Simon Skinner

Simon Skinner teaches modern British history at Balliol College, Oxford.

Tea with Medea: Richard Cobb

Simon Skinner, 19 July 2012

Who now, other than historians of modern France, remembers Richard Cobb? Cobb’s Wikipedia entry – the canonical index of posterity’s interest – measures three lines; by contrast, Hugh Trevor-Roper, his principal addressee in this collection, gets five thousand words. Yet Cobb, who died in 1996, was not only a historian of acknowledged genius. As these letters...

Letter
The note accompanying Thomas Jones’s reflections on generational attitudes to Armageddon says that he ‘edits the LRB blog from a secure bunker, in an undisclosed location’ (LRB, 5 April). I believe previous leaks have disclosed that his bunker is in Orvieto, and he will therefore almost certainly know about – and if not, would certainly relish a trip to – the former nuclear bunkers at Monte...
Letter

Trampled by an Elephant

10 September 2014

It was important to be reminded by R.W. Johnson that Clement Attlee – executive midwife of the National Health Service, Town and Country Planning, as well as the nationalisation of coal, the railways and canals, iron and steel, the Bank of England and civil aviation – should have regarded ‘Indian independence’ as his administration’s ‘greatest achievement’ (LRB, 11 September). That he...
Letter

Who to blame?

17 March 2011

Julian Bell writes drolly to protest John Lanchester’s characterisation of the current political high command as white men in their forties with humanities degrees from Oxford, on the grounds that Nick Clegg is a white man in his forties with a humanities degree from Cambridge (Letters, 17 March). The wider question is whether these are men with ‘humanities’ degrees in any received sense of that...
Letter

Who to blame?

17 February 2011

Julian Bell writes drolly to protest John Lanchester’s characterisation of the current political high command as white men in their forties with humanities degrees from Oxford, on the grounds that Nick Clegg is a white man in his forties with a humanities degree from Cambridge (Letters, 17 March). The wider question is whether these are men with ‘humanities’ degrees in any received sense of that...

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