Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 48 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

A Poetry of Opposites

C.H. Sisson, 9 July 1992

Housman’s Poems 
by John Bayley.
Oxford, 202 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 19 811763 9
Show More
Show More
... Whatever may now be the state of the market for A Shropshire Lad, the poetry of A.E. Housman has certainly been among the most read of the 20th century. Or in the 20th century, for the earlier poems belong to the end of the nineteenth. When A Shropshire Lad was published in 1896, it was at the author’s own expense; presumably it did not then look like work that would attract the public ...

Trounced

C.H. Sisson, 22 February 1990

C.S. Lewis: A Biography 
by A.N. Wilson.
Collins, 334 pp., £15, February 1990, 0 00 215137 5
Show More
Show More
... C.S. Lewis was born in 1898, the son of a Belfast solicitor. He was educated first at home, then in England at a preparatory school, at Malvern (for one term only), and by a private tutor. So to Oxford. It was 1917. Lewis had volunteered, and he was in effect an officer cadet, soon in ‘barracks’ at Keble. He returned to Oxford after a brief spell on the Western front, where he was wounded, and at Oxford he stayed until 1954 when he was appointed to a chair in Cambridge ...

Man of God

C.H. Sisson, 22 March 1990

Michael Ramsey: A Life 
by Owen Chadwick.
Oxford, 422 pp., £17.50, March 1990, 0 19 826189 6
Show More
Michael Ramsey: A Portrait 
by Michael De-la-Noy.
Collins, 268 pp., £12.99, February 1990, 0 00 215332 7
Show More
Show More
... It cannot be easy to be Archbishop of Canterbury. The holder is open to all the confusions of public life, yet has to follow threads which are invisible to many of those who do business with him or question him as to the meaning of his pronouncements. As the successor of St Augustine, he has to look back on two thousand years and more of history; as the butt of politicians and journalists, he has to justify himself to a world in which the language of Christianity has become merely vestigial ...

Enormities

C.H. Sisson, 27 September 1990

Collected Poems 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 475 pp., £25, September 1990, 0 85635 875 4
Show More
Show More
... What sort of a poet is Donald Davie? The factual answer, as with all poets, is to be found only in a volume such as the Collected Poems which he now lays before the public, but Davie himself appears to have worried more than most practitioners about what kind of poetry he was writing and – if one can put it that way – about the politics of style ...

Looking out

C.H. Sisson, 18 February 1982

The Public School Revolution: Britain’s Independent Schools, 1964-1979 
by John Rae.
Faber, 188 pp., £6.50, September 1981, 0 571 11789 9
Show More
Show More
... When, in 1682, the Reverend Mr Busby, headmaster of Westminster School, expelled or suspended John Dryden’s son, the poet wrote him an excellent letter. Busby had already been at Westminster for more than forty years: he was that terrifying thing, a Great Headmaster. Moreover, Dryden had himself been among his pupils and knew well enough what tricks the old autocrat could get up to ...

Schusterism

C.H. Sisson, 18 April 1985

Diaries: 1923-1925 
by Siegfried Sassoon, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Faber, 320 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 571 13322 3
Show More
Show More
... Among the attractions of diaries are the glimpses they give of the minutiae of daily life which – as is particularly the case in the 20th century – all the time undergo changes that accumulate to set a marked distance between ourselves and our predecessors. Sixty years is long enough even for those who were alive at the time to look back with some astonishment on the ordinary arrangements of the day ...

The company he keeps

C.H. Sisson, 6 August 1981

Experiences of an Optimist 
by John Redcliffe-Maud.
Hamish Hamilton, 199 pp., £10.95, July 1981, 0 241 10569 2
Show More
Show More
... Is it a wise or a foolish man who, after more than seventy years in this hard world, comes before it as an optimist? The handsome head of John Redcliffe-Maud, alias Sir John Maud, GCB, CBE and what else, alias Baron of the City and County of Bristol, looks from the dust-cover with a questioning half-smile. In his Bath robes? Not a bath-robe, anyway, though it would need more than a head-and-shoulders portrait – or closer acquaintance with the official wear of knights and peers – to determine the question with precision ...

Priests’ Lib

C.H. Sisson, 2 December 1982

Some day I’ll find you: An Autobiography 
by H.A. Williams.
Mitchell Beazley, 383 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 85533 448 7
Show More
Show More
... Few people,’ said the Mothers’ Union Journal, speaking of Harry Williams, ‘can make being human more thrilling, more worthwhile, and more fun.’ It is something to live down. It might be thought that a former lecturer in theology, now a member of a religious order, would have a better chance than most of doing so. The matter hangs in the balance, however, when one opens this autobiography at random to find that one is in that delicate territory in which saints have fun ...

All the Advantages

C.H. Sisson, 3 July 1980

Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E.E. Cummings 
by Richard Kennedy.
Norton, 529 pp., £12, May 1980, 0 87140 638 1
Show More
Show More
... The poet E.E. Cummings was born with what are called all the advantages, or with enough of them. It was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in ‘a huge, three-storied, many-roomed structure with 13 fire-places… not far from Harvard Yard’. His mother was so considerate of her son’s future biographer that she recorded hour by hour the stages of her labour ...

Miserable Creatures

C.H. Sisson, 2 August 1984

The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy. Vol. IV: 1909-1913 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 337 pp., £21, March 1984, 0 19 812621 2
Show More
The Letters and Prose Writings of William Cowper. Vol. IV: 1792-1799 
edited by James King and Charles Ryskamp.
Oxford, 498 pp., £48, March 1984, 0 19 812681 6
Show More
The Land and Literature of England: A Historical Account 
by Robert M. Adams.
Norton, 555 pp., £21, March 1984, 0 393 01704 4
Show More
The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. II 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 543 pp., £35, June 1984, 0 19 812783 9
Show More
Show More
... The fourth volume of the Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy opens with a recommendation for Mr Harry Pouncy, ‘Lecturer and Entertainer’, of Dorchester, apparently with a view to his extending his fascinations to a wider public. There follows a note to Desmond MacCarthy suggesting – surely with the firm touch of a provincial or a Victorian survivor – that it would be better if the New Quarterly were called instead the Quarterly Herald or Quarterly Clarion, ‘or some such ...

Did my father do it?

C.H. Sisson, 20 October 1983

Elizabeth R.: A Biography 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £10.95, September 1983, 0 297 78285 1
Show More
Aristocrats 
by Robert Lacey.
Hutchinson/BBC, 249 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 09 154290 1
Show More
The Cult of the Prince Consort 
by Elizabeth Darby and Nicola Smith.
Yale, 120 pp., £10, October 1983, 0 300 03015 0
Show More
Show More
... There is something to be said for the view that the subject of a biography should be dead. Death does not guarantee the truth, nor the disinterestedness of the biographer, but life surely puts some additional difficulties in his way. Certain kinds of evidence will be wilfully denied him, certain other kinds may be offered too profusely or inaccurately ...

Henson’s Choice

C.H. Sisson, 1 September 1983

Hensley Henson: A Study in the Friction between Church and State 
by Owen Chadwick.
Oxford, 337 pp., £18.50, May 1983, 0 19 826445 3
Show More
Show More
... Anyone confused by the goings-on in the Church of England in the last few years might turn with relief to the biography of a prelate born in 1863, who retired from his diocese of Durham in 1938 to spend the marginal years of old age brooding over a long career, and made his final exit in 1947. Retrospect of an Unimportant Life is what Henson called the memoir over which he spent so much time in those years, and no man in his right mind is likely to claim much more for himself at an age when all ambitions should have receded ...

The Great Percy

C.H. Sisson, 18 November 1982

Stranger and Brother: A Portrait of C.P. Snow 
by Philip Snow.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 333 32680 6
Show More
Show More
... It is perhaps unkind to disturb the ashes of C. P. Snow. They have so recently been placed in the Fellows’ Garden at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he is commemorated beside John Milton. There is occasion to take a look at them, nonetheless, for we now have this account of the man by his brother, Philip Snow. ‘Brothers seldom write about each other,’ as the publisher says, and one may think that in general they are wise not to do so ...

MacDiarmid’s Sticks

C.H. Sisson, 5 April 1984

Whaur Extremes Meet: The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid 1920-1934 
by Catherine Kerrigan.
James Thin, 245 pp., £12.50, June 1983, 0 901824 69 0
Show More
Elemental Things: The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid 
by Harvey Oxenhorn.
Edinburgh, 215 pp., £15, March 1984, 0 85224 475 4
Show More
Aesthetics in Scotland 
by Hugh MacDiarmid and Alan Bold.
Mainstream, 100 pp., £6.95, February 1984, 0 906391 60 1
Show More
Annals of the Five Senses 
by Hugh MacDiarmid and Alan Bold.
Polygon, 161 pp., £6.50, July 1983, 0 904919 74 9
Show More
Hugh MacDiarmid: The Terrible Crystal 
by Alan Bold.
Routledge, 251 pp., £9.95, August 1983, 0 7100 9493 0
Show More
Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M. Grieve) 
by Kenneth Buthlay.
Scottish Academic Press, 143 pp., £3.25, September 1982, 0 7073 0307 9
Show More
The Thistle Rises: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Hugh MacDiarmid 
edited by Alan Bold.
Hamish Hamilton, 463 pp., £12.95, February 1984, 0 241 11171 4
Show More
A Scottish Poetry Book 
by Alan Bold, Bob Dewar, Iain McIntosh and Rodger McPhail.
Oxford, 128 pp., £4.95, July 1983, 0 19 916029 5
Show More
Edinburgh and the Borders in Verse 
by Allan Massie.
Secker, 97 pp., £5.95, August 1983, 0 436 27348 9
Show More
Show More
... Was Hugh MacDiarmid a great poet? Was he, as John MacQueen asserts in his Foreword to Catherine Kerrigan’s study, one of ‘the three greatest poets to use English in the 20th century’, the other two being Yeats and Eliot? One can understand MacQueen putting the matter that way, but perhaps it is not the most helpful way when the reputations of Eliot and Yeats are shaking down, in the ordinary process of time, following their immense acclaim ...

1662

D.A.N. Jones, 5 April 1984

Old Catholics and Anglicans: 1931-1981 
edited by Gordon Huelin.
Oxford, 177 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 19 920129 3
Show More
Anglican Essays 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 141 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 85635 456 2
Show More
The Song of Roland 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 135 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 9780856354212
Show More
The Regrets 
by Joachim du Bellay, translated by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 147 pp., £4.50, January 1984, 0 85635 471 6
Show More
Show More
... the success of this broad-church enterprise in a pleasant manner which would delight Baxter. C.H. Sisson writes about Baxter in Anglican Essays, with respect but little enthusiasm. He is reviewing a recent book about him by N.H. Keeble (who was responsible for the excellent Everyman edition of Baxter’s autobiography in 1931) and makes play with the ...

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.

Newsletter Preferences