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A Storm in His Luggage

C.K. Stead, 26 January 1995

Ezra Pound and James Laughlin: Selected Letters 
edited by David Gordon.
Norton, 313 pp., £23, June 1994, 0 393 03540 9
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‘Agenda’: An Anthology. The First Four Decades 
edited by William Cookson.
Carcanet, 418 pp., £25, May 1994, 1 85754 069 7
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... born. By 1936, when its first anthology was published, the names of contributors included Pound, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore. For 35 years Pound advised, instructed, cajoled, abused, while Laughlin for the most part acted on the good advice, ignored the bad, and behaved with a degree of patrician independence ...

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell, 16 April 2020

Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820 
by Thomas Keymer.
Oxford, 352 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 19 874449 8
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... William Godwin’s​ attack on aristocratic oppression in the Enquiry concerning Political Justice didn’t pull its punches. ‘Each man,’ he wrote, ‘should be wise enough to govern himself, without the intervention of any compulsory restraint; and, since government, even in its best state, is an evil, the object principally to be aimed at is, that we should have as little of it, as the general peace of society will permit ...

The market taketh away

Paul Foot, 3 July 1997

Number One Millbank: The Financial Downfall of the Church of England 
by Terry Lovell.
HarperCollins, 263 pp., £15.99, June 1997, 0 00 627866 3
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... worth nearly half the entire investment of the Church. Their principal agent in this endeavour was William Wells of Chesterton’s, the blue-blooded estate agents. Sir Douglas Lovelock described Wells to Lovell as ‘a man of total integrity who thought he was, and sometimes was, bringing to the Church very good opportunities for development, some of which ...

Former Lovers

Michael Mason, 6 September 1984

The Bourgeois Experience. Victoria to Freud Vol. I: Education of the Senses 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 608 pp., £18.50, March 1984, 0 19 503352 3
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Austin and Mabel: The Amherst Affair and Love Letters of Austin Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd 
by Polly Longsworth.
Farrar, Straus, 449 pp., £18.50, September 1984, 0 374 10716 5
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The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds 
edited by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hutchinson, 319 pp., £14.95, May 1984, 0 09 154170 0
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... The same goes for one of the most celebrated passages in all Victorian sexual literature, Dr William Acton on the female sexual response: The majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled with sexual feelings of any kind. What men are habitually, women are only exceptionally ... No nervous or feeble young man need, therefore, be ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: New New Grub Street, 3 February 1983

... the Lane en route for Garrick Street, or Paddington. To the novice bookman with only a Catherine Cookson and a Roland Barthes between him and the workhouse this was indeed a stirring image of literary success. Gissing would have loved it. Now and then, of course, one pondered the doubtful morality of these Friday expeditions. After all, these books were ...

How much?

Ian Hamilton: Literary pay and literary prizes, 18 June 1998

Guide to Literary Prizes, 1998 
edited by Huw Molseed.
Book Trust, 38 pp., £3.99, May 1998, 0 85353 475 6
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The Cost of Letters: A Survey of Literary Living Standards 
edited by Andrew Holgate and Honor Wilson-Fletcher.
W Magazine, 208 pp., £2, May 1998, 0 9527405 9 1
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... stop with Eliot,’ he trumpeted. ‘He is merely the first. It is the restart of civilisation.’ William Carlos Williams, working fairly happily as a doctor in New Jersey, was to be Pound’s second escapee. Marianne Moore might be his third. At one stage, he envisaged annual liberations – assuming, of course, that a sufficient supply of stifled talent was ...

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