In the latest issue:

Short Cuts

Jonathan Parry

Real Men Go to Tehran

Adam Shatz

What Trump doesn’t know about Iran

Patrick Cockburn

Kaiser Karl V

Thomas Penn

The Hostile Environment

Catherine Hall

Social Mobilities

Adam Swift

Short Cuts: So much for England

Tariq Ali

What the jihadis left behind

Nelly Lahoud

Ray Strachey

Francesca Wade

C.J. Sansom

Malcolm Gaskill

At the British Museum: ‘Troy: Myth and Reality’

James Davidson

Poem: ‘The Lion Tree’

Jamie McKendrick


Jenny Turner

Boys in Motion

Nicholas Penny

Jia Tolentino

Lauren Oyler

Diary: What really happened in Yancheng?

Long Ling


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.

Saturday, 29 December 1990: Caught Red Funnel Ferryboat 10 a.m. Taxi Southampton Dock to Eastleigh – Air France plane departed 12.45. Met at Roissy (3 p.m. approx. Continental time) by Jean-Claude Masson and Annick, who drove us in their car to the Grand Hotel Français, boulevard Voltaire, XIIème – a quarter little known to me. Windy, showery, as at home; mild. Pleasant enough double room on the fifth floor – very slow lift. Feeble lighting as usual. After settling in, crossed the boulevard to local café-tabac l’ Aquarium, for tea and tartines. Dinner at eight chez Jean-Claude, round the corner in rue de Picpus, an immeuble with a sinister labyrinthine underground car-park.

Sunday 30: Nearest Metro to hotel is Nation: unfamiliar, vast and intimidatingly full of platforms for recently proliferated extension lines serving the banlieues. Investing in a carnet de billets is supposed to save money on taxis, but leads to loss of time: correspondances, corridors, traipsing. Took us about half an hour to reach nearby Bastille. Light lunch in first brasserie beyond the exit, place de la Bastille. Taxi to Carnavalet – couldn’t remember name of street (de Sévigné), neither could taxi-man, who took us on a tour of the entire Marais before finally dropping us apologetically at adjacent corner. The narrow streets of the Marais are almost all one-way. Carnavalet well worth detours however. First visit, so all is unfamiliar. Much more to see than expected. French Revolution rooms specially impressive. The tricolor that surely inspired Pierre-Jean Jouve’s poem, A une soie: ‘Propice et large soie étalée sans un pli ... Et suave de trois cruautés arrondies.’ – ‘Et le drapeau disait: Liberté ou la Mort’ (end of eighth strophe). In fact the flag says ‘Vivre libre ou mourir’, but that wouldn’t have rhymed with ‘holocauste fort’. Plenty of Hubert Robert (‘du plus pur Hubert Robert,’ as Jouve used to say). Found a Folio series edition of Restif de la Bretonne’s Nuits de Paris in the tempting bookshop. When I first knew the Marais in the late Forties it was shabby, almost a slum. Now it is packed with smart boutiques and galleries, and an expensive district to live in. At 4.30 crowds of strollers everywhere: kerbside stalls for snacks, bric-à-brac, sacs-à-main, carpets. Found the old café-tabac at the corner of the place des Vosges that I used to drop into after visiting the Musée Victor Hugo or the Follains’ apartment, completely transformed into a chic newly antiquated tea-shop. Got a last free table before queues started.

Dinner 8.30 chez Jean-Claude and Annick. Other guest a young poet, Jacques Lèvre, whom Jean-Claude thinks very promising. Showed me four poems of his in a review: the first and last reminded me at once of Follain, who it turned out Jean-Claude had never read. Shy, unassuming and friendly, Lèvre reminded me of one or two young poets I met in the late Thirties. Plenty to eat and drink. Conversation till midnight. Raining as we returned to the hotel. On the way stopped at a nearby Visa cashpoint and drew out 1000 francs as though by magic in sixty seconds.

Monday 31: Driven by Bruce van Barthold up to his little but charming (banal but inevitable adjective) apartment in the 19th arrondissement to lunch with his wife Jo and their two-week-old infant Théo. Everything impeccable. Driven back after tea to boulevard Voltaire. Acquired bottle Piper-Heidsieck for later.

Tuesday 1 January: SpentRéveillon with Jean-Claude, Annick and friend. Clive James on BBC1 after midnight.

Next day, Brasserie lunch in place du Châtelet. Taxi to Musée d’Orsay. Like many other furious people, found it closed because of bank holiday. Without warning, went to call on Méraud Guevara, rue de Lille behind the museum. Found her in bed in her old room, nothing in the apartment changed; rather deaf and vague but pleased, I think, to see us. Went on to see a new film, Uranos, in Montparnasse. Supper at the Select.

Wednesday 2: Christine Jordis just returned, asked us to lunch at the Fin Gourmet, boulevard St Germain. No sooner served, Judy rushes to toilet, violently sick. Sent her back to hotel in taxi. Went to Librairie l’Escalier; tea at Pâtisserie Viennoise. Then back to boulevard Voltaire. Judy still ill, cannot face reception chez Anne Wade-Minkowski, rue de Rivoli. I go with Jean-Claude. Adonis, Yves Bonnefoy, François-Xavier Jaujard and Paul le Jaloux already there. After an hour’s talk, champagne, quiche, sight of copious buffet in neighbouring room gives me nausea. I lie on sofa under rug. Recovered enough to go back to hotel at midnight.

Thursday 3: This morning no desire for food, feel I’d rather stay in bed with Judy all day. Oxyboldine tablets, mineral water. At 2.30 I ring Edmond Jabès to tell him we can’t have tea with him at four, as arranged. Arlette in tears answers phone to tell us Edmond died in his sleep early this morning. Stunned. Rang the Independent, to find Tony Rudolf is already working on obit.

Friday 4: Recovered sufficiently to be able to go round to rue de Picpus for a last supper with Jean-Claude and Annick. After a light lunch at l’ Aquarium café-tabac opposite hotel, driven to Roissy to catch 4.45 plane back to Southampton. Sudden turbulence threw cup of tea all over us. Got home before seven local time.

Saturday 5: Invitation from Joe Allard of Essex University to read with Jeremy Reed at the Colchester Arts Festival. Went shopping at local supermarket after lunch. Dull TV. Made asparagus and prawn soufflé for supper.

Tuesday 8: Watched first episode of new series Twin Peaks. Who cares who killed Laura Palmer? Monotonous pseudo-surreality. Agent Cooper losing grip and my attention. Off to bed.

Wednesday 9: Collapse of Geneva Peace talks. James Baker and Bush are determined to teach Saddam Hussein ‘a terrible lesson’.

Alan Jenkins of TLS rang up at 7.15 p.m. to suggest I write article on two exhibitions in London next month: Man Ray photos at Barbican, Max Ernst at Tate.

Thursday 10: Ron Stocker to lunch. Listened to ‘Schönberg in Hollywood’ on Radio 3. Wrote to thank Jean-Claude, and send him copy of Jean Follain collection in the Poésie series. Judy tired and seems indifferent to the fate of the world. Peace initiatives stalled in Middle East.

Friday 11: 10.40 a.m. Appointment with Dr Stainer at Cowes Health Centre. Sent letter and Follain Poésie volume to Jean-Claude. Hair cut. Bank. Shopping. Ordered flowers for February 1st (Judy’s birthday). Lunch with Chloë Grant-Edwards, Bruce van Barthold’s grandmother, at Sailing Club. The European. Indifferent TV.

Saturday 12:

– Letter from Simon Callow, at last

– Supermarket

– Cowes. Ian Gibson’s Assassination of F.G. Lorca from library (rather disappointing).

– Picked up Humphrey Carpenter’s Ezra Pound: A Serious Character unexpectedly.

– Dull TV.

Sunday 13:

– Had made apricot mousse to follow lamb for lunch. Vin de Pays du Gard.

– Napped after lunch

– News increasingly sombre.

– Made successful piperade for supper.

– Joely Richardson excellent and moving in David Hare’s BBC2 Screenplay.

Monday 14: Wrote and posted letters to Penny Durrell-Hope and Simon Callow. It seems possible we may see him and a preview of Ballad of the Sad Café when we go up to town to review art shows for TLS.

Ordered four books from Bibliophile.

Thursday 17: Early breakfast. Heard on radio: outbreak of hostilities in Gulf. Sudden US air attack on Saddam Hussein. Left 8.30 a.m. for Sandown High School where from 9.15 to 11, talked to sixth-form Spanish/French class about the Civil War and Surrealism. Went on to pick up Hilda and Edward Upward and take them out to lunch at a Shanklin restaurant. They’re not so indignant about Bush and the war as I’d expected them to be. Their CND fervour seems to have abated. It must be twenty years since Edward arrived here to see me and drove me around the island in his car. Pleasant meal. Returned via Newport and Cowes. Rest of day dominated by media coverage of Gulf.

Saturday 19: Supermarket after lunch. Made prune and apple mousse with calvados. De Gaulle programme BBC2. Stayed up late to see repeat of Twin Peaks. Kept me awake. Some almost magic moments. ‘Owls are not what they seem’: Raymond Roussel/Cocteau’s Orphée.

Sunday 20: Made oeufs florentine. Second programme on de Gaulle BBC2. Brought back a vivid memory of watching the news at the Tour de César near Aix – a splendid view of Mont Ste Victoire – that sweltering summer of 1958. The Algerian crisis, De Gaulle’s speech to the crowd from the balcony in Algiers: ‘Je vous ai compris.’ Subsequent demos and plastiquages in Paris.

Repeat of Callow and Fry in S. Gray’s Old Flames.

Monday 21: Invitation card from Tony Rudolf – ‘Art 91’ Fair, Islington, 23 January. Audrey Jones at Menard Press stand.

Went into Cowes after lunch to have new Dior spectacles frame stiffened by optician. Finished letter to Tony Rudolf, sending him translation of L’Adieu from the Jabès obituary piece in Le Monde.

TV Gulf coverage expressive of deflated euphoria. How long will it last, how much will it cost? No one certain.

Tuesday 22: Another copy of Elizabeth Smart’s Journal from Collins. Note from Geoffrey Bush about performance of Zodiac song-cycle at Salisbury on 13 February. Wrote to Ann Minkowski sending dedicated inserts from her copy of L’Autre back to her, and expressing sympathy with Adonis. Imponderability is the current key-note in the Gulf. Oil wells set alight in Kuwait.

Sunday 27: Kevin and Jean to lunch and tea. Made mushroom omelette for supper.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

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.