In the latest issue:

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

Short Cuts: Harry Goes Rogue

Jonathan Parry

Nothing for Ever and EverFrank Kermode

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.
The Letters of A.E. Housman 
edited by Archie Burnett.
Oxford, 1228 pp., £180, March 2007, 978 0 19 818496 6
Show More
Show More

When A.E. Housman failed his final examinations at Oxford he went to London to work as a clerk in the Patent Office. After ten years of that, he was appointed, at the age of 33, to the chair of Latin at University College London. In his application for the job he very properly drew attention to his Oxford failure. Not, you might think, a glowing CV, especially as he couldn’t claim any teaching experience. Yet these manifest disadvantages failed to deter the electors to the chair. They had their own criteria of eminence and saw that Housman was already one of the few. He would, before very long, be called the greatest Latinist of his age, to be named in the same breath as Bentley and Porson and Housman’s famous German contemporary Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.

He was usually quite modest about his claims: ‘I wish they would not compare me to Bentley … I will not tolerate comparison with Bentley. Bentley is alone and supreme.’ However, ‘they may compare me with Porson if they will.’ He was willing, that is, to be compared only with the runner-up for the title of greatest English classical scholar. Ordinary readers, even if they have a bit of Latin, can have little notion of what it means to know it well; those who, in their day, did know it well were ready to appoint a young man with a record of academic failure to the most influential Latin chair outside Oxford and Cambridge.

He had spent most of his London evenings in the British Museum Library working on Greek, and more intensively, Latin authors, notably Propertius, Juvenal and Ovid, and had produced some learned articles much admired by the few who were qualified to comment. Then, at University College, he began work on an edition of a long, dull and difficult first-century astronomical-astrological poem by Manilius – a text that had earlier tested the scholarship of Bentley, which was no doubt a challenge in itself. His notes on Manilius were in Latin, and the great work was published at his own expense. Its fifth and final volume appeared in 1930, 27 years after the first.

Its few readers needed to be high-calibre specialists. He made no attempt to persuade others that Manilius was worth their trouble. ‘I adjure you,’ he wrote to Robert Bridges, the poet laureate, ‘not to waste your time on Manilius. He writes on astronomy and astrology without knowing either.’ To an American correspondent he wrote: ‘I do not send you a copy, as it would shock you very much; it is so dull that few professed scholars can read it, probably not one in the whole United States.’ Perhaps the real experts were more interested in Housman’s Latinity than in Manilius’ Latin. But Manilius was his chosen life-work, and when he finished it he seems to have felt about it much as Chapman did on finishing his Homer: ‘The work that I was born to do is done.’ He said repeatedly that the publication of the final volume left him nothing more to do; he would now (at 71) ‘do nothing for ever and ever’.

In his well-known essay on Housman, Edmund Wilson made a special point of the author’s giving up work on a poet as interesting as Propertius in order to spend his life with Manilius. Wilson regarded the switch from love poems to obsolete science as evidence of an intellectual sterility all too characteristic of the English universities in Housman’s day, indeed of English society more generally; and of course there was the doubtless related matter of Housman’s sterile love for Moses Jackson, a friend and fellow undergraduate capable of inspiring the deep devotion of the young Housman but lacking any intention of responding in the manner desired. Moses Jackson was certainly important to the poetry, and I don’t say there is nothing in Wilson’s theory, but there is a more difficult and more interesting aspect of the switch to Manilius: how we should understand this life-absorbing passion for a craft that required not only a virtually unparalleled grasp of ancient languages and cultures but the possession of the exquisite divinatory intelligence required to make proper use of that knowledge? It was, he believed, a gift one has to be born with – possessed, therefore, by few, even among the very learned. And it was a resource more severely tested by Manilius than by the elegant and witty Propertius.

That he was among the few capable of the choice deplored by Edmund Wilson, indeed the first among them, made him contemptuous of rivals. His views of them could be gratuitously, though to disinterested observers amusingly insulting. As a freshman, describing his Oxford matriculation ceremony in a letter to his stepmother, he remarks of a document he was handed that it was ‘written in Latin, or what passes for Latin at Oxford’. Not to be silenced by the grandeur of the institution or its famous members, he did not conceal his contempt for the scholarship of the great Benjamin Jowett, Regius Professor of Greek and master of Balliol, calling his Plato ‘the best translation of a Greek philosopher which has ever been executed by a person who understood neither philosophy nor Greek’. He is said to have kept a record of choice insults for use when the need arose,* and he certainly preferred the harsh manner of earlier scholarly rivalries to the politer style of his contemporaries. Marginalia in his own books describe their editors and authors as idiots, asses, blunderers, thieves, egotists, ignoramuses. By way of demonstrating his amused contempt for such scholars he announced that he published his edition of Juvenal ‘for the use of editors’, editorum in usum dedidit, as if offering instruction to professionals who should not need it but all too evidently did. He had a passion for exactitude; accuracy, he said, was a duty, not a virtue. ‘When,’ he asked fretfully, ‘will mankind begin to understand that I am more careful than they are, not less?’

He declined all academic and national honours because to accept them would be to admit comparability with other classical scholars who had received them, admiring the attitude of the 17th-century Greek scholar Thomas Gataker who refused a Cambridge doctorate because ‘like Cato the censor he would rather have people ask why he had no statue than why he had one.’ When he came across some self-critical words of T.E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom – ‘there was a craving to be famous; and a horror of being known to like being known’ – he wrote in the margin: ‘This is me.’ So in the course of his life he turned down everything from the OM to the poet laureateship, not to speak of many honorary doctorates. And he refused all invitations to give lectures except for the ones that he conceived to be part of his job.

There was a famous exception to this rule, the Leslie Stephen Lecture ‘On the Name and Nature of Poetry’, which he gave in 1933. The lecture was a huge success, though powerfully deplored by some Cambridge dissidents, led, as some report, by Dr Leavis, or, as some less plausibly suggest, I.A. Richards. To Leavis it seemed that it would take years to remedy the damage the lecture must have inflicted on his students. But many others found its much softer view of poetry acceptable; and what everybody remembers best are the passages about the emotional aspects of poetry. Housman included a number of surprisingly personal comments on this topic. Milton’s ‘Nymphs and shepherds, dance no more’, he said, can ‘draw tears … to the eyes of more readers than one’. And tears are only one symptom. A line of poetry can make his beard bristle as he shaves, or cause a shiver down his spine, or ‘a constriction of the throat’ as well as ‘a precipitation of water to the eyes’. For so reticent a man it was a surprising performance. It possibly upset his health, and he came to regard the date of the lecture, May 1933, as an ominous moment in his life.

I have neglected the calm progress of his academic career. Back in 1911 he accepted the chair of Latin at Cambridge and a fellowship of Trinity College, where he lived for the rest of his life. His scholarly fame was now secure, and at the same time his reputation as a vernacular poet grew to match it. The celebrity of A Shropshire Lad was greatly enhanced during the war of 1914, and the two volumes of verse that followed it were also well received. Despite his professed horror at the idea of fame, he might have felt that at least in some ways things were going quite well.

The life of a bachelor fellow of Trinity could hardly be described as arduous; the company was distinguished, the wine excellent, the menus subject to his approval and the professorial teaching load fairly light. The days could be given to Manilius, the evenings to extensive reading or to such avocations as research into Latin obscenities. He had a private lavatory and, declaring himself to be a philosophical hedonist, refused on principle to allow his less fortunate neighbour, Wittgenstein, to use it. Vacations were filled with luxurious journeys.

And yet it is likely that few men, even taking into account these amenities, would envy such an existence. Housman’s own pronouncements, in prose and verse, on the meaning of life tend to be stoical; there were things he enjoyed, but he did not seem to enjoy them very much. And one is driven back to the position that it was the private pleasure of his divinatory exercises that made everything else tolerable. That was the view of his colleague A.S.F. Gow, who remarked that ‘a man whose mind is so perfectly adapted to the difficult and delicate tasks he has chosen out … cannot be wholly unhappy.’

Auden’s sonnet on Housman ignores Gow’s point and dwells on more furtive pleasures:

Deliberately he chose the dry-as-dust,
Kept tears like dirty postcards in a drawer …
In savage footnotes on unjust editions
He timidly attacked the life he led.

Even if one leaves the poems out of account, it seems that whether or not he was unhappy he was capable of describing the state of man as one of just tolerable discomfort; and of claiming that there were ways of relieving even that degree of misery. He would tour Europe in a chauffeur-driven hired car and fly to France on the fledgling air services, claiming to conquer his fears by reflecting that every crash reported reduced the probability of his being involved in one himself. He invariably celebrated the New Year with a feast of oysters and stout. On hospitable London evenings he liked to entertain his guests at the Café Royal before taking them to a music hall.

And even dons can sometimes have fun in their donnish way, as Housman did when he became a gourmet, a connoisseur of wine, and a drinker of beer at lunch because beer produced a languor conducive to poetry. A frequent visitor to Venice, he seems to have fallen in love with a gondolier. Paris offered its own pleasures. A quieter entertainment was the composition of light verse, in which long practice made him remarkably skilful. The concluding lines of ‘Fragment of a Greek Tragedy’, written when he was at school, are here quoted as evidence that Housman could giggle learnedly:

Eriphyle (within): O, I am smitten with a hatchet’s jaw:
And that in deed and not in word alone.

Chorus: I thought I heard a sound within the house
Unlike the voice of one that jumps for joy.

Eri: He splits my skull, not in a friendly way,
Once more; he purposes to kill me dead.

Cho: I would not be reputed rash, but yet
I doubt if all be gay within the house.

Eri: O! O! Another stroke! That makes the third.
He stabs me to the heart against my wish.

Cho: If that be so, thy state of health is poor;
But thine arithmetic is quite correct.

If you like that sort of thing there are later poems that challenge you not to laugh. ‘Light Verse and Juvenilia’ occupy a hundred pages of Archie Burnett’s Oxford edition of the poems. Being exceptionally susceptible to poetry, Housman could laugh at it. This balances his tendency, confessed in the Leslie Stephen Lecture, to cry at it. We are told by someone who was present on an occasion when he had difficulty reading the ode of Horace that begins Diffugere nives: ‘“That,” he said hurriedly, almost like a man betraying a secret, “I regard as the most beautiful poem in ancient literature.”’ His audience was astonished, for he usually professed contempt for such literary judgments. However, when Thomas Hardy said his favourite Housman poem was ‘Is my team ploughing’, he said it was his too.

Archie Burnett, who edited the verse in almost 600 pages, has now edited Housman’s correspondence in two enormous volumes, about 1200 pages. Somebody else had edited the letters as recently as 1971, but not so thoroughly. Burnett shares his hero’s view on accuracy. Not many poetry lovers will want to read these volumes from beginning to end, and it must be said that they are somewhat reader-repellent. Their price and practically everything else about them suggests that they are not meant to be read except out of necessity, rather like the Manilius. The long editorial labour they required was a tribute rather to Housman’s eminence in other activities than to his letter-writing. He is capable of chilly, erudite jokes, and his default style, an elegant facetiousness, can be amusing. But Burnett has collected dozens of epistolary scraps, which offer little opportunity of stylistic variation. Some are only two or three words long. A great number are addressed to Housman’s publisher, Grant Richards, sometimes peremptory, sometimes indulgent – the responses varying according to the varying urgency of the business problems of the unbusinesslike Richards. The proofing and printing of successive editions of the poetry are a recurrent concern; the passion for exactitude was not limited to Manilius. What seems to be a queue of England’s keenest composers sought Housman’s permission to set lyrics from A Shropshire Lad, and they were all told, politely but coldly, that they could go ahead provided they changed no word of the poem concerned. He refused all offers of payment but insisted on the observance of the ban on omission or alteration; Vaughan Williams transgressed, and Housman seems never to have forgiven him. Repeated requests from anthologists for poems from A Shropshire Lad were turned down flat. A great many of these letters say ‘no’, very briefly, in one way or another; the shortest of them has a message of one word: ‘Refuse.’

Letters to family members, especially to his brother Laurence, whom he liked to tease, can be dutifully full, but in general Housman keeps everything short. There are many brief, authoritative replies to inquiries from scholars. Here is an entire letter to A.S.F. Gow: ‘The constellation is called Tr ’i gwnon for instance in Ptol.synt. VII c.5 (Heiberg vol. I ii p.82), schol. Arat.236, Vett. Val. p.13 13. I do not find Trigonum in Latin: in schol. Germ. ed Breys p. 109 8 sq. it is Triangulus.’ On this, as on other such recondite allusions, the editor, perhaps wisely, remains silent. He does explain in his ‘Note on Editorial Principles’ that where he has found it impossible to elucidate a reference he has chosen to remain silent, rather than to multiply notes saying ‘not identified’ or the like; for to do that, he argues, would make the footnote number ‘a false promise of enlightenment’. A sensible position, no doubt, but it would be strengthened by the omission of plainly unnecessary notes explaining that when Housman wrote ‘don’t’ he meant ‘don’t’. Still, the editor is conscientious in the provision of ascertainable information about Housman’s correspondents, and about his reading, which was more adventurous than one might have expected. It included Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Ulysses and Du côté de chez Swann.

A word of mild and, as experience suggests, useless complaint about these volumes as physical objects. They are heavy and tightly bound – presumably to save space by reducing margins. You need both hands to hold them down; if you release the pressure they snap shut. Having let go to make a note one is compelled once more to force a new entrance, feeling about as welcome as Wittgenstein. Yet there was a time when Oxford editions were a pleasure to use.

If one struggles on to the end, the reward is a moving close-up of the great man in his last years. He was 74 when he gave his Leslie Stephen performance (‘that infernal lecture’, he now called it). He had now even less reason to rejoice in the human condition or in the Latinity of his epoch. ‘I can bear my life, but I do not at all want it to go on.’ He was ill, but would run up all the stairs to his room, hoping to die at the top. In May 1935, when he was 76, he told Grant Richards that ‘the continuation of my life beyond May 1933 was a regrettable mistake.’ He could no longer manage to walk from Trinity to Magdalene (half a mile, perhaps). Nevertheless he continued to lecture, complaining that getting to the lecture-room was more tiring than giving the lecture. A month before his death in April 1936 he described himself as an ‘egoistic hedonist’, adding that while George Eliot said she was a meliorist, he was a pejorist. And ‘pejorist hedonist’, with its English blend of Latin and Greek, fits him well enough.

Send Letters To:

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

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.


Vol. 29 No. 15 · 2 August 2007

Frank Kermode is right to complain that you need both hands to keep open the new edition of Housman’s letters (LRB, 5 July). ‘Yet there was a time when Oxford editions were a pleasure to use,’ he says. In the UK that was up to about 1970, when hot-melt glueing began to displace the cold glueing that had been used in industrial bookbinding. Cold glueing, which leaves a thin and almost invisible layer of water-based glue, allows the book to stay open by itself; hot-melt (a thicker, whiter layer of polymer glue) doesn’t. Cold glue seems to have disappeared from UK and North American book production, for reasons of economic rationalisation. It is still available, however, on the Continent and in the Far East. But this is evidently too far away for Oxford University Press.

Robin Kinross
London NW5

Vol. 29 No. 16 · 16 August 2007

In his review of my edition of A.E. Housman’s letters, Frank Kermode makes one implicit criticism of the editing when he wishes for ‘the omission of many plainly unnecessary notes explaining that when Housman wrote “don’t" he meant “don’t"’ (LRB, 5 July). That first ‘don’t’ should be ‘dont’, and the reason my notes correct such (surprisingly frequent) slips is, as I explain, to show Housman as less rigorous when writing informally than his scholarly reputation might suggest. I also state that ‘it is a consideration too that unrecorded inaccuracies can be mistaken for misprints or the editor’s errors.’ Thus, when Kermode himself records that Housman’s edition of Juvenal was published ‘“for the use of editors"’, ‘editorum in usum dedidit’, ‘dedidit’ should be ‘edidit’, and I am left wondering whose error that is.

Archie Burnett
Boston University

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.