Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 78 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

20 March 1980
... Why has the Blunt affair generated so much callous humbug? Two highly regarded spy novels of recent years – The Human Factor and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – are based on the idea of a ‘mole’ in the British Intelligence services. In neither book does any particular opprobrium attach to treachery. The emphasis is on personal ties rather than national ones (which are implied by both authors to ...
6 August 1992
The Lyrical Ballads: Longman Annotated Texts 
edited by Michael Mason.
Longman, 419 pp., £29.99, April 1992, 0 582 03302 0
Show More
Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession 
by Susan Eilenberg.
Oxford, 278 pp., £30, May 1992, 0 19 506856 4
Show More
The Politics of Nature: Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries 
by Nicholas Roe.
Macmillan, 186 pp., £35, April 1992, 0 333 52314 8
Show More
Show More
... The best-known publication date in English literature,’ says MichaelMason of 1798. But the terse, intelligent Introduction to his new edition of the Lyrical Ballads seems out to disperse the sense of unique significance sticking to the year. Mason points out that the ...

MacInnes’s London

Michael Mason

16 October 1980
City of Spades Mr Love and Mr Justice Absolute Beginners 
by Colin MacInnes.
Allison and Busby, 254 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 85031 331 7
Show More
Show More
... With his three London novels Colin MacInnes hit on a marvellous subject-matter, into which he saw deeply. In other departments, however, he did not have the qualities to match. The books are consequently a frustrating experience – giving the sense of something thwarted, or half-realised. Taken as a group, indeed, they testify to the author’s unease about how best to convey his materials and vision ...
6 December 1979
The Ghost Writer 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 180 pp., £4.95
Show More
Show More
... The Ghost Writer is Philip Roth’s best novel yet. Certainly it is his most ingenious. But this familiar way of putting things may contain a mistake, a mistake which is part of the subject-matter of Roth’s book. ‘Best novel yet’ implies a future of prosperous activity which may be barmecidal. The novelist-hero of Henry James’s story ‘The Middle Years’ is amused by the view that his latest ...

Taking Darwin in

Michael Mason

16 February 1984
Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and 19th-Century Fiction 
by Gillian Beer.
Routledge, 303 pp., £17.95, September 1983, 0 7100 9505 8
Show More
Show More
... This is at once an impressive, even thrilling book, and quite a bad one. Its virtues and vices are connected. The author has a precisely-grounded exhilaration about The Origin of Species; perhaps more than any other literary writer on the work she communicates its exciting essence. Her exhilaration also leads her to claim far too much for the influence of Darwinian evolutionary theory on Victorian ...

Downland Maniacs

Michael Mason

5 October 1995
The Village that Died for England 
by Patrick Wright.
Cape, 420 pp., £17.99, March 1995, 0 224 03886 9
Show More
Show More
... Acid rain’ was first identified, and deplored, almost 150 years ago. That is a disconcerting fact for our modern environmental awareness – which thus appears not to be modern at all, but almost as old as the manufacturing processes that have caused all the trouble. We have a triumphalist perception of human treatment of the environment: for a long time there was benighted callousness about it ...

Body Parts

Lawrence Stone

24 November 1994
The Making of Victorian Sexuality 
by Michael Mason.
Oxford, 338 pp., £17.95, April 1994, 0 19 812247 0
Show More
The Making of Victorian Sexual Attitudes 
by Michael Mason.
Oxford, 256 pp., £17.99, October 1994, 0 19 812292 6
Show More
Show More
... is no way around the fact that the novels of Jane Austen were free from the coarse sexual innuendoes of Aphra Behn, Defoe, Fielding or Smollett, while Dickens ignored the subject of sex altogether. MichaelMason’s main problem is to determine how prudery affected behaviour. Was it merely a veneer of hypocrisy, covering up a very different sexual reality? Were there fewer, and less enjoyable, sexual ...

Banality and Anxiety

Michael Mason

19 March 1981
Thirty Seconds 
by Michael​ Arlen.
Farrar, Straus/Faber, 211 pp., £5.50, February 1981, 0 374 27576 9
Show More
The Crystal Bucket 
by Clive James.
Cape, 238 pp., £6.95, February 1981, 0 224 01890 6
Show More
The Message of Television 
by Roger Silverstone.
Heinemann, 248 pp., £14.50, March 1981, 0 435 82825 8
Show More
Show More
... from a poem by Sir Walter Raleigh). One is a piece of vivid journalism recognisably in the tradition of Norman Mailer and other modern American writers. All these books are from literary stables. Michael Arlen’s first appeared in the New Yorker, and comes to the British reader via two very respected publishing houses (Fabers, incidentally, are apparently issuing the American edition with its ...

Coats of Every Cut

Michael Mason

9 June 1994
Robert Surtees and Early Victorian Society 
by Norman Gash.
Oxford, 407 pp., £40, September 1993, 0 19 820429 9
Show More
Show More
... gloss of venerability. So effective is the bluff of instant tradition that readers think of Hardy as the novelist of ancient rural survivals, when he is really the novelist of new adaptations. Michael Henchard is a kind of serious version of Jorrocks, socially, temperamentally and in his personal relations. His strange appeal for the reader perhaps lies in things which also make Jorrocks oddly ...

Questions of Chic

Michael Mason

19 August 1993
City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late Victorian London 
by Judith Walkowitz.
Virago, 353 pp., £16.99, November 1992, 1 85381 517 9
Show More
Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in 19th-century Married Life 
by James Hammerton.
Routledge, 236 pp., £37.50, November 1992, 0 415 03622 4
Show More
Victorian Scandals: Representations of Gender and Class 
edited by Kristine Ottersen Garrigan.
Ohio, 337 pp., $34.99, August 1992, 0 8214 1019 9
Show More
Show More
... Victorian studies: in 1973 there appeared The Victorian City: Images and Realities. Somewhat against the odds this burly two-volume compilation of essays, brought together by Jim Dyos in England and Michael Wolff in America, became a classic. Against the odds, because these essays were, in origin, conference proceedings, and there were nearly forty of them. Conventional publishing wisdom would hope for ...

Do women like sex?

Michael Mason

8 November 1990
Making sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud 
by Thomas Laqueur.
Harvard, 352 pp., $27.50, October 1990, 0 674 54349 1
Show More
Show More
... theories of conception, for it is taken clearly to precede the recognition that ovulation in the human female is spontaneous. The main evidence Laqueur brings forward is an ambiguous anecdote from Michael Ryan’s Manual of Jurisprudence of 1836 about a comatose girl conceiving. He is misleading in not quoting Ryan from his more directly medico-sexual Philosophy of Marriage: ‘amorous impulse ...

Thought Control

Michael Mason

15 March 1984
Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility 
by Germaine Greer.
Secker, 469 pp., £9.95, March 1984, 0 436 18801 5
Show More
Show More
... Germaine Greer has three main propositions to advance in her new book. These are, first, that genital, recreational sex is overvalued in our culture. Second, that birth-control programmes in the Third World are unnecessary, ineffectual and cruel. Third, that families which stress the procreative relationship are preferable to those which stress the conjugal relationship. These ideas are all plausible ...
5 June 1980
In Evil Hour 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa.
Cape, 183 pp., £5.50, January 1980, 0 224 01775 6
Show More
Show More
... A reader who has some acquaintance with Garcia Marquez is almost bound to approach a new novel by him with certain questions about connectedness in mind. There is first of all the issue of the connectedness of his career: which resolves itself at once into questions about the origins of, and successors to, the extraordinary One Hundred Years of Solitude. The commanding presence of this novel has inevitably ...

Vonnekit

Michael Mason

7 February 1980
Jailbird 
by Kurt Vonnegut.
Cape, 246 pp., £5.50, October 1980, 0 224 01772 1
Show More
Show More
... The publication of Jailbird in Britain is oddly well-timed. The hero of this novel, Walter F. Starbuck, joins the Communist Party before the war while still at Harvard. Later he becomes a civil servant, and in 1949 is investigated by a Congressional committee on Communism. After the hearing he is simply demoted, but in his testimony he mentions the Communist affiliations of a former friend who is now ...

Tons of Sums

Michael Mason

16 September 1982
Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer 
by Anthony Hyman.
Oxford, 287 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 9780198581703
Show More
Show More
... Most people know that Charles Babbage was a pioneer of the computer. This absorbing, though hagiographical, new life makes very clear how many other things he was as well: pure mathematician, economist, inventor, reformer of scientific institutions, craftsman, even salon host. But Anthony Hyman does not seek to displace the computers from centre-stage in Babbage’s life, and this seems correct. They ...

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.

Read More

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