tracery is a common motif; dark interiors provide a foil for stained glass and for white satin and deep blue velvet. The men must be away on the crusades. Young women are sobbing...

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Very Pointed: Pugin

Dinah Birch, 20 September 2007

Modern lives look prim beside the turbulent existence of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. Distractions and misfortunes proliferated throughout his career: shipwreck (he was in his own boat,...

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