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Peas in a Matchbox

Jonathan Rée: ‘Being and Nothingness’

18 April 2019
Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenology and Ontology 
by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Sarah Richmond.
Routledge, 848 pp., £45, June, 978 0 415 52911 2
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... a dramatist. In April 1943 he published Les Mouches, a play about a city facing an epidemic of plague, which then began a very successful run at the Théâtre de la Cité. (The theatre used to be the Sarah Bernhardt, but had been renamed in deference to Aryan sensibilities; on the opening night twenty seats were reserved for the Propagandastaffel, and there were always appreciative German officers in ...

Period Pain

Patricia Beer

9 June 1994
Aristocrats 
by Stella Tillyard.
Chatto, 462 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7011 5933 2
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... is an enormous account of four 18th-century female aristocrats, from which we may draw as many inferences about aristocracy as we can or wish to. The women are Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, daughters of the second Duke of Richmond, the grandson of Charles II and his mistress Louise de Kéroualle. The main story starts with the birth of Caroline in 1723 and ends with the death of ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: An Unexpected Experience

6 December 1984
... Society and ought, I suppose, to turn up often. The Bishopsgate Institute is directly opposite Liverpool Street Station and until recently I could reach this station easily by the suburban line from Richmond. Recently British Rail tore up a final stretch of this line, which condemns me to a half-hour walk, which these days is beyond me. The buses are also pretty useless for me. However, there are still ...

You see stars

Michael Wood

19 June 1997
The House of Sleep 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 384 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 670 86458 7
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... when we look into them? What does it mean to accept our dreams? What happens when dreams not only compete with waking reality, but virtually abolish it, as is the case with the heroine of this novel, Sarah Tudor, a narcoleptic? She thinks she is imagining things, but she is not: ‘Sarah came to learn that she was not the victim of delusions at all, but that every so often she was liable to have a ...

Not in My House

Mark Ford: Flannery O’Connor

23 July 2009
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor 
by Brad Gooch.
Little, Brown, 448 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 316 00066 6
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... of ‘The Humorous Tales of E.A. Poe’, by which she meant Volume VIII of the 1904 ‘commemorative’ edition of Poe’s work. Poe spent the majority of his formative years in the South (in Richmond, Virginia), and his ghoulish wit, his genius for the grotesque narrative that simulates a waking nightmare, lurks behind many of the twisted parables with which O’Connor indicted not just the South ...

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