A Leap of Reason

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

In this lively and engaging book, Margaret Jacob, one of the most distinguished scholars of the Enlightenment, navigates a complex topic, over which there has been much debate and considerable confusion in recent years. She does so with great clarity and aplomb. Her book is a refreshingly straightforward defence and even celebration of the Enlightenment […]

Bones of Contention

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Biography has often been described in not entirely flattering terms. Its practitioners have been likened to vultures and parasites by those who feel that they or those they admire have been unfairly treated. Few biographers, however, would cast themselves in the role of vandals and grave robbers, as Andrew Curran does in the prologue to […]

Hell of a Poem

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Literary criticism has all but lost the meagre niche it once occupied in the general books market: attention to literature has been crushed by the juggernaut of biography. But the appetite can return on occasion, prompted by some imaginative repackaging of great works that manages to rekindle a dormant fascination. Fifteen or more years ago, […]

Stylish Mind

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Bernard Williams was undoubtedly one of the greatest minds of his age. He also won most of the big prizes of British academia, including a fellowship of All Souls, a spell as provost of King’s College, Cambridge, and election to the White’s Chair of Moral Philosophy at Oxford – he was even knighted. He also […]

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RLF - March