Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

Letters

Vol. 3 No. 11 · 18 June 1981

Search by issue:

Sexuality and Solitude

SIR: Theorising has its place in every sphere of human life, and sexuality is not exempt: but there are certain points on matters of form and content with which one would not concur with Michel Foucault and Richard Sennett (LRB, 21 May). One is a simple philosophical hypostasis. It is surely plain ingenuousness on Michel Foucault’s part suddenly to exclaim that he has discovered a link between Hellenistic and Christian sexual doctrine. Their similarity has been self-evident for some considerable time. In The City of God St Augustine is more concerned with chastity than with erection. In Bertrand Russell’s interpretation: ‘Chastity is a virtue of the mind, and is not lost by rape, but is lost by the intention of sin, even if unperformed.’ For Augustine, erection would only be one facet of a many-sided crystal representing unredeemed sin. He in fact quotes II Thessalonians: ‘God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ Sexual fantasy is therefore not self-willed, but an external percept imposed by God. It is a temptation strongly to be denied. The delusion may be caused by solitude, but God himself is no less than the omnipotent recluse: ‘Being condemned, they are seduced, and, being seduced, condemned. But their seducement is by the secret judgement of God, justly secret; even His that hath judged continually, ever since the world began.’ Whether elect or reprobate, whether you masturbated or not, Augustine states that all alike deserve damnation: which may, or may not, tell us a lot about St Augustine. The medieval doctor already provides the prescription for any strong delusions that a reader of his work may be under (such as that human motive is entirely due to auto-eroticism). He tells us to forget the self, and think upon God.

Richard Sennett mentions Epictetus. He does not mention that the ancient philosopher was averse to Epicurus. He addresses the latter in the following terms: ‘This is the life of which you pronounce yourself worthy: eating, drinking, copulation, evacuation and snoring’ (Discourses). What kind of scorn would he have heaped upon a theory of copulation? Onanism was no more important to him than it was to Augustine – or, indeed, than it is to any of us. He was more interested in the idea of the body as an imprisoner of soul: ‘Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse.’ He was much too hard-pressed to worry about the problem of sexual identity. He was much more concerned with stressing the central importance of human freedom:

I must die. But must I die groaning? I must be imprisoned. But must I whine as well? I must suffer exile. Can any one then hinder me from going with a smile, and a good courage, and at peace? ‘Tell the secret.’ I refuse to tell, for this is in my power. ‘But I will chain you,’ What say you, fellow? Chain me? My leg you will chain – yes, but my will – no, not even Zeus can conquer that.

This is the real drama of solitude, of that imprisonment and exile that Richard Sennett mentions; and this drama is no less urgent today than it was in the first century AD. Libidinous vacuity is not a pressing philosophical concern, but the violation of fundamental political rights is. Freedom is a larger concept than either Foucault or Sennett seems to realise. And it surely will just not suffice to pick at important philosophers in order to sustain an eclectic thesis.

Lastly, Michel Foucault sternly claims that he is not a structuralist. If this is the case, can he please explain to a layman what he means exactly by ‘technologies of the self’? And why no citations from women themselves? And why no analysis of sado-masochism? Nietzsche’s aphorism, ‘Thou goest to woman? Do not forget thy whip,’ tells us more about recent history surely than the theories of Tissot and Boerhaave, or, come to that, the obsessively self-centred memoirs of Casanova, ever can.

William Milne
School of English Language and Literature, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Verbatim

SIR: In his review of Lucy by Don Johanson and Maitland Edey (LRB, 21 May), Professor J.Z. Young asks: ‘how can we be sure of the authenticity of the many verbatim accounts of discussions between Johanson and White as to the naming of fossils?’ I fear that his worries are indeed justified.

The Granada edition is, with minor exceptions, a photographic reproduction of the original Simon and Schuster edition published in the United States. The exceptions, aside from the end papers and so on, are six pages of text that mention two people – Lord Zuckerman and an American named Jon Kalb – in a less than flattering light. The US edition is more forthright on these matters than the British edition, for which references to these two people have been altered. This is not, in itself, an unusual event even in non-fiction publishing, given the benevolence of our laws to those who imagine they have been libelled. Some of the changes, however, give cause for concern, as J.Z. Young suspected.

For example, the entire book is replete with verbatim conversations, but nowhere is it suggested that these might be ‘dramatised accounts’, although at least one of the changes made for the British edition concerns words reported in direct speech. I do not mean to imply that all of the many conversations in the book have been tampered with or recalled inaccurately, but it is worrying to discover that the mere threat of a possible libel could have been sufficient to provoke Dr Johanson, or perhaps Mr Edey, into altering the words spoken by somebody who is, supposedly, a character in a real-life story rather than a novel.

Jeremy Cherfas
Department of Zoology, Oxford

Burke and History

SIR: In my opinion, Michael Freeman is entitled to protest (Letters, 19 February) at the off-beam Irish-nationalist-in-full-cry mauling of his book, Edmund Burke and the Critique of Political Radicalism, received at the hands of your reviewer Owen Dudley Edwards; he is entitled to protest also at your allowing Edwards a second bite of the cherry by way of a sneering footnote to this letter. Within the limits Freeman set himself his work cannot be faulted: Burke a radical? I have never heard of a radical getting a £5,000-a-year pension from the Civil List, as Burke did. Perhaps Edwards will now address himself to that? He’ll have a job convincing people that the Keeper of the Privy Purse dished out money like that to anyone other than Establishment hirelings and landlords’ toadies. Unless, of course, there is evidence the Privy Purse of the day was also in the keeping of a radical! As for the ‘single sentence on defenderism’, penned by Burke near the end of his life, there is a strong rumour in Irish literary and historical circles that Burke secretly married a Roman Catholic in France: a search of the mairies of Paris and the Department du Nord may yet reveal the reason for this uncharacteristic action. And if indeed, as Edwards writes, ‘Edmund Burke probably understood Ireland better than most other Irishmen of his time or since,’ I think Burke would be inclined to side with Dean Inge when he wrote in the London Evening Standard: ‘The greatest blot on the British escutcheon was the day we left Southern Ireland, allowing it to relapse into barbarism under the tutelage of a crafty and tyrannical priesthood.’ And the tutelage also of barbaric Irishmen in exile.

Dermot McEvoy
Foxrock, Co. Dublin

Sisters

SIR: I doubt whether female novelists would be pleased to know that their work had been reduced to fit ‘a law of three stages’ – a law ‘discerned’ by Elaine Showalter and endorsed (presumably) by John Sutherland (LRB, 4 June), who sees Verity Bargate’s latest novel as ‘interestingly poised at the threshold of the last stage’. Why, one asks wearily, must there be a distinction between ‘fiction’ and ‘women’s fiction’ – that category of writing which can, apparently, be simplistically classified into three convenient sub-categories. One way to contradict this ‘law’ would be to supply its supporters with a list of titles which defy such definition, but to do so would be to heed, for a moment, the notion that ‘the woman novelist simply mimics the dominant male practitioner.’ Never.

Hilary Clark
Great Missenden

SIR: Graham Hough’s pronouncement (LRB, 21 May) that ‘the protagonists in the novels of women novelists have a tendency to be women novelists’ caused me to reflect on the far more annoying tendency of men reviewers to make silly generalisations about women novelists.

Lisa Tuttle
Okehampton, Devon

Better late

SIR: Reviewing Passmore’s The Philosophy of Teaching (LRB, 21 May), your reviewer says that ‘it is sad that the book costs so much more than most teachers can afford.’ To us it is sad that the London Review of Books is so incredibly slow and consequently so out of date. The book was published in July 1980 and is now available in paperback (at £8.50). If you need to take so long with your reviews of our books, could you possibly check with us before printing them?

Colin Haycraft
Duckworth, London NW1

To us it is sad that discussion of a book on the philosophy of teaching should appear to its publisher to be out of date nine months after publication. Mr Haycraft is wrong to suggest that such an interval is usual here, but we do not flinch from it. We were not informed of the paperback issue.

Editor, ‘London Review’

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.