Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 42 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


The Wonderfulness of Us

Richard J. Evans: The Tory Interpretation of History, 17 March 2011

... episodes of our past become a connected narrative. Well, this trashing of our past has to stop. Simon Schama is the person entrusted with the job of putting things right; Schama, the education secretary announced, ‘has agreed to advise us on how we can put British history at the heart of a revived national ...

Laid Down by Ranke

Peter Ghosh: Defending history, 15 October 1998

In Defence of History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Granta, 320 pp., £8.99, October 1998, 1 86207 068 7
Show More
Show More
... rivals. Some greatest hits from recent historical writing are converted into Post-Modernists – Simon Schama, Robert Darnton, Natalie Zemon Davis and Orlando Figes. But Evans never cites an instance of these authors even borrowing the Post-Modernist label, let alone one showing that they conceive of themselves as working on behalf of an intellectual ...

Behind the Waterfall

Lorna Scott Fox, 16 November 1995

The Creature in the Map: A Journey to El Dorado 
by Charles Nicholl.
Cape, 396 pp., £18.99, May 1995, 0 224 03333 6
Show More
Show More
... It has received a lot of attention lately, retold vindictively by V.S.Naipaul, operatically by Simon Schama. In this celebration of a possible Good Imperialist (good beyond the inherent virtues of failure), Charles Nicholl unearths more detail and offers more seductive speculation than any previous writer. With the vigorous Return of the Subject that ...


Alexander Cockburn: ‘West of America’, 11 July 1991

... columnists, bloodlust aroused by the denunciations of the show on the part of Daniel Boorstin and Simon Schama, among others, tossed the following about on their bayonets as the quintessence of Political Correctness: In another passage Leutze raises (literally) the sacrifice issue again and turns it more conclusively against the Aztecs. Prescott ...

Here’s to the high-minded

Stefan Collini, 7 April 1994

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain 
edited by Susan Pedersen and Peter Mandler.
Routledge, 265 pp., £40, February 1994, 0 415 07056 2
Show More
Show More
... The book is a posthumous Festschrift for the Harvard historian John Clive (here fondly recalled by Simon Schama). Clive’s fascination with England and its history went back to the period in the late Thirties when, as a young German Jewish refugee (he arrived as Hans Kleyff), he was exposed to the rigours of a minor public school. For the rest of his ...


James Buchan, 14 December 1995

The Life of Adam Smith 
by Ian Simpson Ross.
Oxford, 495 pp., £25, October 1995, 0 19 828821 2
Show More
Show More
... have seen if he’d consulted the speeches of Mirabeau fils to the National Assembly rather than Simon Schama. I hope I can now resolve a problem that perplexed both Smith and Ross. Smith ended his encomium of Hume with these words, which echo Plato’s eulogy of Socrates in the Phaedo: ‘Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his ...

Eunice’s Story

Hilary Mantel, 20 October 1994

The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America 
by John Demos.
Knopf, 325 pp., $25, July 1994, 0 394 55782 4
Show More
Show More
... passages of reconstruction, of supposition, of – let us spit the word out – fiction. Like Simon Schama he is dealing in ‘dead certainties’ and ‘unwarranted speculations’. But within the text the line is clearly drawn. The critic cannot claim to be confused. On the afternoon of 29 February, John Williams and the other Deerfield prisoners ...

Past v. Present

Phil Withington: Blair Worden’s Civil War, 10 May 2012

God’s Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell 
by Blair Worden.
Oxford, 421 pp., £35, March 2012, 978 0 19 957049 2
Show More
Show More
... public could watch serious debate between historical experts. Now they listen to the platitudes of Simon Schama or watch David Starkey astride the gun barrel of a tank pontificating about Henry VIII. Blair Worden, leading revisionist and elder statesman of 17th-century political history, is on record as worrying that ‘public life has never been less ...

Much more than a Man

Caroline Weber: The Sleeping Robespierre, 24 March 2022

The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris 
by Colin Jones.
Oxford, 571 pp., £25, August 2021, 978 0 19 871595 5
Show More
Show More
... Convention to enact the Law of 22 Prairial. Their unilateral action was of a piece with a document Simon Schama describes as ‘the founding charter of totalitarian justice’. The Law of 22 Prairial reorganised the Revolutionary Tribunal in order to speed up trials, and criminalised nebulous offences like ‘spreading false news’, ‘slandering ...

Maybe he made it up

Terry Eagleton: Faking It, 6 June 2002

The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature 
by Nick Groom.
Picador, 351 pp., £20, April 2002, 9780330374323
Show More
Show More
... Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and many others . . .’), for all the world like a print version of Simon Schama. One can almost see the make-up and microphone. It is a smart rather than deep study, with more wit than soul. Groom’s rather predictably provocative thesis is that the forged work is actually the truest one – a case which, in rehearsing a ...

Coruscating on Thin Ice

Terry Eagleton: The Divine Spark, 24 January 2008

Creation: Artists, Gods and Origins 
by Peter Conrad.
Thames and Hudson, 529 pp., £24.95, September 2007, 978 0 500 51356 9
Show More
Show More
... traditionalist case in eclectic, omnivorous, postmodern guise, like a mixture of John Bayley and Simon Schama. And in typically postmodern style, the critical yields ground to the descriptive and anecdotal. Creation resounds with a hymn of praise to the all-fruitful individual artist; yet the book’s own author, sheltering as he does behind densely ...

Not in a Box

Julian Barnes: Mary Cassatt as Herself, 26 April 2018

Mary Cassatt, une impressioniste americaine a Paris 
Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, until 23 July 2018Show More
Show More
... whose power has never faded. It is an indicator of Cassatt’s return to wider fashion that Simon Schama included two of her ‘Japanese’ prints in an episode of the TV show Civilisations, while in a later one David Olusoga brought In the Loge to his argument. A print from 1896 In Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1877-78) a girl of perhaps ...


Maya Jasanoff: In Sierra Leone, 11 September 2008

... States, told me he found out about the black loyalists only when he came across recent books by Simon Schama and Cassandra Pybus. Last year he released an album called Black Loyalist to celebrate their history. But the president of the Krio Descendants’ Union explained to me that the memory of the loyalists can’t so easily serve as a source of ...


Susan Pedersen: A.J.P. Taylor, 10 May 2007

A.J.P. Taylor: Radical Historian of Europe 
by Chris Wrigley.
Tauris, 439 pp., £25, August 2006, 1 86064 286 1
Show More
Show More
... justify social commitments, and a broad slice of the populace tunes in whenever David Starkey or Simon Schama goes on the air to talk about anything from Rembrandt to revolution, Taylor is due some small share of the credit. The populism to which popular history is prone will always make intellectuals nervous, but we would do well to bear in mind that ...

Biting into a Pin-cushion

A.D. Nuttall: Descartes’s botch, 24 June 2004

Flesh in the Age of Reason 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 7139 9149 6
Show More
Show More
... and a disgusting drip.’ The physicalist party, note, is not always for celebrating the body. Simon Schama in his introduction says that Porter ventures where most historians fear: into Greek metaphysics, Christian theology, Cartesian philosophy. My complaint is that he sets out on this brave journey but then does not go far enough. The broad ...

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