News and reviews

John Cage: A Mycological Foray reviewed in Tank

Added on 29/05/2020

For Cage, an accomplished amateur mycologist, mushrooms were not a quiet distraction from more serious creative activity, but an essential, if often overlooked, component of his personal philosophy. “I have come to the conclusion,” …


Henry III by David Carpenter praised in the Spectator

Added on 26/05/2020

Yale University Press is to be congratulated on allowing Carpenter to explore so many aspects of 13th-century English government at such length. The glorious details — lamprey cooking included — are what make it a pleasure.


Sons of the Waves reviewed in the Times

Added on 26/05/2020

In July 1795, after a year away in the Pacific and Indian oceans, the merchant ship Nottingham sighted the English coast. Unfortunately, HMS Venerable spotted the Nottingham at the same time. The warship sent boats over …


Henry III featured in the Evening Standard

Added on 22/05/2020

The reason for the construction of Westminster Abbey’s spectacular Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries is a mystery that dates back nearly 800 years. But a London historian believes he has solved the conundrum through research that …


The Science of Walking recommended in the New Scientist

Added on 20/05/2020

The Science of Walking is all about how there is more to taking a stroll than meets the eye. Physiology, neurology, anthropology and psychiatry all feature in Andreas Mayer’s fascinating account of an everyday activity.


Modern Look featured in the Times Literary Supplement

Added on 15/05/2020

Arthur Machen was unusual among writers in relishing his bad reviews. He collected the worst of them in a book, of which we offered a sprinkling last week. Replacing Machen’s Precious Balms on the shelf, we had occasion to open …


Henry III: The Rise to Power and Personal Rule reviewed in the Times

Added on 13/05/2020

Becoming a child-king at one of the most precarious moments in English history, Henry III had one thing going for him; he was not his father. King John, arguably England’s worst monarch, was succeeded by one who remains …


The Multifarious Mr Banks reviewed in the Spectator

Added on 11/05/2020

When the wealthy young Joseph Banks announced that he intended joining Captain Cook’s expedition to Tahiti to observe the Transit of Venus, friends asked why he didn’t instead do the Grand Tour.


Epidemics and Society reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 10/05/2020

Epidemics have never stopped being a fact of life and death for hundreds of millions of people across the world. Now that their presence has been brought home to all of us again (…) the old wisdom that saved …


Sons of the Waves reviewed in the Daily Mail

Added on 08/05/2020

There was always the hope that a person might venture to ‘lands of outlandish peoples and mystifying customs’ and return home bearing fabulous tales of, for example, alligators, ‘the shape of a newt …


The Toddler in Chief reviewed in the Times

Added on 06/05/2020

When Donald Trump wonders aloud whether injecting disinfectant into people could help with Covid-19, we have a right to be worried. A right to ask whatever happened to the “aristocracy of talent …


Crime Dot Com featured in BBC News

Added on 04/05/2020

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the Love Bug, the first global computer virus. Geoff White, the Technology Reporter for BBC News and the author of Crime Dot Com, managed to track down its creator.