Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 36 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

The Mantle of Jehovah

Francis Spufford, 25 June 1987

Sugar 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 224 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 7011 3169 1
Show More
Show More
... deal in strong feelings and violent flavours most often choose narrow canvases. Not, however, A.S. Byatt. Her writing has been synoptically intense. It has been so, anomalously, in a genre (the English social novel) which makes comparisons with other violently-flavoured writers, outside the genre, seem silly. You could, of course, draw a contrast simply in ...

Thirty Years Ago

Patrick Parrinder, 18 July 1985

Still Life 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 358 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 7011 2667 1
Show More
Wales’ Work 
by Robert Walshe.
Secker, 279 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 9780436561450
Show More
Show More
... Like The Virgin in the Garden (1978) to which it is a deeper and darker-toned successor, A.S. Byatt’s Still Life has the classical English narrative setting of a generation ago. Apart from the prologue, which evokes the Post-Impressionist exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1980, the events here take place in 1954-7 ...

Underlinings

Ruth Scurr: A.S. Byatt, 10 August 2000

The Biographer's Tale 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 224 pp., £14.99, June 2000, 0 7011 6945 1
Show More
Show More
... Antonia Byatt’s new novel opens with a lecture and a window. Phineas G. Nanson, listening to an exposition of Lacan’s theory of morcellement, looks up at the window and decides to quit academe. He thinks: ‘I must have things. I know a dirty window is an ancient, well-worn trope for intellectual dissatisfaction and scholarly blindness ...

Looking back

John Sutherland, 22 May 1980

Metroland 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 176 pp., £4.95, March 1980, 0 224 01762 4
Show More
The Bleeding Heart 
by Marilyn French.
Deutsch, 412 pp., £6.50, May 1980, 9780233972343
Show More
Creator 
by Jeremy Leven.
Hutchinson, 544 pp., £6.95, April 1980, 0 09 141250 1
Show More
Show More
... 1956 is the year in which Trillingesque liberal humanism went under to the new barbarism. A.S. Byatt (The Virgin in the Garden) found a slightly earlier epicentre in the Coronation year, 1953. David Lodge’s new novel (How far can you go?) charts Catholic perplexity in the face of the permissive Sixties, Humanae Vitae and the abolition of National ...

Bristling with Diligence

James Wood: A.S. Byatt, 8 October 2009

The Children’s Book 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 617 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 7011 8389 9
Show More
Show More
... There is what seems an interesting slip early in A.S. Byatt’s new novel. It is 1895. A young working-class man, Philip Warren, has been adopted by a liberal upper-class family, the Wellwoods. At the Kentish country home of Olive and Humphry Wellwood, a glorious Midsummer Party is in preparation. Humphry is a banker (though he will soon switch to journalism), and Olive is a famous children’s writer ...

Overindulgence

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: A.S. Byatt, 28 November 2002

A Whistling Woman 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 422 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 7011 7380 7
Show More
Show More
... Towards the end of A.S. Byatt’s first novel about the Potter family, The Virgin in the Garden (1978), the heroine and a clever friend debate the question of whether modern life has rendered some literary forms obsolete. The year is 1953, and the immediate occasion is the staging of a verse drama in the manner of Eliot and Fry; but the debate quickly turns to Frederica Potter’s own hypothetical future as a writer ...

Prolonging her absence

Danny Karlin, 8 March 1990

The Wimbledon Poisoner 
by Nigel Williams.
Faber, 307 pp., £12.99, March 1990, 0 571 14242 7
Show More
The Other Occupant 
by Peter Benson.
Macmillan, 168 pp., £12.95, February 1990, 0 333 52509 4
Show More
Possession 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 511 pp., £13.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3260 4
Show More
Show More
... Nicky (a public schoolboy who drives a Capri – no mercy for him) takes place in a pub, and is also, implausibly, the occasion for Greg to berate the local yokels for thinking of Marjorie as a sinister old bat. This is Greg’s apotheosis: he is heroic and righteous, and in the very next chapter Marjorie rewards him from beyond the grave with £5000 and ...

Browning and Modernism

Donald Davie, 10 October 1991

ThePoems of Browning. Vol. I: 1826-1840 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin.
Longman, 797 pp., £60, April 1991, 0 582 48100 7
Show More
ThePoems of Browning. Vol. II: 1841-1846 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin .
Longman, 581 pp., £50, April 1991, 9780582063990
Show More
Show More
... Browning is in high favour once again, or promises to be. Has not A.S. Byatt, CBE, declared him ‘one of the very greatest English poets’? In a switch to fighting talk, she adds that ‘his greatness has never been fully acknowledged or described ... in part because he is difficult to docket in terms of the usual literary discussions of Victorian Poetry ...

Slick Chick

Elaine Showalter, 11 July 1991

The Haunting of Sylvia Plath 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Virago, 288 pp., £14.99, June 1991, 1 85381 307 9
Show More
Passions of the Mind 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 340 pp., £17, August 1991, 0 7011 3260 4
Show More
Show More
... conception of evidence finds itself up against a literary conception of truth’. Rose is also compellingly readable on the Stevenson biography, and its bizarre trio of self-exculpating and condemnatory appendixes by three Plath ‘friends’. There was obviously something about Plath that stung people who knew her into frantic ...

Lovers on a Train

Susannah Clapp, 10 January 1991

Carol 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Bloomsbury, 240 pp., £13.99, October 1990, 0 7475 0719 8
Show More
Show More
... screen cutting the Booker finalists, especially the females, down to size. He blamed A.S. Byatt for producing ‘the kind of novel I’d write if I was foolish enough not to know that I couldn’t write a novel’; he commended Brian Moore for having included, in one of the most routine sentences Moore has ever written, the words ‘a quarter to ...

Major and Minor

Frank Kermode, 6 June 1985

The Oxford Companion to English Literature 
edited by Margaret Drabble.
Oxford, 1155 pp., £15, April 1985, 0 19 866130 4
Show More
Show More
... American books and writers as ‘an essential part of the literature of our language’. He also tried to elucidate recurrent allusions: for instance, to literary terms, wines, mythological figures, heroes, philosophers, musicians, actors, historical events and foreign authors of eminence. The result is necessarily a bit random. Harvey contains a lot of ...

A Perfect Eel

Elaine Showalter: ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’, 21 June 2012

Lady Audley’s Secret 
by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, edited by Lyn Pykett.
Oxford, 448 pp., £9.99, January 2012, 978 0 19 957703 3
Show More
Show More
... as ‘neo-Victorianism’ or sometimes ‘neo-sensationalism’, whose exponents include A.S. Byatt, Sarah Waters and Michel Faber. M.E. Braddon’s secrets would make a sensational novel of their own. Brought up and educated by her mother, she was ‘a keen, precocious and eclectic reader’ of Shakespeare, Scott, Byron, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray and ...

The screams were silver

Adam Mars-Jones: Rupert Thomson, 25 April 2013

Secrecy 
by Rupert Thomson.
Granta, 312 pp., £14.99, March 2013, 978 1 84708 163 6
Show More
Show More
... as Nicholas Dyer and a 20th-century policeman somehow assuming the discarded name. Ackroyd has also represented historical figures such as Wilde and Chatterton directly, as well as revisiting the name-substitution tactic at least once. Johann Ludwig Heinrich Julius Obermann in The Fall of Troy (2006) is not (Johann Ludwig Heinrich Julius) Schliemann, but ...

When will he suspect?

John Barrell, 19 November 1992

Angels and Insects 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 290 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 7011 3717 7
Show More
Show More
... worth doing well: if a thing can be done well, it must be worth doing. But the more successfully Byatt re-creates the Victorian novel of ideas, the more she persuades us of the irredeemable pastness of the past she re-creates, and the more the ideas she deals with, of determinism, individual freedom, the nature of life after death, seem to announce that ...

Faulting the Lemon

James Wood: Iris Murdoch, 1 January 1998

Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 546 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 7011 6629 0
Show More
Show More
... he never created a single character of free and serious depth (he got closest in Late Call). A.S. Byatt has written well about her desire to write what she calls ‘self-conscious realism’; but her realism is seldom deep enough to warrant its self-consciousness. Margaret Drabble appears to want to combine Dickens and Woolf, to combine caricature and ...

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