In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane


David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa


Things had to be preserved – embroideries,
best dresses, lacy curtains, tablecloths
too delicate and beautiful to use
except in dreams perhaps. But in real life
they just stayed, folded, in a shroud of sheets,
protected from the moths by napthalene.
Each cupboard, chest and wardrobe leaked
a heady scent of mothballs. Things would keep.

Underneath the soil now, in her best at last,
her needlework, at least, is preserved,
and maybe lacy angels trained to trace
the scent of napthalene down to its source
have wafted her economising soul up
into a gauzy haze of tablecloths,
and heaven is protected for eternity
against battalions of invading moths.

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.

Read More

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