News and reviews

The Evening Standard’s Summer Reading Guide

Added on 20/06/2019

The National Portrait Gallery’s superb exhibition of Elizabethan miniatures closed last month but for those who missed it, Elizabeth Goldring’s Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist is worth the price for its beautiful photographs alone.

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The Elizabethan Image Book of the Week in the Daily Mail

Added on 20/06/2019

To meet Elizabeth I face to face, head to the National Portrait Gallery. Take the escalator and, in one continuous, smooth sweep, it will land you at the entrance to the top galleries, filled with Tudor and Elizabethan portraits.

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As long as poverty and maritime trade exist, so will piracy

Added on 15/06/2019

Western attitudes to piracy have dripped with hubris. In his classic history of 1932, Philip Gosse confidently argued that European empires and technological superiority had ‘done away’ with pirates entirely.

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The Mindfulness Conspiracy by Ronald Purser in the Guardian

Added on 14/06/2019

Mindfulness has gone mainstream, with celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey & Goldie Hawn. Meditation coaches, monks & neuroscientists went to Davos to impart the finer points to CEOs at the World Economic Forum.

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Mike Jay’s Mescaline reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 13/06/2019

“Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition,” Edmund Burke wrote, “men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations – wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.”

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Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean reviewed in the Spectator

Added on 08/06/2019

‘Below the 40s there is no law, and below the 50s there is no God.’ Most sailors know some version of this saying, referring to the dangerous waters more than 40º south of the equator. In Wild Sea, Joy McCann focuses on these waters.

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The Pocket reviewed in The Guardian

Added on 06/06/2019

Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes,” says EM Forster in A Room With a View, adapting a quote from Henry David Thoreau. What a spoilsport. Surely one of the best bits about starting a new job is that it gives you permission to fashion yourself in a different way.

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Ben Nicholson Writings and Ideas reviewed in the TLS

Added on 04/06/2019

In December 1933, the painter Ben Nicholson sent a letter from Paris to his lover, Barbara Hepworth, in London. “I shall be very interested to see what you write for your Unit One”, he says. “I shall write about 12 words and…

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Five Years Ahead of My Time reviewed in Louder Than War

Added on 02/06/2019

“Wow!” That is the instant reaction one feels when delving into this compelling history of the style of rock known as ‘Garage’. The further you become engrossed, the more you begin to comprehend the scale of the task…

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Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered featured in the Guardian

Added on 02/06/2019

One of the world’s leading experts on Leonardo da Vinci has criticised Christie’s for wrongly suggesting in its cataloguing of the Salvator Mundi that she was among scholars who had attributed the picture to the Renaissance master.

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“A Robert Byron of the Left”? New Socialist interviews Owen Hatherley

Added on 31/05/2019

Owen Hatherley is the author of a remarkable number of excellent books on architecture, cities, and political aesthetics. His most recent, The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space is published by Repeater Books.

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Anna Katharina Schaffner considers cultural histories of fat & fat phobia

Added on 29/05/2019

In recent decades, the British population has grown in girth. The NHS England obesity report for 2017 found that 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of the men were overweight or obese, as well as one in five children aged three to four.

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