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David Womersley (90 posts)

July 09, 2010 If finished, Laura could have been one last triumph of resource from the most resourceful of writers who in his lifetime had been so often thrown back on his own resources, argues David Womersley: The Original of Laura - Vladimir Nabokov
July 07, 2010 The Price of Wine - David Womersley bemoans the fact that first-growth clarets have become so expensive that they are no longer affordable to the merely well-off
July 07, 2010 A play poised on the threshold of a new, Victorian, world: London Assurance - Dion Boucicault
March 18, 2010 William Trevor's prose approaches us in an unassuming way, only suddenly to lay hold on us with an enigmatic, undeniable grip: Love and Summer - William Trevor
March 17, 2010 John Burrow's chose the sane face of Whiggism, argues David Womersley: Lord Macaulay's History of England: Introduced and Selected by John Burrow
March 17, 2010 David Womersley asks, was the collapse of communism inevitable? The Rise and Fall of Communism - Archie Brown
February 09, 2010 Keira Knightley as Celimene? David Womersley argues this is a return to the play's origins: The Misanthrope - Molière in a version by Martin Crimp
December 03, 2009 David Womersley shines a light on some of the less cuddly features of the man who became the nation's teddy-bear: Betjeman's England - John Betjeman
December 02, 2009 David Womersley asks, has Sebastian Faulks plagiarised Joni Mitchell? And was it deliberate or unconscious? A Week in December - Sebastian Faulks
December 02, 2009 David Womersley considers if drinking wine is fundamentally different from drinking anything else: I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine - Roger Scruton
August 12, 2009 Can Mary Tudor be rehabilitated? Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor - Eamon Duffy
August 12, 2009 Recommended Reading for MPs 1: Paradise Lost
July 27, 2009 Too many laws: William Blackstone: Law and Letters in the Eighteenth Century - Wilfrid Prest
May 20, 2009 David Womersley endures excruciating theatre: Madame de Sade - Yukio Mishima
March 27, 2009 If today's economists could write as well as Keynes we might not be in the economic mess in which we find ourselves, argues David Womersley: The Economic Consequences of the Peace - J. M. Keynes
March 06, 2009 Too much juxtaposing and not enough combining - David Womersley finds fault with Gordon Ramsay: Cooking for Friends - Gordon Ramsay
February 16, 2009 David Womersley asks, what can we learn from Kingsley Amis about drink and drinking? Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis - Kingsley Amis
November 25, 2008 Hugh Trevor-Roper preferred the Scotch to cling to their myths even whilst destroying them, argues David Womersley: The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History - Hugh Trevor-Roper
April 24, 2008 David Womersley asks, is Stefan Collini Britain's most ecological critic? Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics - Stefan Collini
April 22, 2008 Amis's The Second Plane is simply right: right in its stance towards its subject, right in its judgements, and right in its expression - says David Womersley: The Second Plane - Martin Amis
April 17, 2008 Reading Steiner is like drawing up before an imposing mansion, being ushered through the main entrance, and then immediately finding yourself out at the back, with the dustbins, argues David Womersley: My Unwritten Books - George Steiner
April 07, 2008 David Womersley asks, is Hobbes finally losing his relevance? Hobbes and Republican Liberty - Quentin Skinner; Made with Words: Hobbes on Language, Mind, and Politics - Philip Pettit
April 02, 2008 HB, then SB, then FB; ++: How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read - Pierre Bayard
March 28, 2008 To read Creation is to have a glimpse into the richness and confusion of Peter Conrad's mind, argues David Womersley: Creation: Artists, Gods and Origins - Peter Conrad
March 04, 2008 Umberto Eco's On Ugliness offers many points of departure for the reader's own speculations but few conclusions, argues David Womersley: On Ugliness - Umberto Eco
February 26, 2008 On the back of Roy Foster's portrait of the corruption of the Haughey years, Roy Foster should immediately be commissioned to write an unofficial history of the Blair years, argues David Womersley: Luck and the Irish - Roy Foster
February 25, 2008 Nigella Lawson is a joy - she is one of the few people today willing to unabashedly celebrate pleasure, argues David Womersley: Nigella Express - Nigella Lawson
November 08, 2007 A. C. Grayling's Towards the Light is a weak book in support of a strong cause: it suffers from two major defects - bad history and bad philosophy, argues David Womersley: Towards the Light - A. C. Grayling
October 04, 2007 David Womersley asks, are writers moral? And can films adequately deal with this question? Ian McEwan's Atonement - Joe Wright
October 02, 2007 The Bourne thrillers indict the West for a multitude of sins - but they only prove that a dominant Western motive remains the quest for a fast buck, argues David Womersley: The Bourne Ultimatum - Paul Greengrass
September 18, 2007 Falling Man confirms DeLillo's standing as the most searching imaginative commentator on contemporary America, argues David Womersley: Falling Man - Don DeLillo
September 17, 2007 David Womersley asks, might Hermione Lee's new biography signal an overdue revival in Edith Wharton's fortunes? Edith Wharton - Hermione Lee
September 13, 2007 Shakespeare studies is where the bird-brained would-be academics of our time roost in prodigious numbers - Tony Nuttall performed an important role as a sane, sceptical teacher, argues David Womersley: Shakespeare the Thinker - A. D. Nuttall
August 21, 2007 David Womersley asks, is The Taming of the Shrew really as phallocentric a play as it seems? The Taming of the Shrew - Creation Theatre Company at Oxford Castle
July 13, 2007 What is Chekhov's The Seagull about? David Womersley offers some suggestions
June 28, 2007 David Womersley asks, was De Tocqueville in some sense Gibbonian? Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution - Hugh Brogan
June 28, 2007 In every aspect of our lives we are over-governed - Robinson Crusoe shows us that another world is possible, argues David Womersley: Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
June 28, 2007 Are the Flavian dynasty's self-serving attacks on Jews the roots of modern anti-Semitism? David Womersley remains unconvinced: Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations - Martin Goodman
June 11, 2007 David Womersley asks, what light does a rediscovered early translation by Hobbes shed on his later work? Reason of State, Propaganda, and the Thirty Years' War: An Unknown Translation by Thomas Hobbes - Noel Malcolm
May 24, 2007 Kingsley Amis's determination to be free from cant eventually turned his existence into a kind of prison, argues David Womersley: The Life of Kingsley Amis - Zachary Leader
May 03, 2007 In the age of Al-Qaeda, Equus's denigration of the normal is past its sell-by date, argues David Womersley: Equus - Peter Shaffer
April 23, 2007 Ian McEwan is the Vermeer of modern fiction, explains David Womersley: On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
March 30, 2007 In 300 the Spartans are presented as defenders of the West, yet it is the Persians who exemplify Western values in the film, argues David Womersley: 300 - Zack Snyder
March 21, 2007 The seventeenth century world of Sir Theodore de Mayerne was not altogether unlike our own - David Womersley explains why: Europe's Physician: The Various Life of Sir Theodore de Mayerne - Hugh Trevor-Roper
March 12, 2007 If Becoming Jane did not purport to be about Jane Austen it would be an engaging film - as it is, it is breathtakingly stupid, argues David Womersley: Becoming Jane - Julian Jarrold
February 26, 2007 If we are serious about teaching "citizenship" in our schools, a central component in that part of the curriculum might be instruction in how to read a poem, argues David Womersley: The End of the Poem - Paul Muldoon
February 23, 2007 A brave and bitter book in which the exacting demands of art are not driven out by the cruel and unusual circumstances of its composition: Suite Française - Irène Némirovsky
February 19, 2007 In Notes on a Scandal much the least sympathetic figure is the headmaster, finds David Womersley: Notes on a Scandal - Richard Eyre
January 30, 2007 The Making of Neil Kinnock in toga and sandals: Imperium: A Novel - Robert Harris
January 17, 2007 The House of Meetings marks in Amis a new and stronger understanding of how to make ethical commitments count in fiction: The House of Meetings - Martin Amis
January 10, 2007 Film-making by numbers aimed at the Japanese market: Miss Potter - Chris Noonan
January 09, 2007 Casino Royale is the most thought-provoking, and most thoughtful, Bond film since Dr No, argues David Womersley: Casino Royale - Martin Campbell
January 05, 2007 A farce with ideas: Donkeys' Years - Michael Frayn
November 14, 2006 Austrian anti-Nazism and other fairy-stories: The Sound of Music - Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein
November 13, 2006 David Womersley argues that Marie Antoinette testifies to the advanced necrosis of a corrupt nepotism - but one to be found in today's Hollywood, not late eighteenth-century France: Marie Antoinette - Sofia Coppola
October 24, 2006 David Womersley explains why the newspaper reviewers have all got it wrong - The Voysey Inheritance is a far more morally-explosive play than it has been given credit for: The Voysey Inheritance - Harley Granville Barker
October 24, 2006 Edward Bond attempts - and fails - to use drama as a medium to promote "advanced" opinion: Restoration - Edward Bond
October 17, 2006 What is Waiting for Godot about? David Womersley explains that Godot is not about religion, Beckett's own experiences or politics, but instead offers a conservative vision of life: Peter Hall's production of Waiting for Godot
October 11, 2006 David Womersley asks, do Blair, Brown or Cameron live up to Trollope's expectations of a Prime Minister? The Prime Minister - Anthony Trollope
October 10, 2006 David Womersley asks, what would Bagehot say about today's constitution? The English Constitution - Walter Bagehot
October 10, 2006 Why are English intellectuals so obsessed with the absence of English intellectuals? Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain - Stefan Collini
September 22, 2006 Do many of our ideas about England and Englishness come out of the novel? And is national identity the central theme of the English novel? Nation and Novel: The English Novel from its Origins to the Present Day - Patrick Parrinder
September 21, 2006 Peter Hall's production of Measure for Measure is the most complete and moving rendition of this difficult but wonderful work which I have ever seen, says David Womersley: Measure for Measure at Stratford
August 30, 2006 Hugh Trevor-Roper's harsh judgements are a refreshing contrast to today's prevailing atmosphere of public sentimentality, argues David Womersley: Letters from Oxford: Hugh Trevor-Roper to Bernard Berenson - (Ed.) Richard Davenport-Hines
July 03, 2006 Arthur Conan Doyle and the Great Wyrley Outrages: Arthur & George - Julian Barnes
June 21, 2006 "There is something almost sublime about Fraser's capacity for self-contradiction": The Importance of Being Eton: Inside the World's Most Powerful School - Nick Fraser
June 14, 2006 We should continue to regard the Glorious Revolution as glorious, argues David Womersley - Tim Harris's revisionist account of the Glorious Revolution does not persuade: Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720 - Tim Harris
June 08, 2006 A strange, transitional play: Romeo and Juliet - RSC at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford
June 08, 2006 A play poised between human agency and the majesty of the state: Julius Caesar - RSC at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford
May 19, 2006 David Womersley on what the Greeks would have made of the miseries endured by Edward Albee's three tall women: Three Tall Women - Edward Albee
May 15, 2006 "The rueful, amused, finally despairing, but abidingly stylish, meditations of a Southern gentleman marooned in a Yankee empire": I Am Charlotte Simmons - Tom Wolfe
May 10, 2006 Intelligence, courage and a fine prose style: Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays - Christopher Hitchens
May 09, 2006 David Womersley on liberty and responsibility in Henry James: The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
April 27, 2006 "Until reading For Lust of Knowing I thought it was impossible to be unfair to Edward Said - now I am not so sure": For Lust of Knowing - Robert Irwin
April 27, 2006 "Carey is conservative when it comes to what he might be supposed to know about - but conservative in such a way that one is led to wonder sceptically about the depth and truth of that knowledge": What Good Are the Arts? - John Carey
March 30, 2006 Understanding Voltaire is increasingly important today, as Voltairean values are increasingly threatened or misunderstood: Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom - Roger Pearson
March 01, 2006 Novels and Anti-Novels: When is a novel not a novel? The Sea - John Banville
February 20, 2006 "If Clare Asquith does not like to read reviews of her work which are long on ridicule, she should stop writing ridiculous books": David Womersley replies to Clare Asquith's response to his review of Shadowplay
January 04, 2006 "A Dangerous, Mischievous Book": Holy Terror - Terry Eagleton
December 05, 2005 The Da Vinci Code of Shakespeare Scholarship: Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare - Clare Asquith
October 19, 2005 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare - James Shapiro
September 26, 2005 Saturday - Ian McEwan
September 12, 2005 On Reading Henry Adams in Montenegro
July 28, 2005 We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
May 05, 2005 The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
March 22, 2005 1984 - George Orwell
February 28, 2005 Our Shadowed Present: Modernism, Postmodernism and History - J. C. D. Clark
February 28, 2005 Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare - Stephen Greenblatt
November 04, 2004 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
October 08, 2004 Author, Author - David Lodge

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