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. 26 No. 5 · 4 March 2004

Search by issue:

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester draws attention to the ingenuity and contempt of Rupert Murdoch’s accountants in their efforts to minimise News Corp’s tax liability (LRB, 5 February). To be fair to Murdoch, he has been equally tireless in his determination to reduce the tax burden for his readers. His papers’ consistent assault on progressive taxation during the last thirty years has powerfully contributed to a climate in which proposals to increase income tax are now taboo for any ‘serious’ politician. What is pointed out less often is that Murdoch’s papers have seamlessly dovetailed this economic position with a broader ideological agenda, one which has relied on a biddable readership’s anxiety about one marginal group after another. In the 1980s, the attack on the ‘loony left’ was conducted partly through the drip-drip insinuation of stories decrying the funding of ‘local’ cultural initiatives. In the 1990s, the focus shifted to Aids charities. More recently, the ‘benefit-scrounger’ has found a new incarnation in the figure of the ‘bogus asylum seeker’. In all this, Murdoch’s papers have been abetted, and often exceeded, by the Mail. The assumption underpinning the stories is that government money is being diverted away from the schools and hospitals that ‘we’ want our taxes to be used for, towards ‘undeserving causes’: causes which do nothing for us and which, intolerably, help those who are at present socially excluded – which is how we’d prefer them to remain. The fantasy created is that our money is being used to fund our own disenfranchisement.

In fact, of course, the amount of government money used to fund such marginal causes is nugatory; but fantasy requires only the smallest provocation, and has little use for reality. It is difficult to understand, without the steady encouragement offered by papers such as the Sun and the Mail, how it is that so many people instinctively reject the idea of paying more tax on the grounds that ‘too much public spending goes on “undeserving causes" as it is’.

Agnes Hodgson
London NW5

Unloved Tomes

John Sutherland’s account of the economics of scholarly publishing is accurate in broad outline but less so in many specifics (LRB, 22 January). The monograph crisis is uneven, affecting some fields more than others. University presses still compete for many monographs, including revised dissertations, and, contrary to Sutherland’s belief, they pay advances for a significant number of them. Sutherland sees ‘the pricing up of the monograph to levels that only institutions can afford’ as a ubiquitous practice, but university presses have long been coping with the erosion of the library market, and pricing only for institutions is hardly a viable option for most of them. Many American university presses, in particular, work mightily to price monographs for individual buyers, and inexpensive original paperback editions of monographs are common.

It also needs to be said that a monograph selling five hundred copies may yet be important to a field of study. Should we scoff at scholarship on, say, classical Arabic literature because a transformative monograph in that field sells only a few hundred copies? To be sure, many presses cannot afford to serve such small communities of scholars, but let’s applaud those that do, and the universities and foundations that support their efforts.

The rumour of ‘profit-driven’ monograph publishing at the University of Chicago Press is false, and Sutherland’s anecdote about my exchange with his UCLA friend garbles almost every detail. To address just one, I can’t take credit for the statistical claim Sutherland attributes to me: that the crisis would be solved if every literature professor bought six new hardbacks every year. I’ve never heard, much less said, anything of the kind.

Finally, for the record, Stephen Greenblatt sent his letter about the monograph crisis to the MLA membership in May 2002.

Alan Thomas
University of Chicago Press

John Price’s suggestion that academic monographs should be published on the internet is highly enlightened (Letters, 5 February). There is, however, a problem. In Price’s model, individual universities would publish their staff and students’ work on their own sites, but this would leave the current situation unchanged: unread pieces of paper would be replaced by unread virtual papers. If national sites based on subjects were set up then university departments could join the relevant sites and contribute the material they wished to be published on them each year.

David Beer
University of York

Clare in Corduroy

Tom Paulin is wrong to say that ‘The Flitting’ is omitted from my anthology of Clare, to be published by Faber in October (LRB, 19 February): the poem is included, though in the text and with the title authorised by Clare for publication in 1835, ‘On leaving the cottage of my birth’.

He considers that I was on a wild goose chase in searching for the American poet ‘Corduroy’ mentioned in a reminiscence of Clare in the asylum. Of course he is right – as my biography says – that Corduroy is a projection of Clare himself, but we should not rule out the possibility that the allusion was also to a real poet (whose name may have been misremembered). After all, the American who wrote the reminiscence assumed that the real Corduroy was out there somewhere. Clare was well acquainted with the work of such American contemporaries as Bryant, Dana and Whittier, which is testimony both to the breadth of his reading and to the quality of library provision in 19th-century lunatic asylums.

Jonathan Bate
University of Warwick

What Not to Wear

Jeremy Harding’s ambivalent piece on the French veil debate misses a crucial point (LRB, 19 February). The invocation of the ‘Republic’ and of France’s secular tradition by supporters of the ban on the hijab is based on a historical misunderstanding. From the very outset there was bitter conflict as to who exactly should be the beneficiaries of liberty, equality and fraternity. Were these universal principles to be extended to women, unskilled workers or the blind? Babeuf was one of the few who argued for full citizenship rights for women.

The introduction of universal education and the separation of church and state were scarcely a simple expression of the onward march of Enlightenment. Jules Ferry, the founder of universal secular primary education, also oversaw the colonisation of Indochina. There was no contradiction here: the myth of the ‘civilising mission’ lay at the heart of French imperialism. France, in the late 19th century, was a largely peasant country in which many citizens had only the vaguest notions of national identity. The Vatican still carried considerable political weight; the aim of laïcité was to ensure that French workers and peasants looked to Paris, not to Rome.

If the French left is ever to face the challenges of the new century, it will have to reexamine the whole ‘Republican’ tradition.

Ian Birchall
London N9

Preserving the Owl

Amartya Sen makes a coherent philosophical case for the incorporation of environmental responsibilities into concepts of citizenship (LRB, 5 February). But what would be the most effective mechanisms to persuade citizen-consumers to do anything about this remains unclear. Consumption is, for better and worse, an integral aspect of our status in post-industrial societies and often drives our actions far more than concepts of citizenship. Analysis of shopping trends suggests that while 30 per cent of shoppers say that ethical or environmental considerations inform their shopping, this only translates into 3 per cent of market share for products with demonstrable ethical/environmental benefits. Better information alone is not enough. European eco-labelling has enjoyed a very uneven history; and ‘fair-trade’ products have grown in number but remain limited to a small range of products (bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate). Sen is right to highlight the patchy role of governments in leading this agenda, but progress will depend on institutional change involving businesses, civil society, investors, government and consumers.

John Sabapathy
AccountAbility, London N1

Lunch at the Club

The Century Association that Walker Evans joined is not a ‘club of private clubs’, as Mary Hawthorne calls it (LRB, 5 February). It is one club located on West 43rd Street in New York. If I had to describe it, I would say that it’s comparable to the Athenaeum in London, one of our sister clubs, except that we don’t have rooms for guests to stay overnight. There is another difference. At the Century there is a tradition of not introducing yourself at lunch. When I stayed at the Athenaeum people were constantly introducing themselves. I’ve often had lunch at the Century with no idea who I’ve been talking to. For all I know, one of them might have been Walker Evans.

Jeremy Bernstein
New York

Poor Sir Hugh

Colin Burrow dismisses ‘the notorious Hugh Platt’ as a ‘quick fit artist’ who wrote ‘quack books’ on gardening (LRB, 19 February). Sir Hugh Plat (as he spelled his surname) produced one complete book on gardening, Floreas Paradise, in 1608 but mentioned the subject in several other works. A further volume was published posthumously in 1660. The lack of organisation of the short sections of advice in Floreas Paradise may have influenced Burrow’s impression of the work, but this was down to haste because of Plat’s approaching death, as he explains in the preface: ‘not knowing the length of my dayes, nay assuredly knowing that they are drawing to their periode’.

Plat had hands-on experience in the garden at his home in Bethnal Green (where, for instance, he sowed artichokes and herbs). More significantly, he collected gardening advice from gardeners to the gentry such as Mr Fowle, the queen’s gardener and a melon expert; Lord Burghley’s gardeners; and nurserymen, most notably Vincent Pointer, a tree specialist of Twickenham. Mr Andrews, ‘the greate saltmaker of Ireland’, told Plat how caterpillars might be killed and spring onions raised the year round in pots; and Sir Edward Denny, adventurer at sea, soldier in Ireland and MP, told Plat that he had, in Ireland, raised liquorice in ‘such grownde as by Nature is stony or rocky underneath the earth’. Some of Plat’s most innovative ideas were provided by Master Jacob, a London glass-maker, who piped surplus heat from his factory to hothouses where he grew carnations in the winter.

Some of this advice was false and some falsehoods were included in Plat’s published works, but there is much good material mixed with the dross.

Malcolm Thick
Harwell, Oxfordshire

As Easy to Fly as a Bicycle

Fred Starr is not the only anorak to have noticed the shortfall in Robert Macfarlane’s technical expertise (Letters, 19 February). Unfortunately, he commits an error of his own when he claims that ‘the Wrights designed their aircraft to be unstable.’ The book forming the basis of stability theory was not published until 1911, and the theory was not placed on a sound footing until thirty years after the Wrights’ first flight in 1903.

Michael Carley
Bath

Robert Macfarlane is wrong to assert that Orville Wright was the first man to fly an aeroplane. Karl Jatho made the first powered flight, of sixty feet, over the Vahrenwalder Heide on 18 August 1903. Three months later, in November 1903, his aircraft ‘soared’ for 262 feet at an altitude of over nine feet. Both flights took place before Wright’s on 17 December 1903.

Lanny Anderson
Richmond, Virginia

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.