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Raymond Williams

25 June 1987
Joachim of Fiore and the Myth of the Eternal Evangel in the 19th Century 
by Marjorie Reeves and Warwick Gould.
Oxford, 365 pp., £35, March 1987, 0 19 826672 3
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Beauty and Belief: Aesthetics and Religion in Victorian Literature 
by Hilary Fraser.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £25, January 1987, 0 521 30767 8
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The Correspondence of John​ Ruskin and Charles Eliot Norton 
edited by John Bradley and Ian Ousby.
Cambridge, 537 pp., £45, April 1987, 0 521 32091 7
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... What can we possibly say of the claim that ‘the first great revolutionary movements in Europe’ were all ‘more or less imbued with the ideas of Joachim of Fiore’? Or, if ‘more or less’ offers an escape clause, what can we say of another claim: that ‘Joachim created the aggregate of symbols which govern the self-interpretation of modern political society to this day’? Or that ‘it is ...
11 June 1992
Strong Representations: Narrative and Circumstantial Evidence in England 
by Alexander Welsh.
Johns Hopkins, 262 pp., £21.50, April 1992, 0 8018 4271 9
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... absorbing chapters Welsh examines the ways in which Shakespearean evidence was once sifted by forensically-minded critics, like Maurice Morgann in 1777 with his Essay on the Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff. A cheerful legally-minded diplomatist and civil servant, Morgann did what I suppose no good judge or defence counsel should do: he first fell for the plaintiff – fell virtually in love ...

What Fred Did

Owen Bennett-Jones: Go-Betweens in Northern Ireland

22 January 2015
... the Northern Ireland peace process got underway.* ‘Martin McGuinness,’ Powell writes, ‘still denies sending the message stating that “our war is over” which started the correspondence with John Major, and it is pretty clear in retrospect that one of the intermediaries in the chain between the government and the IRA did in fact embellish the message.’ The peace process, Tony Blair’s ...
17 April 1980
The Optimists: Themes and Personalities in Victorian Liberalism 
by Ian Bradley.
Faber, 301 pp., £12.50, January 1980, 0 571 11495 4
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... Most of the great positive evils of the world,’ John Stuart Mill asserted in 1863, ‘are in themselves removable, and will, if human affairs continue to improve, be in the end reduced to within narrow limits.’ This sort of confidence in the reality ...

All Together Now

Richard Jenkyns

11 December 1997
Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns 
by Ian Bradley.
SCM, 299 pp., £30, June 1997, 9780334026921
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The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study 
by J.R. Watson.
Oxford, 552 pp., £65, July 1997, 0 19 826762 2
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... of all. The most famous American poem of the Victorian age is ‘Away in a manger’ (anonymous), with ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ (Phillips Brooks) and ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’ (John Greenleaf Whittier) as runners-up. Among the works of the canonical English poets, the lines known to most people are probably those beginning Blake’s Milton, ‘And did those feet in ancient time ...

After High Tea

John​ Bayley

23 January 1986
Love in a Cool Climate: The Letters of Mark Pattison and Meta Bradley​ 1879-1884 
by Vivian Green.
Oxford, 269 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 19 820080 3
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... those in his verse, remarked that ‘the first thing a novelist must provide is a separate world,’ and it is true that the world Dr Green has made out of the relationship of Mark Pattison and Meta Bradley is not exactly a separate world. It is a familiar one, familiar from memoirs and gossip and our general contemporary interest in the Victorian age, but Green has managed – perhaps quite ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll

16 September 1999
... Iowa. Pillars, parquet flooring, leftish middle-class clutter. It’s a fantastic, warm evening. About sixty of us, a handful of journalists, but mostly Sherman Hill residents, have come to see Bill Bradley, the former New Jersey senator, New York Knicks professional basketball star and Rhodes scholar who wants the Democrats’ nomination for President of the United States. Jack Hatch, once an Iowa ...
1 October 1981
Breaking the Mould 
by Ian Bradley.
Martin Robertson, 172 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 85520 469 9
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... The pregnancy was long, difficult and ridden with anxiety, but the birth was easy and infancy has been a triumph. Unfortunately, however, Mr Bradley’s instant history of the first few months of the Social Democratic Party tells us a good deal more about its gestation before the launch on 26 March than about its development since. This was ...

Trains in Space

James Meek: The Great Train Robbery

4 May 2016
The Railways: Nation, Network and People 
by Simon Bradley.
Profile, 645 pp., £25, September 2015, 978 1 84668 209 4
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... is disconcerting: it still pulls you to London at 125 miles an hour. I’ve experienced this spectacle many times over, in the town where I grew up. Those engines were new in the 1970s. Unlike Simon Bradley I lack the trainspotter’s enthusiasm for locomotives, and I’ve had some horrible journeys on that train. But the theatrical grandeur of its arrival always alters my sense of my surroundings, as ...

The Fire This Time

John​ Sutherland

28 May 1992
... force), but can be very high-handed and contemptuous of civilians – even white middle-class, rich or famous civilians. The Mayor of Los Angeles is black, and is also a former LAPD officer. Tom Bradley exudes flexibility, tolerance and a benign moral laxity. When his daughter was caught driving under the influence of PCP, she was forgiven. Bradley, who, at 74, is much older than he looks, belongs ...
7 August 1986
A Taste for Death 
by P.D. James.
Faber, 454 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13799 7
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A Dark-Adapted Eye 
by Barbara Vine.
Viking, 300 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 670 80976 4
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Dead Men’s Morris 
by Gladys Mitchell.
Joseph, 247 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 7181 2553 3
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Laurels are poison 
by Gladys Mitchell.
Hogarth, 237 pp., £2.95, June 1986, 0 7012 1010 9
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Dido and Pa 
by Joan Aiken.
Cape, 251 pp., £7.95, June 1986, 0 224 02364 0
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... a jollier and more idiosyncratic approach to the business of crime writing. Her 66 detective novels – the last three brought out posthumously – all feature the same invincible investigator, Mrs Bradley (eventually Dame Beatrice), whom nothing nonplusses for long, neither the appearance of one body in the coffin of another, nor the apparent resurrection of a long-defunct figure. Speedy Death (1929 ...

i could’ve sold to russia or china

Jeremy Harding: Bradley​ Manning

19 July 2012
The Passion of Bradley​ Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in US History 
by Chase Madar.
OR, 167 pp., £10, April 2012, 978 1 935928 53 9
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... with his propensity to see himself as the centre of the universe, and the target of an improbable plot to lock him up in the US and throw away the key. That last honour has already been bestowed on Bradley Manning. In the leaker, surely, the Americans have their man: why bother with his celebrity publisher? Outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Hans Crescent, round the back of Harrods, a thin but ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: The candidates for the US presidency (2000)

6 January 2000
... and – there was exactly nothing to cover, nothing to transmit, and nothing to write about. A day or so passed, in this city of sinister charm (once described by Gore Vidal as ‘the Vatican of the John Birch Society’), in an agony of boredom and irrelevance. And then the ABC News Nightline team, the flagship of supposedly serious coverage, announced that it was vacating its skybox and leaving ...
29 September 1988
Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... for recently there has been a boom in such research. A procession of students combs the archives in New York, Cambridge and elsewhere. The poet’s early philosophical studies and his work on F.H. Bradley have been very carefully examined; and those early slogans, Impersonality, Tradition, Dissociation of Sensibility, Objective Correlative, have been dissected again and again. One might even say that ...

Anglo-Saxon Aptitudes

John​ Gillingham

17 November 1983
The Anglo-Saxons 
edited by James Campbell.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £16.50, July 1982, 0 7148 2149 7
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Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective 
by C.R. Dodwell.
Manchester, 353 pp., £35, October 1982, 0 7190 0861 1
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Anglo-Saxon Poetry 
edited by S.A.J. Bradley.
Dent, 559 pp., £10.95, August 1982, 0 460 10794 1
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The Anglo-Saxon World 
edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Boydell and Brewer, 275 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85115 169 8
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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The Authentic Voices of England, from the Times of Julius Caesar to the Coronation of Henry II 
by Anne Savage.
Heinemann, 288 pp., £14.95, March 1983, 0 434 98210 5
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... finely produced and, at times, a very beautiful book. Under James Campbell’s guidance the publishers have brought together a formidable trio of scholars, Campbell himself, Patrick Wormald and Eric John, to carve up the Anglo-Saxon age between them. Campbell has tackled the period from c. 350 AD to c. 660; Wormald from c. 660 to c. 900; and John from c. 900 to 1066. Other experts, several ...

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