Archive Reviews

ruth scurr

The Life and Loves of Mary Wollstonecraft, by Sylvana Tomaselli, The Spectator, January ‘21

Sybille Bedford: An appetite for life, by Selina Hastings, Times Literary Supplement, February ’21

The Craft: How the Freemasons made the modern world, by John Dickie, Times Literary Supplement, February ‘21

The Last Libertines, by Benedetta Craveri, The Wall Street Journal, October ‘20

Witnessing the Terror: French Revolutionary Prints 1792-94, UCL Art Museum, March ‘20

More Than a Woman, by Caitlin Moran, The Spectator, September ‘20

Actress, by Anne Enright, The Spectator, February ‘20

Snow, by John Banville, Times Literary Supplement, October ‘20

For the Record, by David Cameron, Times Literary Supplement, November ‘19

The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood, The Spectator, September ’19.

The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love and Britain Becomes Modern, by Robert Morrison, The Wall Street Journal, April ‘19

Working, by Robert Caro, Times Literary Supplement, April '19

Catherine and Diderot: the Empress, the Philosopher and the Fate of the Enlightenment, by Robert Zaretsky, The Spectator, March '19

Salt on Your Tongue, by Charlotte Runcie, The Guardian, Jan '19

Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami, Times Literary Supplement, Jan '19

The Curious World of  Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, by Margaret Willes; John Evelyn: A Life of Domesticity, by John Dixon Hunt, Times Literary Supplement, Dec '18

Gentleman Jack, by Angela Steidele, The Guardian, Nov '18

Napoleon: A Life, by Adam Zamoyski, The Wall Street Journal, October '18

In Collaboration with British Literary Biography, by Jane McVeigh, Times Literary Supplement, September '18

Putney, by Sofka Zinovieff, Times Literary Supplement, September '18

Endeavour: The Ship and the Attitude that Changed the World, by Peter Moore, The Guardian, August '18

Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age 1805-10, by Michael Broers,

Napoleon: Passion, Death & Resurrection 1815-40, by Philip Dwyer, Times Literary Supplement, July '18

Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler, The Spectator Magazine, July '18

Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, by Jacqueline Rose; Writers and their Mothers, ed. by Dale Salwak, Absent Mothers, ed. by Frances Greenslade, Times Literary Supplement, May '18

The Enchanted Clock, by Julia Kristeva, Times Literary Supplement, May '18

The Cost of Living: A Living Autobiography, by Deborah Levy, The Spectator Magazine, April '18

Widest Sense, Commentary, 6000 issues of Times Literary Supplement, March '18

Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing, by Lara Feigel, Prospect Magazine, March '18

Dreams Must Explain Themselves, by Ursula Le Guin, The Guardian, March '18

The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite, by Laura Freeman, The Spectator Magazine, Feb '18

In Search of Mary Shelley, by Fiona Sampson, The Financial Times, Jan '18

The Only Story, by Julian Barnes, Times Literary Supplement, Jan '18

Disorderly Families: Infamous Letters from the Bastille Archives, by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault, London Review of Books, December '17

Beneath Another Sky, by Norman Davies, The Financial Times, December '17

A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind, by Rachel Hewitt, The Spectator Magazine, Nov '17

The Infidel and the Professor, by Denis Rasmussen, The Wall Street Journal, Nov '17

A History of English Autobiography, ed. by Adam Smyth, Times Literary Supplement, October '17

This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer, by Richard Holmes, The New York Review of Books, Sept '17

H(A)PPY, by Nicola Barker, Times Literary Supplement, August '17

Compass, by Mathias Enard, The Spectator Magazine, July '17

Peculiar Ground, by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Times Literary Supplement, June '17

Fathers, by Sam Miller, Times Literary Supplement, May '17

The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue, The New York Review of Books, March '17

'A Cabinet of Rarities', The Curious Collections of Sir Thomas Browne, Royal College of Physicians, Times Literary Supplement, Feb '17

The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables, by David Bellos, The Guardian, Jan '17

The Nine Lives of John Ogilby, by Alan Ereira, The Guardian, Dec '16

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith, The Spectator Magazine, Nov '16

Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey, by Elena Ferrante, The Beach at Night, by Elena Ferrante, Times Literary Supplement, Nov '16

Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel, by John Stubbs, The Financial Times, Nov '16

Beryl Bainbridge, Love by all sorts of means: A biography, by Brendan King, Times Literary Supplement, Oct '16

The Prospector, by J.M.G. Le Clézio, trans. C.Dickson, The Spectator Magazine, June '16

My Old Man, by Ted Kessler, The Guardian, June '16

Liberty or Death: the French Revolution, by Peter McPhee, The Financial Times, April '16

No Need for Geniuses: Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine, by
Steve Jones, New Statesman, April '16

Brief Lives with an Apparatus for the Lives of our English Mathematical Writers, ed. by Kate Bennett, Times Literary Supplement, March '16

The Age of Genius, by AC Grayling, The Spectator Magazine, March '16

At the Existentialist Cafe, by Sarah Bakewell, The Wall Street Journal, Feb '16

Number 11, by Jonathan Coe, The Spectator Magazine, Nov '15

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Times Literary Supplement, Oct '15

The Witches: Salem, 1692, by Stacey Schiff, The Financial Times, Oct '15

Joy - by Abigail Sanatmaria, The Wall Street Journal, Oct '15

A People's History of the French Revolution - by Eric Hazan, trans. D. Fernbach, and Socialist History of the French Revolution - by Jean Jaurès, trans. M. Abidor, The New Statesman, Aug '15

Virginia Woolf: A Portrait - by Viviane Forrester (translated by Jody Gladding), Times Literary Supplement, Aug '15

How the French Think - by Sudhir Hazareesingh, The Spectator Magazine, June '15

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History - by Cynthia Barnett, and The Weather Experiment, by Peter Moore, The Guardian, June '15

The Green Road, by Anne Enright, The Spectator Magazine, May '15

Romantic Outlaws - by Charlotte Gordon, The Financial Times, April '15

Women of Will, - by Tina Packer, The Wall Street Journal, April '15

The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution - by Timothy Tackett, and Stuff and Money in the time of the French Revolution - by Rebecca Spang, The Spectator Magazine, Feb '15

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, - by Anita Anand, The Sunday Times, Jan '15

Cambridgeshire, Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, Times Literary Supplement, Jan '15

Small Island and Six Stories and an Essay, by Andrea Levy, Times Literary Supplement, Dec '14

Haunted by the Holocaust: Three Novellas, by Patrick Modiano, The Spectator Magazine, Dec '14

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, - by Hermione Lee, The Wall Street Journal, Nov '14

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami, Times Literary Supplement, Oct '14

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, by Hilary Mantel - The Literary Review, Oct '14

Mr Mac and Me, by Esther Freud - The Sunday Telegraph, Sept '14

Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History, - by Rhonda K. Garelick, The Wall Street Journal, Sept '14

To see and be seen - Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision; Art & Life: the paintings of Beryl Bainbridge, Times Literary Supplement, Aug '14

In the Approaches, by Nicola Barker - Times Literary Supplement, Jun '14

Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre, - by Jonathan Israel, The Wall Street Journal, May '14

The Chapel of Trinity College Oxford, by Martin Kemp, Times Literary Supplement, Apr '14

The Prince's Boy, by Paul Bailey - The Daily Telegraph, Apr '14

Whistler: A Life for Art’s Sake, Daniel. E. Sutherland, The Wall Street Journal, Mar '14

How to be a Heroine, Samantha Ellis - The Daily Telegraph, Jan '14

Elizabeth Jane Howard: a life in love and literature - The Daily Telegraph, Jan '14

All Change, by Elizabeth Jane Howard - The Daily Telegraph, Nov '13

The Letters of Paul Cézanne by Alex Danchev –  The Guardian, Oct '13

Clear-eyed Margaret Atwood - Times Literary Supplement , Aug '13

O My America! by Sara Wheeler - The Daily Telegraph, Mar '13

Ben Jonson: a Life by Ian Donaldson - The Daily Telegraph, Nov '11

The Wine of Solitude by Irène Némirovsky, trans Sandra Smith  - The Times, Oct '11

The Darkness of Alice Munro -Times Literary Supplement Oct '11

Exiles in Bloomsbury - Times Literary Supplement  Sep '11

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A S Byatt -  The Daily Telegraph, Aug '11

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes  - The Times, Jul '11

The Doll: Short Stories by Daphne du Maurier  - The Daily Telegraph, Apr '11

The Queen’s Necklace, by Antal Szerb, Times Literary Supplement, Dec '09 

Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters, by Louis Begley, New York Times, Nov '09

"Stolen Youth”, Dancing to the Precipice: the Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, by Caroline Moorehead, The Nation, Aug '09

Brooklyn, by Colmn Toíbín - Times Literary Supplement, Apr '09

Life Times: Stories 1952-2007 by Nadine Gordimer - The Daily Telegraph Oct '10

The Man on Devil's Island by Ruth Harris - The Observer, Jun '10

Rereading Zola’s Germinal - The Guardian Jun '10

Thomas Carlyle at the barricades, The Times Literary Supplement,  Apr '10

The Devil in the Holy Water: or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon, by Robert Darnton, The Nation, Apr, '10

“Bloodstained Ghosts”, Children of the Revolution, by Robert Gildea, The Nation, Nov '08

All Our Worldly Goods, by Irène Némirovsky -  Times Literary Supplement, Oct '08

So I Have Thought of You, The Letters of Penelope Fitzgerald, Times Literary Supplement, Aug 2008

“Because I am French”, Marie-Thérèse: The Fate of Marie Antoinette’s Daughter, by Susan Nagel, London Review of Books, Jul '08

“Searching for Traces”, Detective Story, and The Pathseeker: Searching for Traces, by Imre Kertész, trans. Tim Wilkinson, The Nation, Jun '08

Alfred & Emily by Doris Lessing The Times, May '08

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, The Daily Telegraph, May '08

His Illegal Self by Peter Carey The Times, Feb 2008

“Terra Incognita”, The Discovery of France, by Graham Robb, The Nation, Dec '07

John Evelyn: Living for Ingenuity, by Gillian Darley, Times Literary Supplement, Mar 2007

“Savage Wars of Peace”, The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Modern Warfare, by David Bell, The Nation, Feb '07

Talleyrand: Betrayer and Saviour of France, by Robin Harris, The Telegraph, Feb '07

Liberty: the Lives and Times of Six Women in Revolutionary France, by Lucy Moore, The Daily Telegraph, Oct '06

The Diary of John Evelyn, edited by E. S. de Beer, Times Literary Supplement, Aug '06

Love and Louis XIV, by Antonia Fraser, Aug '06

Gustave Flaubert: A Life, by Frederick Brown, The Telegraph, Jun '06

Theft, by Peter Carey - Times Literary Supplement, May '06

The Woman Destroyed, by Simone de Beauvoir trans. by Patrick O’Brien; Tête à tête: The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, by Hazel Rowley, The Times, Jan '06

Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gariel García Márquez translated by Edith Grossman, The Times, Oct '05

The Crimes of Love, by the Marquis de Sade, translated by David Coward, Times Literary Supplement, Jul '05

The Terror: Civil war in the French Revolution, by David Andress; The Fall of Toulon: The Royal Navy and the Royalist Last Stand Against the French Revolution, by Bernard Ireland, The Times, Jun '05

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro - Times Literary Supplement, Feb '05

Mary Wollstonecraft: a New Genius, by Lyndall Gordon, The Times, Jan 2005

Saturday, by Ian McEwan, Happiness on a Knife-edge, The Times, Jan ‘05

Ghost Story, by Toby Litt, The Times, 02, Oct, ‘04

I'll Go to Bed at Noon, by Gerard Woodward, The Times, 07 Aug, ‘04

The Fit, by Philip Hensher, The Times, 03 Jul, ‘04

Transmission, by Hari Kunzru, The Times, 29 May, ‘04

Genesis, by Jim Crace -  New York Review of Books, Apr '04

The Master, by Colm Toibin, The Times, 20 Mar, ‘04

The Finishing School, by Muriel Spark - Times Literary Supplement, Mar '04

The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, The Times, 10 Jan, 2004

Mrs Sartoris, by Elke Schmitter, trans. Carol Brown Janeway, The Times, 25 Oct, ‘03

Political Actors: Representative bodies and theatricality in the age of the French Revolution, by Paul Friedland, Times Literary Supplement, Oct '03

Anthem, by Tim Binding, The Times, 11 Oct, ‘03

The Politics of Appearances: Representations of dress in Revolutionary France, by Richard Wrigley, Times Literary Supplement, Oct '03

The Cryptographer, by Tobias Hill, The Times, 06 Aug, ‘03

George Washington’s False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century, by Robert Darnton, The Times, Jul '03

That Old Ace in a Hole, by Annie Proulx - Times Literary Supplement,  Jan '03

A Whistling Woman, by A. S. Byatt - Times Literary Supplement, Aug '02

The Next Big Thing, by Anita Brookner - Times Literary Supplement, Jun '02

Hotel World, by Ali Smith - Times Literary Supplement, Mar '01

Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life, by Janet Todd, The Times, May '00