The Current Issue

October 2017, Issue 458 Christian Lorentzen on Martin Amis's American essays * Jeremy Treglown on Anthony Powell * Anna Keay on Charles II's great escape * Mary Wellesley on England's medieval queens * Alan Ryan on the struggle for global power * A N Wilson on Edward Lear * John Carlin on Catalonia * Christopher Woodward on Iain Sinclair's London * Michael Bloch on Princess Margaret * Patricia Fara on Victorian surgery * Jeremy Clarke on middle age * David Stafford on the London Cage * Alberto Manguel on the Odyssey * John Harwood on ghosts and spirits * Miranda Seymour on British embassies * David Jays on Alan Hollinghurst * Hannah Rosefield on Jennifer Egan *  and much, much more…

A N Wilson

Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense

By Jenny Uglow

Jenny Uglow, Edward Lear’s most sensitive biographer to date, does him proud. She follows him patiently on all his travels, but she also explores the inner journeys suggested by the works that made Lear famous: not so much the botanical and zoological illustrations by which he earned his living as a very young man or the landscapes of his maturity as the nonsense rhymes. Uglow says that nonsense verse came to Lear when his mind was ‘off-duty’. She brings out the ironies and beauties of his most famous poem, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, which was composed for a shy little girl called Janet Symonds. The happiness of the oddly matched pair... read more

More Articles from this Issue

Christian Lorentzen

The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump – Essays and Reportage, 1986–2016

By Martin Amis

The Rub of Time, Martin Amis’s new collection of literary essays and journalism from the past three decades, sits in a broad valley of subject matter, between the Olympus governed by the ghost of Vladimir Nabokov and the chintzy glass and brass of Trump Tower. The word for such a collection is ‘uneven’, though in this case it’s less a matter of... read more

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