I’m Tom Hodgkinson

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

I received an email from Tom Hodgkinson the other day. ‘Dear Tom Hodgkinson’, it began, before going on to make a polite request that I didn’t write any more articles under the name ‘Tom Hodgkinson’, and signing off with the words, ‘Yours etc, Tom Hodgkinson’. I had just written a piece in The Guardian about a […]

The Girth of the Earth

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

MY HEART SANK when I saw the titillating subtitle of this book. I guessed at once that it was about the eighteenth-century heroine Isabel Godin des Odonnais, who survived a harrowing succession of disasters on the Amazon. Her extraordinary tale was a bestseller in its day, and it has often been retold.

Star Story

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

AMONG THE POTENTIAL attractions of Gingerich’s study of Nicolaus Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium and its readers is its alluring multinational band of leading characters. First there is Copernicus himself, a busy Polish canon, doctor and lawyer who took so long – more than thirty years – to get his idea of a sun-centred cosmos […]

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RLF - March