Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — 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.


Vol. 14 No. 4 · 27 February 1992

Search by issue:

Changing places

Vernon Bogdanor (Letters, 13 February) is right to point out that in my article on the Madrid Peace Conference I give the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt while judging Israel harshly. This is because I see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a conflict between occupiers and occupied, oppressors and oppressed, and my sympathies here, as always, are with the underdog. Bogdanor seems to regard terrorism as the central issue in this conflict; I regard terrorism as a symptom of the underlying political problem, which is Israel’s absolute denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinians.

Bogdanor claims that at its meeting in Algiers in November 1988 the Palestine National Council ‘reaffirmed the PLO Charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction in over half of its articles’. This is the opposite of the truth. The Charter rejected the principle of partition, whereas the PNC accepts it as the basis for a settlement. Article Two of the Charter states: ‘Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British mandate is an indivisible territorial unit.’ The PNC abandoned this claim and adopted a two-states solution. The difference between the PNC resolutions and the PLO Charter is not one of nuance but one of principle and substance. Yasser Arafat, portrayed by Bogdanor as a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on the subject of terrorism, was the architect of this Copernican revolution in the political thinking of the PLO.

It is Mr Shamir who plays Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in relation to the Palestinians. To the Americans Shamir pretends that he wants to move forward towards an agreement with the Palestinians. To his extremist right-wing partners he pretends the exact opposite. Why on earth should one give Mr Shamir the benefit of the doubt when all his actions are so transparently directed at avoiding substantive peace talks with the Palestinians?

Shamir can no longer maintain, as his predecessors did, that there is no one to talk to on the other side. Golda Meir used to reiterate with such monotonous regularity her readiness to meet any Arab leader at any time and in any place to discuss peace that even her own officials began to joke about Golda’s launderette, open 24 hours a day. At Madrid, however, the moment of truth finally arrived. Mr Shamir should either negotiate with the Palestinians on the generally accepted basis of land for peace or put up a notice on his door to announce that Golda’s launderette is closed until further notice.

Avi Shlaim
St Antony’s College, Oxford

Wilde Shot

In her review of Elaine Showalter’s Sexual Anarchy (LRB, 30 January) Maria Tippett notes that Showalter ‘underscores the sexual ambiguity inherent in the play by exhibiting a photograph of a bejewelled and wigged Wilde performing the part of Salome, a character with whom he identified more strongly than any other’. This, of course, is the now well-known photograph that Richard Ellmann published in his biography of Wilde, along with other photos of the writer in unusual costume presumably intended to support Ellmann’s thesis that Wilde was a man of many guises. It’s the photograph, too, that accompanied the TLS review when Ellmann’s book first appeared. Clearly it speaks directly to our current preoccupation with gender in general and cross-dressing in particular.

The problem is that the photograph almost certainly isn’t of Wilde. In the H. Roger Viollet photo-library in Paris it is filed with another picture, obviously of the same person and taken at the same session, labelled Leonora Sengera dans le rôle de Salomé à Leipzig; it’s undated though the photographer is identified as Carl Bellach of Leipzig. The photo seems to have come to the library from the collection of the late Guillot de Saix, a French devotee who had a sizeable hoard of Wildeana, much of it of dubious authenticity. An expert in the unexpected ways that pictures can reveal truths, a keen student of the links between theatrical and sexual identity, Wilde would have much appreciated the pleasure so many have derived from the illusion that they were seeing him as Salome.

John Stokes
University of Warwick


I don’t understand why constructive criticism makes defenders of the Bill of Rights orthodoxy so aggressive. Neither Paul Hirst (Letters, 30 January) nor Anthony Lewis (Letters, 13 February) contests my account of the shortcomings in practice of instruments like the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have not argued from these, nor from the enhanced role they give to judges, that such instruments are worthless. My argument is that they are dangerous, but that in the light of experience there is a good deal that can be done to deflect these dangers, and to meet new needs, without forfeiting advantages to which I also drew attention. Why then does Anthony Lewis need to describe my argument as ‘sneering’, which it is not, and Paul Hirst describe my approach as ‘a sham’ and my logic as that of the Mad Hatter? Are they actually interested in doing more for each of their favoured rights instruments than their opponents do for our rights-free constitution – namely, defending it against all comers?

Anthony Lewis leads with his right: I ascribe the US Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in favour of desegregation in schools to ‘the potency of the civil rights movement’ when, he says, ‘the civil rights movement and its “great political swell" came after the 1954 Supreme Court decision.’ It may be good journalism to allocate a single convenient date to the start of such a movement, but it is poor history. Although it is true that the greatest swell of the civil rights movement followed the events of 1954, the movement was considerably older than that. By the later 1940s the new awareness which war service and a measure of prosperity had generated in black Americans had shifted into active resistance to segregation. The NAACP had become influential enough for Truman to address one of its conventions, and the report of his commission, To secure these rights, is credited with having substituted ‘civil rights’ for ‘the Negro question’ in political parlance. The desegregation of the US Army during the Korean war was a further effect and a further cause of resistance.

To take one concrete example of what was forcing these issues onto the post-war agenda, in 1948 a group of blacks and whites broke a colour bar at the Highland Park swimming-pool in Pittsburgh. One of them was gaoled for 18 months for inciting the riot which followed (whites throwing stones and bottles at the swimmers). The campaign continued for a year, attacked by racists while the Police watched, until it succeeded. Rosa Parks’s famous refusal to ride at the back of the bus in Montgomery in 1955, from which Anthony Lewis would like to date it all, was itself not a spontaneous act of rebellion: Rosa Parks was an active NAACP member who had attended the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, where for twenty years inter-racial ‘social gospel’ workshops were run. The Brown case itself started with a strike of black students in 1951 in Farmville, Virginia, against segregated schooling, and the supporting lawsuit brought by the NAACP’s lawyers was the culmination of a high-profile campaign that reached the Supreme Court as five consolidated cases. By 1954 the message from America’s black people was already very loud and very clear. It was to all this that the Supreme Court in 1954 was responding. It was not initiating, but it was legitimising, and that, as I wrote, is also important.

When, therefore, Anthony Lewis defends constitutional judicial review by pointing to the Supreme Court’s ability to bring its jurisprudence into line with social and moral change, I agree with him, though not with his view of how and why it happens. But what then was the political agenda of Nixon and Reagan in setting out to pack the Court with judges who would be loyal, not to social change, but to the supposed original intentions of the framers of the Bill of Rights and its amendments? I accept the role of judicial review in a democracy, as I said, because governments themselves aren’t too democratic. But will Anthony Lewis accept that judges, too, are risky surrogates for the rest of us?

‘The relevant question’, says Paul Hirst finally and rightly in his letter, is whether a Bill of Rights ‘will protect citizens who are neither rich nor powerful against both state abuse and harm done to their civil rights by others’. Yes: that’s the question I was not only asking but attempting (as Paul Hirst does not) to answer concretely from modern experience. (Anthony Lewis’s answer, that the recent American record on freedom of speech and press is strikingly better than Britain’s, deserves a pot-and-kettle debate to itself.) The probable answer, which I have yet to see refuted, is that it won’t deliver these vital protections unless it’s fireproofed in a way that neither the European Convention nor the US Bill of Rights is. Will Charter 88 (with whose overall constitutional project I have few quarrels) now start seriously to think about reconstructing the European Convention as an effective and principled UK Bill of Rights instead of defending it as a dog defends a bone?

Stephen Sedley
London EC4

The Director of Charter 88’s Constitutional Convention, Mr Paul Hirst, writes that his organisation is ‘the one place where a creative dialogue can take place between the different protagonists of change’. He then replies to arguments against a Bill of Rights from a distinguished civil libertarian, Mr Stephen Sedley QC, by imputing to him a mental disease. Is this Charter 88’s idea of dialogue? If I were a signatory of Charter 88, I would expect Mr Hirst to resign his directorship forthwith.

John Griffith
Marlow, Bucks

Vile Doings on the Cam

What a pity that Colin Richmond’s absorbing Diary (LRB, 13 February) about recent publications relating to the holocaust was marred by the crass remarks about Wittgenstein in the penultimate paragraph. At the age of 23, Wittgenstein said to Russell that watching a boat race had been a ‘vile’ way to spend the afternoon: ‘We might as well have looked on at a bull fight.’ (Mr Richmond omitted to mention that Russell, who recorded the incident, added: ‘I had that feeling myself.’) ‘If Wittgenstein could think like this.’ Mr Richmond commented, ‘is it any wonder that other Austrians, other Germans put everything back to front?’ Has he, I wonder, ever come across the phrase, coined by another distinguished philosopher, ‘a non-sequitur of numbing grossness’? If Mr Richmond wants to find the holocaust prefigured in the obiter dicta of an Austrian or German philosopher, Frege’s correspondence might be a better place to look than Wittgenstein’s intemperate comments about sculling on the Cam.

John Hyman
Queen’s College, Oxford


A.N. Wilson makes good money these days by denigrating the Christianity he formerly espoused and his especial virulence towards Catholicism is apparent in his review of David Willey’s book (LRB, 30 January). It is surprising to note his reference to Limbo, a theological notion that has been generally abandoned by mainstream Christianity since at least the time of Vatican II and by most educated Catholics for a long time before that. It was never more than a soteriological expedient to account for the fate of deceased, unbaptised infants in the light of a too strict understanding of the doctrine salus extra ecclesia non est. Happily, the Church has since developed a wider vision of its founder’s designs for mankind’s ultimate destiny and the idea of Limbo has been consigned to the theological scrap-heap. A.N. Wilson would have been told this when he was formally instructed in the Catholic faith and his jibe about Limbo therefore seems dishonest: but in any case is off the mark and cheap into the bargain.

Liam Archer
Maidstone, Kent

Not even a member

R.W. Johnson claims (LRB, 24 October 1991) that ‘to a degree which is seldom recognised’, the South African Communist Party ‘held together because its leading cadres belonged to an extended Jewish family, bound together by ties of marriage and descent’ and that its ‘extraordinary continuity was enhanced by the powerful kinship networks which knit the party together’. ‘Take Gillian Slovo,’ he continues, citing the fact that her grandfather was the party treasurer, and her parents leading party members – a three-generation dynasty. Except for the fact that her grandfather was never party treasurer, and although a supporter, probably not even a member; and she is not a member. Nor are her two sisters members; nor any of the children in the Wolpe and Goldberg families (also mentioned); nor my own children, for that matter. Nor have I been able to find any evidence of that family continuity among the leading black families of that period – Kotane, Marks, Nokwe, Mofuntsanyana. I do not see any great significance in refuting the Jewish-dynasty theory, except that it does make the SACP sound like a mafia. And because R.W. Johnson still owes Gillian Slovo an apology for doing precisely what he subsequently tried to deny – determining who she is by her father and grandfather.

Hilda Bernstein
Dorstone, Herefordshire

Teaching happily

In a moment of mental aberration I said Randall Jarrell spent much of his life teaching happily at the University of South Carolina (LRB, 5 December 1991). Wrong. It was at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, though ‘teaching happily’ is correct. My apologies to his shade.

Julian Symons
Deal, Kent


Richard Rorty’s review of Dennett’s Consciousness Explained was lucid and helpful (LRB, 21 November 1991). I wish to refer those interested in its themes to Edward Hundert’s Philosophy, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, where similar ideas are developed.

Leston Havens
Harvard Medical School

Terrible Truth

Pace Stan Smith’s review of my slim volume of poetry, Spilt Milk (LRB, 9 January): I’m an Irish bastard, not an Irish orphan.

Sarah Maguire
London W11

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.