Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.

  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.


Vol. 38 No. 22 · 17 November 2016

Search by issue:

No hares were harmed

Inigo Thomas’s essay on Turner’s steam-train picture has prompted much comment (LRB, 20 October). But neither Thomas nor anyone else who has discussed the painting has really sorted out a central problem: which bridge are we looking at? There were stories in Ruskin’s time purporting to describe the artist drawing from the train as it crossed the river at Maidenhead. And Anthony King seems to accept that the distant bridge on the left of the composition is the Maidenhead road bridge (Letters, 3 November). It looks to me like an amalgamation of Brunel’s two-arched rail bridge and the old road bridge with its rusticated voussoirs. But the structure that bears the weight of Turner’s rushing locomotive is surely not, as Nick Wellings claims, Hanwell Viaduct, also known as the Wharncliffe Viaduct. That is a sheer-sided brick structure, certainly part of Brunel’s project. The train in the painting is crossing what is fairly clearly a medieval stone bridge, with triangular cutwaters. Might one aspect of the subject be, like that of the Fighting Temeraire, an elegy for past technology in the light of the new?

The past is very evident in the collection of vignettes that Turner assembles around his central image. The ploughman (it’s surely a plough, not a gun) and the dancing figures are gathered like mementos in a souvenir album with, let’s face it, precious little spatial relation to the train and its bridge, which have their own perspective, almost unconnected to their surroundings. Turner had been professor of perspective at the Royal Academy and proved in innumerable works that he could handle the device theoretically and practically, literally and imaginatively. The complete breakdown of perspective in Rain, Steam and Speed is particularly intriguing since this is a work in which Turner seems to be reasserting his admiration for Poussin and his vividly expressive classical geometry.

Bob Hall wonders what the hare was doing on the bridge. It is another of the illustrative vignettes, and as Thomas says, a traditional symbol of speed. In the narrow medieval structure Turner depicts he has room only for a single track, but the hare, streaking ahead, is not presented as threatened by the train; rather as a natural exemplar of what man has at last achieved in the locomotive.

In all this debate, we might remember what Ruskin thought of the picture. He never wrote about it, and said only, in a grudging reported comment, that Turner painted it ‘to show what he could do with so ugly a subject’. He was not the definitive interpreter of the master.

Andrew Wilton

Between the Referendums

Peter Geoghegan is rather too generous in his account of the economic failings of the Yes campaign in the 2014 Scottish referendum when he writes: ‘It envisaged using oil revenues to cover the expenditure involved in constructing a new state, but in 2015-16 the tax take from the North Sea collapsed to £60 million, a casualty of Saudi Arabian attempts to smother US shale gas at birth’ (LRB, 3 November).

First, oil revenues were required to cover not just the new state’s start-up costs but, far more important, the ongoing (and longstanding) gap between Scottish public expenditure and onshore tax revenues (over and above Scotland’s share of the UK deficit). Second, while it is true that the tax raised from North Sea oil fell dramatically in 2015 as a result of a decline in the oil price, this development merely made a bad situation worse. There was already a large shortfall between projected revenue and expenditure in an independent Scotland, based on the oil price in 2014.

The independence prospectus was fundamentally flawed in 2014 because it used a very short and atypically benign sample period (2008-13) that concealed the long-term picture, downplayed the risks of basing economic plans on a highly volatile asset, made optimistic assumptions about future oil prices, and conveniently ignored the long-run decline in the profitability of North Sea oil (and thus of any tax revenues) as a result of rising exploration and extraction costs.

All of this was pointed out repeatedly during the campaign but was generally dismissed as the scaremongering of Project Fear. In so far as the problem was acknowledged at all by the Yes campaign, it was airily assumed that any additional deficit could be covered by borrowing. While that might have been fine in principle (at least as a temporary measure to cover a temporary downturn in revenue), it was never explained in practice how an independent Scotland that was in a currency union with the rest of the UK could expect to obtain the Bank of England’s backing for taking on vast quantities of additional debt. Advocates of alternative currency arrangements, such as the unofficial adoption of sterling, euro membership or issuing a new Scottish pound, were conspicuously silent about the fact that their solution of choice would be incompatible with running a 10 per cent deficit for the foreseeable future.

In short, Geoghegan is right that a second referendum campaign will require fresh thinking in a challenging economic environment, but he is wrong to imply that this dilemma is primarily the product of changed circumstances.

Tim Gutteridge

Destined to Disappear

Susan Pedersen writes about the pioneering of international relations theory in the Journal of Race Development in the early 20th century (LRB, 20 October). There remains to this day a Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at Oxford, the title given to what is in effect a chair in African studies. It was occupied by Terence Ranger from 1987 until his retirement ten years later.

‘Perhaps in the future there will be some African history to teach,’ Hugh Trevor-Roper said in the 1960s. ‘But at present there is none, or very little: there is only the history of the Europeans in Africa. The rest is largely darkness.’ As things stood, he went on, African history consisted in the study of ‘the unedifying gyrations of barbarous tribes in picturesque but irrelevant corners of the globe’. Trevor-Roper had been Ranger’s doctoral supervisor and was attempting to kill off an emerging discipline that Ranger, John Iliffe and others were seeking to establish at the University of Dar es Salaam and more widely. Trevor-Roper’s inclusion in The Invention of Tradition, edited by Ranger and Eric Hobsbawm, may have marked an attempt at reconciliation, or at least some acknowledgment of an alternative historiography, but Trevor-Roper never learned when to keep his mouth shut; a month after The Invention of Tradition appeared, the Sunday Times began its serialisation of the Hitler diaries, which Trevor-Roper authenticated but which soon turned out to be fakes [The Invention of Tradition was reviewed by Norman Stone in the LRB of 21 July 1983.]. In a way, the episode destroyed him. African history is today a recognised field of study.

Eoin Dillon

I wonder if T. Lothrop Stoddard’s white supremacist polemic The Rising Tide of Colour (1920), mentioned by Susan Pedersen, is the same as the book Tom Buchanan advises Nick Carraway to read in The Great Gatsby (1922): ‘The Rise of the Coloured Empires by this man Goddard … The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved … This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.’

Neil Ferguson
London W10

Mary-Kay Wilmers writes: As it happens Pankaj Mishra quoted Tom Buchanan quoting the same passage in his review of Niall Ferguson’s Civilisation (LRB, 3 November 2011). Strange.

Everybody orgied back then

While I cannot claim to be impartial, having grown up on New York’s Lower East Side knowing some of the people mentioned in Jeremy Harding’s review of Beat Generation at the Pompidou, it was when I arrived at his comment that Maurice Girodias published ‘various unreadable works by Henry Miller’ that I realised Harding was either having us on or he simply cannot stand the Beats (LRB, 8 September). His intention seems to have been to declare the whole thing (the movement, the show) a waste of time, that American poetry was fine without them. Was it really?

Ginsberg, he says was an ‘unholy fool’, and an ‘illustrious, predatory queer’. That’s a bit too much mischief. I spent considerable time around Allen as a teenager. He encouraged me to continue my classical studies; we worked together on my first translations. He was hardly predatory. Perhaps Harding means ‘promiscuous’? Everybody orgied back then. By ‘illustrious’, I suppose he means ‘famous’. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? There really were no out gays back then. Ginsberg was brave.

James Graham

Jeremy Harding writes: It would have been nice to call Ginsberg a ‘holy fool’, only he wasn’t an ascetic. On his imperious need for physical intimacy – here, there, wherever – it’s ingrained in the work and splashed all over the life, that vast baggage piled on top of Beat generation writings.

Enitharmon have just republished an ‘anniversary epistle’ to Allen Ginsberg from David Gascoyne on the occasion of Ginsberg’s 60th birthday in 1986. It’s a fascinating document – it eluded the editor of Gascoyne’s Selected Prose 1934-96 – and says what any curious British reader might have felt from the 1950s on: that American verse had ‘an adventuresome energy of a kind absent from the poetry of the UK’. Ginsberg embodied that energy. On a weekend out from school in the 1960s, I drifted to Indica Books on Southampton Row, and came across Ginsberg browsing the shelves. I might as well have seen Blake – I was 16 and impressionable – though it was another ten years before I discovered that he liked to sing Blake’s poems. His own weren’t exactly Blakean. Still, they were unlike any of the crafty British tours de force we had to learn about: Larkin, Hughes etc. Ginsberg just set off across open ground, undefended by metaphor. Towards the end of his life, I went to a reading in London; he had his harmonium with him and performed a round of Blake’s songs. That was something.

The German War

Garry Saunders states that ‘a conservative calculation suggests there were at least three million slaves in Berlin at any one time, their numbers boosted, when required, by the occupants of concentration camps’ (Letters, 3 November). One slave is a slave too many. But is he seriously suggesting that their numbers would have just about equalled the official population of that city in the 1930s and first half of the 1940s?

Isabel Smith

Killed by Tigers

Srdeni Vashtar is not a ferret, as Katherine Rundell writes in her excellent piece on Saki (LRB, 11 August), but a ‘polecat-ferret’, a hybrid of the common ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with a wild European polecat (Mustela putorius). They are stronger, fiercer and more independent than either polecats or ferrets, and, like Sredni Vashtar, don’t like to be caged. Also, most accounts of the death by tiger of Sir Hector Munro’s son omit the fact, recorded in various provincial newspapers at the time, that Hugh Munro, a civilian, was not out hunting when the tiger attacked, but squatting to relieve himself in the bushes after a picnic (Letters, 8 September).

Mikita Brottman
Maryland Institute College of Art

Accidentally Brutal

Rosemary Hill seems to suggest that Maynard Keynes was bursar of Steven Runciman’s Cambridge college (Trinity); in fact he was bursar at King’s (LRB, 20 October).

Peter Clarke
Trinity Hall, Cambridge

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.