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Stainless Splendour

Stefan Collini: How innocent was Stephen Spender?, 22 July 2004

Stephen Spender: The Authorised Biography 
by John Sutherland.
Viking, 627 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 670 88303 4
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... from Spender’s family and friends, we are told that the typescript was read by Frank Kermode, Stuart Hampshire, Richard Wollheim and Karl Miller, a formidable jury who, at the very least, seem likely to have ensured that a satisfactory account of the Encounter imbroglio would be given. Faced with such difficulties and such good fortune, Sutherland has ...

I, Lowborn Cur

Colin Burrow: Literary Names, 22 November 2012

Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 283 pp., £19.99, September 2012, 978 0 19 959222 7
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... of a fictional spy? Why couldn’t Fleming have used another pair of common monosyllables – John Clark, say? Bond is a solid, blue-chip, faith-giving kind of a name. Who wouldn’t prefer a government Bond under their mattress (we’re talking AAA British) to a petty clerk? Is your word your clerk? I don’t think so. Bond. It’s in the name. More than most ...

After the Referendum

LRB Contributors, 9 October 2014

... that kept us all ablaze these last few weeks and months. Bella Caledonia, Wee Ginger Dug, Rev. Stuart Campbell, Alec Finlay, Wheelie Bins for Yes – a cataract of stuff. God knows, in my hours online I wandered down some peculiar byways (the Spectator comments pages). The Better Together ‘Patronising Lady’ advert kept us entertained for ages. (Watch ...

Jolly Jack and the Preacher

Patrick Parrinder, 20 April 1989

A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars 
by D.L. LeMahieu.
Oxford, 396 pp., £35, June 1988, 0 19 820137 0
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... of their time was spent attacking the other stall-holders. After Wordsworth, Carlyle, Newman, John Stuart Mill and Matthew Arnold spoke up for the liberal university and the higher journalism as natural bulwarks against the tide of commercialism. In LeMahieu’s eyes such figures stand convicted of a cultural élitism which stemmed from their-groundless ...

Joining them

Conrad Russell, 24 January 1985

Goodwin Wharton 
by J. Kent Clark.
Oxford, 408 pp., £15, November 1984, 0 19 212234 7
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Witchcraft and Religion 
by Christina Larner.
Blackwell, 184 pp., October 1984, 0 631 13447 6
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Lordship to Patronage: Scotland 1603-1745 
by Rosalind Mitchison.
Arnold, 198 pp., £5.95, November 1983, 0 7131 6313 5
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... context, this plan was never implemented. Here, they would appear to have benefited, both from Stuart administrative weakness and from their own poverty. It was more profitable for the Crown to squeeze England further, and it lacked the resources to do both. It is not until the reign of William III that the Scots found themselves making substantial ...

I do like painting

Julian Bell: The life and art of William Coldstream, 2 December 2004

William Coldstream 
by Bruce Laughton.
Yale, 368 pp., £30, July 2004, 0 300 10243 7
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... saved a further colleague, Victor Pasmore, from court martial for desertion by leaning on Kenneth Clark to vouch for him as ‘one of the six best painters in England’, but artistically the two were by now on very different tacks. More urgently, there was now no woman, or prospect of a woman, left to give focus to Coldstream’s life. Four years after a ...

Holy-Rowly-Powliness

Patrick Collinson: The Prayer Book, 4 January 2001

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England 
Churchhouse, 864 pp., £15, December 2000, 9780715120002Show More
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... and all adversity. Was the restoration of Anglicanism the consequence of the restoration of the Stuart monarchy, or the reason for it? With the legal resurrection of the Prayer Book, it could no longer pretend to be wholly consensual. For ever afterwards, the Church of England would be established but it would not be the Church of the whole ...
Sleaze: Politicians, Private Interests and Public Reaction 
edited by F.F. Ridley and Alan Doig.
Oxford, 222 pp., £10.99, April 1996, 0 19 922273 8
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Changing Trains: The Autobiography of Steven Norris 
Hutchinson, 273 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 09 180212 1Show More
The Quango Debate 
edited by F.F. Ridley and David Wilson.
Oxford, 188 pp., £10.99, September 1995, 9780199222384
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... now lies in ruin. Cometh the hour, cometh the word. In an intriguing piece of research for Sleaze, Stuart Weir and Patrick Donleavy have counted the appearances of the S-word in British national newspapers. In 1985-6, it appeared 21 times; in 1994-95, 3479 times. The word still has no precise meaning. Often it refers to politicians’ sexual behaviour, which ...

Psychoapologetics

Frank Cioffi, 2 June 1983

Philosophical Essays on Freud 
edited by Richard Wollheim and James Hopkins.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £25, November 1982, 9780521240765
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The Legend of Freud 
by Samuel Weber.
Minnesota, 179 pp., $25, December 1982, 0 8166 1128 9
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... own assurances that all is well, the editors have delegated this task to two other contributions–Clark Glymour’s ‘Freud, Kepler and the Clinical Evidence’ and Cosin, Cosin and Freeman’s ‘Critical Empiricism Criticised’. Since its publication in 1974, Glymour’s paper has often been invoked to support the thesis that Freud was a bona fide ...

Who is Stewart Home?

Iain Sinclair, 23 June 1994

... Having sampled Peter Cave’s biker novelettes, and the works of Mick Norman, Alex R. Stuart and Thom Ryder, he nominated the 18-volume Richard Allen Bildungsroman as his template. Delivered from the bourgeois neurosis invention (the demand for fresh ‘product’), his charged and spiteful prose could repossess the reactionary melancholy of ...

Liquidator

Neal Ascherson: Hugh Trevor-Roper, 19 August 2010

Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Weidenfeld, 598 pp., £25, July 2010, 978 0 297 85214 8
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... intelligence war with some important and lasting friendships including those with Gilbert Ryle, Stuart Hampshire, Guy Liddell and Dick White, who after the war became the head of MI5 and then MI6 – an invaluable contact. And Trevor-Roper enjoyed the company of Kim Philby, whom he found the most intelligent and sophisticated of his colleagues. After the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2011, 5 January 2012

... I suppose Ingrams would say – and one of those middle-aged men (A. Powell, K. Amis, Alan Clark) who claimed to find Mrs Thatcher sexually attractive. The book is suffused with that self-conscious political incorrectness that the Spectator made its own in the 1980s and 1990s and a good deal of drinking goes on, not least by Cobb himself, and while the ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... David Runciman, Neal Ascherson, James Butler, T.J. Clark, Jonathan Coe, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of people to be wrong on a question of this magnitude ...

Wobble in My Mind

Colm Tóibín: Lizzie, Cal and Caroline, 7 May 2020

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-79: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell and Their Circle 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 560 pp., £35, January, 978 0 571 35741 3
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The Dolphin: Two Versions, 1972-73 
by Robert Lowell, edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., £11.99, December 2019, 978 0 374 53827 9
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... should have anticipated the reaction, which was very strong,’ their mutual friend Blair Clark warned Lowell. ‘She said that … if Caroline came when you were here, she would leave town, taking Harriet with her, perhaps to the Caribbean.’ In the event Blackwood stayed behind, but it was a brief trip and in January 1971 he was back in ...

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