Articles in absent friends
“The proper function of a critic is to save a tale from the artist who created it” wrote D. H. Lawrence, but sometimes – most of the time – despite the best efforts of the best critics, both tale and artist disappear. What do we do with the criti-cal darlings of yesteryear, now filling the library bargain sale? And what of the critics, who called them imperishable?
One of the most significant voices of the Harlem Renaissance was Jessie Redmon Fauset — novelist, essayist, translator, and editor. She’s become obscured behind many of the male writers she published, but Joanna Scutts returns her poignant work to the main stage
Once considered a credible rival to Dickens and Thackeray, W. H. Ainsworth is nearly forgotten today. It’s our loss: his historical novels – full of sensuous detail – run the gamut of romance and horror, tragedy and comedy.
With Patrick Leigh Fermor’s death, the world lost a gracious host, a tireless traveller, and one of the best prose stylists of the 20th century. We pause to appreciate him.
Though the American Civil War produced more and better books and writers than any single event in our country’s history, Bruce Catton is the greatest of its 20th century tellers. In this regular feature, Steve Donoghue tours the breathtaking work of an unfairly set-aside annalist.
At a poetry reading on the Palatine 2,000 years ago, you’d have spent a week’s pay to hear him read. Today he’s unknown, except to our Steve Donoghue (and a few of our readers, no doubt). Here, after a long time gone, is the Roman poet Tibullus.
Steve Donoghue exhumes the sprawling, illuminating writing of Gregory of Tours, the wrongly forgotten 12th-century saint, historian, and natural-born raconteur
In this regular feature, Steve Donoghue dives deep into the work of James Russell Lowell, whose splendid writing lurks in the basins of bookstore bargain carts, too often passed over for the smaller fry.
In this regular feature, Steve Donoghue celebrates the books of the 17th-Century physician Nicholas Culpeper, whose medicine may be archaic but whose wisdom and literary merit are by no means obsolete.
In our regular feature, Steve Donoghue revisits Giovanni Guareschi’s Little World of Don Camillo, an eternally comforting fictional oasis set in the heart of the Cold War.
Gun-and-net-toting naturalists seldom produce a better writer than William Beebe. In this regular feature, Steve Donoghue revisits the science writing of a more invasive age.
The only trouble with Sean O’Casey’s brilliant plays is that they overshadow
his magnificent memoirs. In our monthly feature, Steve Donoghue
tries to even the scales.
What do we do with great novels by a writer who was also a Nazi? In our monthly feature, Steve Donoghue investigates the terrible conundrum of H.H. Kirst.
In this monthly feature, Adam Golaski resurrects the poetry of Paul Hannigan in all its acerbic and ominous brilliance
In this monthly feature, Steve Donoghue revisits the great life and writing of Gerald of Wales, a continuously frustrated candidate for the Archbishopric of Wales.
In this monthly feature, Steve Donoghue touts the overlooked sea novels of Nicholas Monsarrat.