Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 19 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Shakespeare and the Literary Police

Jonathan Bate, 29 September 1988

The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. V: Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature 
edited by R.A. Foakes.
Princeton/Routledge, 604 pp., £55, December 1987, 0 691 09872 7
Show More
Show More
... Henry Crabb Robinson had a busy evening on 27 January 1818: having attended William Hazlitt’s lecture on Shakespeare and Milton at the Surrey Institution, he hurried over the river to the London Philosophical Society to hear the first lecture in a new course by Coleridge. He was gratified to find there ‘a large and respectable audience – generally of very superior looking persons ...

Spivsville

Jonathan Bate, 27 July 1989

Train, Train 
by Graham Coster.
Bloomsbury, 225 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 9780747503941
Show More
The Philosophers 
by Alex Comfort.
Duckworth, 176 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 9780715625118
Show More
The King of the Fields 
by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Cape, 256 pp., £10.95, July 1989, 0 224 02663 1
Show More
Sister Hollywood 
by C.K. Stead.
Collins, 224 pp., £11.95, June 1989, 0 00 223479 3
Show More
Penelope’s Hat 
by Ronald Frame.
Hodder, 440 pp., £12.95, July 1989, 0 340 49397 6
Show More
Show More
... In Book Two of Disraeli’s Sybil, or The Two Nations the hero meets two strangers in the ruins of an abbey. One of them claims that the monasteries represented the only authentic communities England has ever known. In modern times, ‘there is no community in England; there is aggregation, but aggregation under circumstances which make it rather a dissociating than an uniting principle ...

Cry Treedom

Jonathan Bate, 4 November 1993

Forests: The shadow of Civilisation 
by Robert Pogue Harrison.
Chicago, 288 pp., £19.95, May 1992, 0 226 31806 0
Show More
Show More
... It must be cause for at least mild celebration that the United States now has a Vice-President who can use the word ‘Cartesian’ in place of one who could not spell the word ‘potato’. In a chapter called ‘Dysfunctional Civilisation’ in his book Earth in the Balance, Al Gore writes that ‘the Cartesian approach to the human story allows us to believe that we are separate from the earth, entitled to view it as nothing more than an inanimate collection of resources that we can exploit how we like; and this fundamental misperception has led us to our current crisis ...

Silly Willy

Jonathan Bate, 25 April 1991

William Blake: His Life 
by James King.
Weidenfeld, 263 pp., £25, March 1991, 0 297 81160 6
Show More
Show More
... To write well about William Blake you need to be enthusiastic, aphoristic and contrary. It also helps to be slightly mad. You need to begin your book with a paragraph like this: When Blake spoke the first word of the 19th century there was no one to hear it, and now that his message, the message of emancipation from reality through the ‘shaping spirit of imagination’, has penetrated the world, and is slowly remaking it, few are conscious of the first utterer, in modern times, of the message with which all are familiar ...

Players, please

Jonathan Bate, 6 December 1984

The Oxford Book of War Poetry 
edited by Jon Stallworthy.
Oxford, 358 pp., £9.50, September 1984, 0 19 214125 2
Show More
Secret Destinations 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 69 pp., £7.95, September 1984, 0 333 38268 4
Show More
Fast Forward 
by Peter Porter.
Oxford, 64 pp., £4.50, October 1984, 0 19 211967 2
Show More
Dark Glasses 
by Blake Morrison.
Chatto, 71 pp., £3.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2875 5
Show More
Show More
... The Great War was the war of the great war poets. Was ‘the war to end all wars’ also the war to end all war poetry? The best part of Jon Stallworthy’s introduction to his Oxford Book of War Poetry is a discussion of the chivalric ideal in the British public school classes of the 19th century. ‘Honour the charge’ makes the cavalrymen of the Light Brigade into Arthurian heroes; ‘Noble Six Hundred’ places them in the tradition of the three hundred Spartans commemorated in Simonides’ epigram on Thermopylae ...

Saint Terence

Jonathan Bate, 23 May 1991

Ideology: An Introduction 
by Terry Eagleton.
Verso, 242 pp., £32.50, May 1991, 0 86091 319 8
Show More
Show More
... In 1978 Terry Eagleton wrote an essay on John Bayley in the New Left Review. It is a ritual excoriation of that most tactful of ‘liberal humanist’ critics, punctuated with predictable sneers about ‘a view of life from the Oxford senior common room window’ and how Bayley’s criticism prizes a liberal disorder that depends on a conservative order ‘within which the gentleman may wear his art and opinions lightly ...

A Kind of Scandal

A.D. Nuttall, 19 August 1993

Shakespeare and Ovid 
by Jonathan Bate.
Oxford, 292 pp., £35, May 1993, 0 19 812954 8
Show More
Show More
... story but that scarcely renders it safe, for Venus is the active party, Adonis the pursued. As Jonathan Bate says, the poem is partly about a woman who wishes to rape a man and is frustrated by physiological difference. The magisterial Jonson, in his play Poetaster, drew the moral conclusion: if that is what Ovid is really like, then Ovid must go, and ...

Gobsmacked

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare, 16 July 1998

Lyric Wonder: Rhetoric and Wit in Renaissance English Poetry 
by James Biester.
Cornell, 226 pp., £31.50, May 1997, 0 8014 3313 4
Show More
Reason Diminished: Shakespeare and the Marvellous 
by Peter Platt.
Nebraska, 271 pp., £42.75, January 1998, 0 8032 3714 6
Show More
Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder 
by T.G. Bishop.
Cambridge, 222 pp., £32.50, January 1996, 0 521 55086 6
Show More
The Genius of Shakespeare 
by Jonathan Bate.
Picador, 386 pp., £20, September 1997, 0 330 35317 9
Show More
Show More
... the key to Renaissance courtly poetry in its strategies for eliciting astonishment. Back home, Jonathan Bate is gobsmacked by the sheer Genius of Shakespeare. It’s perhaps as well to remember that in cooler moments Jonson complained that ‘Shakespeare wanted Art’ and Milton berated Charles I for preferring the Bard to more serious ...

And That Rug!

Michael Dobson: Images of Shakespeare, 6 November 2003

Shakespeare’s Face: The Story behind the Newly Discovered Portrait 
by Stephanie Nolen.
Piatkus, 365 pp., £18.99, March 2003, 0 7499 2391 1
Show More
Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions 
by Stephen Orgel.
Palgrave, 172 pp., £25, August 2003, 1 4039 1177 0
Show More
Shakespeare in Art 
by Jane Martineau et al.
Merrell, 256 pp., £29.95, September 2003, 1 85894 229 2
Show More
In Search of Shakespeare 
by Michael Wood.
BBC, 352 pp., £20, May 2003, 9780563534778
Show More
Show More
... nicely written pieces in Nolen’s book – Tarnya Cooper is good on the painting’s genre, and Jonathan Bate does his usual expert job on the still widespread folk belief that Shakespeare didn’t write his own plays (which would make the Sanders portrait, even if it is all that its current possessor hopes, merely a likeness of a pseudonym). But even ...

After-Meditation

Thomas Keymer: The Girondin Wordsworth, 18 June 2020

Radical Wordsworth: The Poet who Changed the World 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 608 pp., £25, April, 978 0 00 816742 4
Show More
William Wordsworth: A Life 
by Stephen Gill.
Oxford, new edition, 688 pp., £25, April, 978 0 19 881711 6
Show More
Show More
... after Southey and died in 1850 at the age of eighty. But at one point in his lively new biography, Jonathan Bate offers an arresting counterfactual: a skating accident of 1807 in which Wordsworth falls fatally through the ice at 36, Byron’s age at his death in Greece. The two-volume Poems of 1807 would have been in press, but there would have been no ...

Gentlemen and ladies came to see the poet’s cottage

Tom Paulin: Clare’s anti-pastoral, 19 February 2004

John Clare: A Biography 
by Jonathan Bate.
Picador, 650 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 330 37106 1
Show More
‘I Am’: The Selected Poetry of John Clare 
edited by Jonathan Bate.
Farrar, Straus, 318 pp., $17, November 2003, 0 374 52869 1
Show More
John Clare, Politics and Poetry 
by Alan Vardy.
Palgrave, 221 pp., £45, October 2003, 0 333 96617 1
Show More
John Clare Vol. V: Poems of the Middle Period 1822-37 
edited by Eric Robinson, David Powell and P.M.S. Dawson.
Oxford, 822 pp., £105, January 2003, 0 19 812386 8
Show More
Show More
... Thomas Carlyle, published the first biography of the ‘peasant poet’. It laid the foundations, Jonathan Bate says in his new Life, ‘for both the enduring myths and some of the key truths about Clare’. Though there have been other biographies since Martin’s, Bate’s should finally disprove Dickens’s ...

For his Nose was as sharpe as a Pen, and a Table of greene fields

Michael Dobson: The Yellow Shakespeare, 10 May 2007

William Shakespeare, Complete Works: The RSC Shakespeare 
edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen.
Macmillan, 2486 pp., £30, April 2007, 978 0 230 00350 7
Show More
Show More
... commonsensical approach to the text, still exerts a palpable influence on Shakespeare scholars: Jonathan Bate’s introduction to this new edition of the Complete Works makes regular appeals to Johnson’s authority and Johnson’s precedent. The differences between the circumstances and the procedures of the two editions, however, are at least as ...

Constable’s Plenty

John Barrell, 15 August 1991

Constable 
by Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams.
Tate Gallery, 544 pp., £45, June 1991, 1 85437 071 5
Show More
Romatic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition 
by Jonathan Bate.
Routledge, 131 pp., £8.99, May 1991, 0 415 06116 4
Show More
Show More
... of the West and the crisis of the planet are the avowed contexts of another work on landscape art, Jonathan Bate’s robust and opportunistic essay Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition. The book claims to set ‘a new agenda for the study of Romanticism in the 1990s’, and it starts by proclaiming the end of the tradition of ...

Hazlitteering

John Bayley, 22 March 1990

Hazlitt: A Life. From Winterslow to Frith Street 
by Stanley Jones.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 812840 1
Show More
Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism 1730-1830 
by Jonathan Bate.
Oxford, 234 pp., £27, September 1989, 0 19 811749 3
Show More
Show More
... in Hazlitt’s own outlook and essays. ‘The Example of Hazlitt’ occupies the second part of Jonathan Bate’s book, by far its longest section, and the whole literary atmosphere of Regency London, seen through Hazlitt’s eyes and those of his two critics, is alive with Shakespearean character and quotation, with the wiles of Shylock and the ...

Sorrows of a Polygamist

Mark Ford: Ted Hughes in His Cage, 17 March 2016

Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life 
by Jonathan Bate.
William Collins, 662 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 00 811822 8
Show More
Show More
... be judiciously and authoritatively assessed. For a start, he wrote and published at such a rate: Jonathan Bate’s bibliographic tally of Hughes’s books runs to more than seventy items, while the various Hughes archives contain nearly a hundred thousand pages of manuscript material. The vast Collected Poems edited by Paul Keegan and published in 2003 ...

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