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. 22 · 18 November 2004

Search by issue:

Legitimacy Crisis

David Runciman is right to say that New Labour has brought us to the precipice of a crisis in democratic legitimacy (LRB, 21 October). But he misidentifies the nature of the crisis. He writes that ‘the British electoral system is now weighted in Labour’s favour (if Labour polls the same share of the national vote as the Tories, they could end up with over a hundred more seats, because of the way constituency boundaries are currently drawn).’ This is true, but the real crisis in legitimacy is caused by differential abstention rates. Because there is a fairly strong positive correlation between income and inclination to vote, politicians cast around for middle-class votes – increasingly, it is mostly the middle class that votes. In my ward, half of which is a council estate while half consists of much ‘nicer’ private dwellings, all parties are tempted on grounds of political expediency to concentrate their efforts on the richer half of the ward.

Why do so few political commentators understand this point, or, if they do understand it, decline to make it public? Perhaps because it is too uncomfortable to acknowledge that our political system has so gutted the faith of the less well-off that they have increasingly given up on it, leaving the middle classes to vote for policies that work mainly for their own long-term economic interests.

Proportional representation must be introduced, not because it will solve this problem – it will not – but because it is one of a set of reforms needed if public faith in our system of governance is to be restored. Such a restoration of faith will depend much more crucially on our turning away from neo-liberal, pro-globalisation policies which only encourage a sense of the pointlessness of contemporary politics. The problem is that all three main parties in Britain are now in thrall to just such neo-liberal orthodoxy.

Rupert Read
City Hall, Norwich

When Reason Sleeps

Nicholas Penny’s review of Robert Hughes’s Goya is properly cautionary but in the end, I think, too cautious (LRB, 23 September). Almost the whole of the first half of Goya’s life was spent under the rule of Europe’s most enlightened monarch, Carlos III. He initiated a programme of reform that shook up the moribund universities, limited the powers of the Church, increased the powers of central government, created a road system that was the envy of Europe, built canals, issued edicts protecting people at their place of work and provided many other welfare safety nets. It was opposed by the Church, the Inquisition, the feudal landowners and the urban mob, but supported by a rising, if insecure middle class of bankers, merchants and industrialists, and serviced by doctors and lawyers from the reformed universities. Above all it looked to France for inspiration and its supporters were known as afrancesados. Goya and his friends were all part of this movement.

Carlos III was succeeded by the hopelessly weak Carlos IV, who could do nothing to prevent a vicious and sustained backlash following the French Revolution. His father’s reforms were swept away, and worse was to follow. In the name of the Revolution, but basically in order to keep Iberian ports open and protect the vulnerable areas of his empire, Napoleon seized Spain and placed his brother Joseph on the throne. The French, hitherto the standard-bearers of Enlightenment, were revealed as ruthless barbarians. Civil war followed, and after that famine.

I wouldn’t argue that one can explain all the contradictions and possibly psychotic elements in Goya’s work by placing it in this historical context, but to do so begins to account for the irony that underlies, for instance, an image of a line of priests garrotted by the French. El sueño de la razón produce monstruos is usually translated as ‘The dream of reason …’ but the first meaning of sueño is ‘sleep’. ‘When reason sleeps, monsters are produced’ is the theme of Los Caprichos and much of Goya’s later work.

Julian Rathbone
Thorney Hill, Dorset

One State or Two?

Ilan Pappe mentions Edward Said’s support for a one-state solution in Israel-Palestine (Letters, 21 October). In fact, Said didn’t come round to that view until the last few years of his life, and not because, as Pappe claims, this is the way to secure the Palestinians’ right of return. Said, like many of us Palestinians, came to realise that the current vision of national Palestinian politics is bankrupt and its institutions corrupt. Said was an unsparing critic of Palestinian leadership and politics, but in the few articles in which he did allude to the one-state solution as the only way to achieve a fair peace, he did not say that it would also save the Palestinians from their corrupt leadership and from political cynicism. Those of us utopians who believe in the one-state solution mostly recognise that the idea is still premature. It is no secret that some Palestinians use it as cover for an intention to sabotage Israel, and that most of the few independent Palestinian intellectuals still reject the solution.

Samir El-youssef
London N10

The Real Mr Hodge

Frank Kermode, I’m sure, wasn’t surprised at Sir John Squire’s ‘vulgarity’ when it came to judging The Waste Land (LRB, 4 November). Squire was pretty good on the Georgians (Masefield, Drinkwater, W.H. Davies, Walter de la Mare and so on) and lyric poetry in general, but was never a man to tackle Modernism with any sympathy. Although his London Mercury was, in the 1920s, one of the most influential arts periodicals, its approach was firmly from the right of centre, and its reputation was mainly as a cheerful demolisher of sacred cows as well as a trasher of those younger writers who Squire himself thought were highfalutin and getting above themselves. He didn’t mind whom he used as demolishers or trashers, either. In 1925 he commissioned the comic novelist and spook-story writer E.F. Benson to launch a 20,000-word literary missile at the then much-revered Robert Louis Stevenson (‘a sedulous ape’ with a ‘childish and inconsiderate vanity’), and in 1928 a shorter but still pretty fierce attack on Virginia Woolf and Michael Arlen (‘precious … hollow … dreary’). Squire and the London Mercury were immortalised in A.G. Macdonell’s comic masterpiece England, Their England (1933) as Mr Hodge and the London Weekly. It should also be remembered that Mr Hodge was devoted above all else to cricket, pugilism and great foaming jacks of ale. Hardly The Waste Land.

Jack Adrian
Cradley, Worcestershire

Munchausen’s Syndrome

John Sturrock is no doubt right to point out the silliness of the name ‘Munchausen’s syndrome’ (LRB, 7 October), but I would suggest that anyone interested in the syndrome itself carry out a literature search. They will find evidence establishing beyond any reasonable doubt the bizarre, persistent and ingenious behaviour of certain people in the pursuit of unnecessary medical or surgical treatment. Inquiries in any large accident and emergency department would convince most that there is something to be found here other than the fantasies of the medical profession or a desire for short cuts rather than accuracy in diagnosis. Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy is also clearly established. In the cases Sturrock cites, if I remember correctly, the unsafe verdicts were based in part on a misuse, by the courts, of medical statistics. They cannot be blamed on the fact that the weight of professional opinion supports the view that Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy is very real indeed.

W.J. Johnston
Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Malinowski’s Best Friend

Adam Kuper’s piece on Malinowski may have left some readers with a misapprehension as to the identity of Malinowski’s closest friend (LRB, 7 October). He was not, as Kuper has it, ‘the painter and writer Stanislaw Witkiewicz’, but Witkiewicz’s son, the painter and writer Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, also known as Witkacy. Witkacy committed suicide not in 1919, as Kuper has it, but on 18 September 1939, on hearing the news that Poland, which had been attacked on 1 September by Germany, had been invaded on 17 September by the Soviet Union.

Halina Filipowicz
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Like Alan Bennett . . .

As someone who has also been the subject of a less serious, but still pretty unpleasant, homophobic attack, I read Alan Bennett’s piece with interest and empathy (LRB, 4 November). Although the police now take such matters a bit more seriously and some politicians condemn homophobia, the amount of energy put into creating a safe environment for all to walk the streets in peace is tiny compared to that spent on ASBOs, or on ‘controlling’ legitimate political demonstrations.

Keith Flett
London N17

Wotcher chavvy

John Lanchester suggests that the word chav (LRB, 21 October), this year’s buzzword apparently, has something to do with ‘yob-thronged Chatham’. it’s much more likely to derive from the Romany. Not only was it once defined to me, memorably, as ‘a pikey with a council house’, but Jonathon Green’s Cassell Dictionary of Slang lists it as a 19th-century endearment (‘wotcher chavvy’) derived from the Polari word for ‘child’.

Timothy Knapman
Weybridge, Surrey

In Spain, a word for ‘child’ is chaval or chavala; it’s both shorter and more grown-up in Mexico, where chavo, chava means ‘teenager’ or ‘young person’, with many colloquial uses beyond that age. Chavos banda are the stylish young gang members of Mexico City. The origin is Romany.

Lorna Scott Fox
London E8

In the Family

According to R.W. Johnson, Lord Salisbury’s appointment of his son as a minister was ‘a piece of nepotism no other family would have contemplated’ (LRB, 7 October). Gladstone made his son Herbert a lord of the treasury in 1881, financial secretary at the War Office in 1886 and under-secretary at the Home Office in 1892.

Colin Armstrong
Belfast

The Real Thing

‘The Coke people could change the recipe tomorrow if they wished to,’ Jerry Fodor writes, and ‘the new stuff will still be Coke if they say it is’ (LRB, 21 October). Unfortunately for Fodor, the Coke people did once change the recipe, and still called it Coke. But those who drink the stuff refused to accept it as the Real Thing, and the Coke people had to replace ‘New Coke’ with the original, dare I say the essential, Coke.

Don Locke
Leamington Spa

Wrong Wenders

Wim Wenders’s claim that ‘the Yankees have colonised our unconscious’ does not come from The American Friend, as Andreas Huyssen has it (LRB, 7 October), but from Wenders’s preceding film, Kings of the Road.

Ian Johnston
Taipei

Moany-Knickers

If Sapphic life were as wretched as Terry Castle finds it, or the pickings as lean, there'd be nothing for it but to run about in histrionic despair like Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks (LRB, 21 October). But what resonance have the overheated tarts of 1920s Paris for the contemporary lesbian? An informal survey of this particular North London salon prompts only bemused shrugs. Perhaps the truly rare birds are gay female academics, though they can't all be such moany-knickers. If TC fancies a good rollicking night out, I hereby offer to show her one.

Sheridan Nye
London NW6

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.