Latest Issue: 19 April 2014
19 April 2014
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16 April 2014 by David Bentley Hart

What on earth do we mean by “God”? David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, public intellectual and controversialist – a kind of Eastern G.K. Chesterton – based in America.

16 April 2014 by Jerry White

Although we haven’t even reached the precise anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, already we are awash with books about it.

16 April 2014 by Rebecca Mead

Novels cannot tell us how to live better lives: that is not what fiction is for. But life can teach us how to be better readers, as we see in Rebecca Mead’s clever and charming study of her favourite novel.

16 April 2014 by Hermione Eyre

Has there ever been a time when women have not yearned to be beautiful and have not had recourse to unguents, creams and potions of all kinds in pursuit of that elusive goal?

16 April 2014 by Christine M. Fletcher

Most of us associate Dorothy Sayers with the tales of her crime-solving detective Lord Peter Wimsey and popular mystery novels such as Gaudy Night or The Nine Tailors.

Previous issues

10 April 2014 by Jessie Childs

The “Elizabethan Catholic experience was a wide and wavering spectrum,” writes Jessie Childs, and she is absolutely correct.

10 April 2014 by Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi is still a young writer but this, impressively, is her fifth novel (her first, The Icarus Girl, was written when she was still at school). Fascinated by myth and legend, whether Western or African, she crafts intricate, riddling tales of transformation and illusion, focusing especially on the richness of women’s experiences.

10 April 2014 by Peter Ackroyd

In 1942 Charlie Chaplin suffered what his biographer Peter Ackroyd calls “one of [his] worst domestic disasters”. It is a mark of what a zesty personal life Chaplin led that what follows (an old lover staked out his house, crashed her car in his driveway and forced him to sleep with her at gunpoint

10 April 2014 by James Martin SJ

As the subtitle suggests, the new book by James Martin, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything is as much about the author and reader as it is about Jesus. We are taken us on a journey to find and experience the historical Jesus, walking in Christ’s footsteps through the Holy Land,

10 April 2014 by John Carey

John Carey, once Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford, is an impressive combination of the scholar and the popular man of letters. He translated Milton’s Latin work De Doctrina Christiana. He knows about Ovid and Renaissance poetry.

10 April 2014 by Alessandra Zamperini

Veronese (1528-88) was born Paolo Bazaro, the son of a spezapreda (stone- cutter). His mother was the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman; it was then the custom for such discards to marry skilled artisans. Paolo, a sixth child, began by working for his father.

10 April 2014

This is both a most ambitious and a most bizarre book, full of wisdom and startle and full of holes. Larry Siedentop, a lecturer in politics in Oxford for several decades and the author of a highly regarded study, Democracy in Europe (2001)

03 April 2014

The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder to people like me of how uncertain we are about that period of history. Comfortable for years with generalisations about the whys and wherefores – I can remember older teachers at school reminiscing about the trenches in Flanders – suddenly our prejudices are challenged; our ignorance jolted.

03 April 2014 by Kelly Grovier

With its selection of some of the best, and best publicised, works of art of the past two decades, this book will provoke lively debate. The American poet and critic Kelly Grovier both tells and shows us the extraordinary sea change in how contemporary art is perceived, and how radically different it is from the work in the Western tradition that went before it.

03 April 2014 by Michael Hanby

In 1991 John Milbank issued a provocative challenge to theologians enamoured of the potential of social science for expanding the horizons of contemporary theological enquiry.

03 April 2014 by Norman Lewis

This almost unbearable account of the treatment inflicted on the forest Indians of Latin America by fundamentalist Christian missionaries leads inexorably to the uncomfortable conclusion that Christianity and imperialism will be bedfellows ...

03 April 2014 by Audrey Magee

Aremarkably accomplished first novel by the Irish journalist Audrey Magee, this book tells the story of Peter Faber, a German soldier at the Eastern Front. Peter arranges to marry Katharina Spinell, the only daughter of a down-at-heel Berlin family hoping to progress under Hitler’s leadership.

27 March 2014 by David Pilling

Japan signalled its re-emergence as an economic power from the ruin of the Pacific War with the staging of the Tokyo Olympiad in 1964. With its harmonious shop-floor relations, tight quality control and “just-in-time” inventory systems, it subsequently became a model for industries in the West.

27 March 2014 by Tina Beattie

“Modern” can refer to a curious range of things: from “the time in which we live”, to a period in art history (beginning with Impressionism and ending in Pop Art), to a late-medieval position on universals (the via moderna as distinct from the via antiqua).

27 March 2014 by Robert Scoble

For a minor Edwardian writer, Frederick Rolfe, often known by his sometime pen-name Baron Corvo, has been lavishly provided with biographies, none wholly satisfactory, and most understandably focused as much on his colourful life as on his writing.

27 March 2014 by Tim Walker

Set to the background of a north London increasingly settled by bankers and hipsters, a south of France infested by British expats, and a soulless Dubai where philistine traders abound, Completion tells the history of a disjointed, dysfunctional family bidding goodbye to a home steeped in bitter-sweet memories.

20 March 2014 by David Lodge

Amusing, thoughtful and exquisitely engineered, this book is a delight.

20 March 2014 by Barbara Taylor

In 9 November 1977. I had stayed up too long and thought too much.”

20 March 2014 by Enzo Bianchi, translated by Susan Leslie

How are we to read the Bible today? Enzo Bianchi’s answer, in this remarkable little volume ...

20 March 2014 by Mark Cheng & John Sysmons

Here are two historical novels which deal with Communism, the first in China, the second in Europe, and both of which leave the reader in no doubt that the sufferings caused by Marxism are among