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The [ ] walked down the street

Michael Silverstein: Saussure, 8 November 2012

Saussure 
by John Joseph.
Oxford, 780 pp., £30, March 2012, 978 0 19 969565 2
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... distinct as literary criticism, architecture, social anthropology and psychoanalysis. Yet, as John Joseph’s biography shows, Saussure struggled for his entire career to systematise as general theory what he had implicitly understood and put to stunningly successful use at the age of 19: that human language is the prime abstract ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... without representation’ became a political demand for liberty, changed everything. Major John Cartwright (who was later to advise the Manchester radicals) and Thomas Paine were influenced by the American programme in their arguments for domestic reform, Take Your Choice! and Common Sense. Yet it was the French Revolution that made the working classes ...

Diary

Robert Irwin: The Best Thing since Sex, 2 December 1993

... should resist this kind of creeping socialisation. A Belgian musician and designer of automata, John Joseph Merlin, first skated on an early version of roller blades while playing the violin in 1760. But if roller-skating has a long history, it has only a short literature. Unlike cricket, it does not command literary partisans of the calibre of Harold ...

Joseph Jobson

Patrick Wormald, 18 April 1985

Saladin in his Time 
by P.H. Newby.
Faber, 210 pp., £10.95, November 1983, 0 571 13044 5
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Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War 
by Ronald Finucane.
Dent, 247 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 460 12040 9
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... First Crusade was that the various Islamic powers never realised what was actually happening; and John Gillingham, the Lion-Heart’s biographer, could scarcely complain of his discussion of the Acre massacre (on which Mr Finucane is more lurid). If Newby’s Saladin somehow fails to inspire, this is partly because of his low-key, if agreeable style, but ...

Dentists? No Way

Naoise Dolan, 7 January 2021

As You Were 
by Elaine Feeney.
Harvill Secker, 392 pp., £14.99, August 2020, 978 1 78730 163 4
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... them, it could mind them.’Feeney balances this material against evasion and omission – the John McGahern and Anne Enright school of hiding trauma in narrative cracks. As You Were is haunted by the abuses of women in recent Irish history. Between 1925 and 1961 a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children operated in Tuam, a large town in ...

Is he winking?

Joseph J. Ellis: Benjamin Franklin, 20 March 2003

Benjamin Franklin 
by Edmund S. Morgan.
Yale, 339 pp., £19.95, October 2002, 0 300 09532 5
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... the accompanying turf wars that claim so many academic casualties. He has written biographies of John Winthrop, Ezra Stiles, Roger Williams and George Washington; political histories of the Stamp Act crisis and the causes of the American Revolution; social histories of family life in colonial New England and Virginia; intellectual histories of Puritan ...
By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in 18th-Century Russia 
by Anthony Cross.
Cambridge, 496 pp., £60, November 1996, 0 521 55293 1
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... Time, finish’d his Learning, and at his Return brought over with him two Master Ship-builders, John Deane and Joseph Noy’. In England, he sailed constantly, witnessed a mock battle in Portsmouth, saw a new bomb vessel demonstrated at Deptford and drank liberally with many a sea captain. (At Deptford, he may also have ...

Doughy

John Sutherland: Conrad’s letters, 4 December 2003

The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. VI: 1917-19 
edited by Laurence Davies, Frederick R. Karl and Owen Knowles.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £80, December 2002, 0 521 56195 7
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... remains. The problem is compounded in the case of a correspondent as habitually costive as Joseph Conrad. Not that the slice of life covered by this volume is lacking in biographical juice. The novelist is at the threshold of sixty, living his last years as he ruefully says ‘en vieux garçon’. He has only seven years to live. His health is ...

End of the Century

John Sutherland, 13 October 1988

Worlds Apart 
by David Holbrook.
Hale, 205 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 9780709033639
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Story of My Life 
by Jay McInerney.
Bloomsbury, 188 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 7475 0180 7
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Forgotten Life 
by Brian Aldiss.
Gollancz, 284 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 575 04369 5
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Incline Our hearts 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 241 12256 2
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... and the latest drug culture. It was to cocaine (the snuffed, not the smoked variety) what John Barleycorn was to booze, what Naked Lunch was to heroin and what Dog Soldiers was to hallucinogens. Anyone who read Bright Lights, Big City could feel an expert on the modish drug of choice, even if he had never put anything stronger than Friar’s Balsam up ...

Under-Labourer

John Mullan, 19 September 1996

The Correspondence of Thomas Warton 
edited by David Fairer.
Georgia, 775 pp., $85, September 1995, 9780820315010
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... assistant. A typical letter from Malone asks where he might find a particular prologue by Sir John Denham, wonders whether Warton has come across any mention of ‘Marocco’ (a famous acrobatic horse exhibited around Europe in the 1590s), enquires about any use of ‘the pun on Ajax and A-jakes previous to Sir ...

In one era and out the other

John North, 7 April 1994

Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship. Vol II: Historical Chronology 
by Anthony Grafton.
Oxford, 766 pp., £65, December 1993, 0 19 920601 5
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... Julius Caesar Scaliger, one of the 16th century’s most formidable literary scholars, and his son Joseph, who, as it happens, was successor to Lipsius at Leiden. And if their distinctive styles of pedantry make the two of them discernible to connoisseurs of these things, there remains the fact that they are closely linked in many people’s minds by a ...

At the Ashmolean

John-Paul Stonard: Joseph Beuys and Jörg Immendorff , 22 May 2014

... series made around the turn of the 1980s, or the intense political works made after studying with Joseph Beuys at the Academy in Düsseldorf in the 1960s. ‘Zwei wird zu einem’ by Jörg Immendorff (1979). ‘Felt Suit’ by Joseph Beuys (1970) ‘Untitled’ by Jörg Immendorff (1974) ‘Die Geschichte der ...

Rogue Socialists

Michael Mason, 1 September 1988

Francis Place, 1771-1854: The Life of a Remarkable Radical 
by Dudley Miles.
Harvester, 206 pp., £40, April 1988, 0 7108 1225 6
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Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries and Pornographers in London, 1795-1840 
by Iain McCalman.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £27.50, March 1988, 0 521 30755 4
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... worth speculating about. What, for example, is the truth of the legend that James Mill entrusted John Stuart’s political education to Place? Mr Miles does not touch on it. The story told in Iain McCalman’s Radical Underground is told perforce from the outside. There are no personal records to give an inner logic and life to the careers of the early ...

The Week’s Events

John Hollander, 13 September 1990

... Which, on ultimate reflection, appeared to be a sort Of centennial celebration for the author of Joseph and His Brothers And other works, even as it eventually turned out not to be. ‘Let’s have lunch on Tuesday,’ suggested Dubble-Barrell (he Pronounced it ‘Jewsday’, as if there had been inserted into the medieval calendar Another liturgical ...

The Positions He Takes

John Barrell: Hitchens on Paine, 30 November 2006

Thomas Paine’s ‘Rights of Man’: A Biography 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 128 pp., £9.99, July 2006, 1 84354 513 6
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... in France, and Hitchens tells us that among others who wrote replies to Burke, along with Joseph Priestley and Mary Wollstonecraft, was William Godwin, which he wasn’t. He says that, unlike Paine, Wollstonecraft advocated votes for women, which she didn’t. Paine himself, Hitchens says, was not discouraged from writing Part One of Rights of Man by ...

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