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T H I S W E E K

No. 6233

September 16 2022

the-tls.co.uk

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T H E T I M E S L I T E R A R Y S U P P L E M E N T

Miranda France All mothers are guilty | Richard Davenport-Hines Civilizing the Nazis Michael LaPointe, Kate McLoughlin Two Booker finalists | Lindsey Hilsum Afghan scuttle

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A fond farewell Claire Lowdon and Andrew Motion on the Queen in the arts

© Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In this issue

Queen Victoria was not amused, but her great– great–granddaughter allowed herself a private smile, even a chuckle, while watching herself played in television drama. The usual anonymous sources claim that Elizabeth II enjoyed Peter Morgan’s tele- vision series The Crown and The Queen, the film from which it span off. Perhaps she liked these dramas for the same reason she enjoyed Downton Abbey – it was fun to spot the anachronisms. In one of three commemorative essays this week, Claire Lowdon looks at the portrayal of our longest-reigning mon- arch in the arts. Lowdon detects three stages of man, or rather woman, over the past seventy years, “which follow the archetypal parent-child dynamic”. Dis- affected youth in the failing Britain of the 1970s pillo- ried the monarchy as the symbol of a rotten establish- ment – though, as I remember it, few people took the Sex Pistols’ ribald song “God Save the Queen’’ very seriously. In the 1980s the Queen was treated with boisterous affection and in her final years she was accorded respect, even adulation. Lowdon asks whe- ther this reflects a wider societal shift to a more defer- ential culture. Or maybe we began to appreciate her quiet dignity when the politicians just got small.

There has been much speculation about the Queen’s enigmatic qualities, her so-called unknowability. Craig Brown’s Ma’am Darling commented on the iron discipline behind her practice of “not saying anything striking or memorable to anyone else who ever lived”. In Alan Bennett’s A Question of Attribution, however, the Queen tells the former Soviet spy and master of her pictures Anthony Blunt, “I don’t know that one has a secret self. Though it is generally assumed one has. If it could be proved that one hadn’t, some of the newspapers would have precious little to write about”. Andrew Motion, her Poet Laureate for ten years, paints a touching portrait of a monarch who wisely guarded her words. Despite her self-deprecating remarks about her reading habits, Elizabeth II valued the post of Poet Laureate and respected the country’s rich poetic traditions. She sent Motion encouraging notes when he produced poems for royal occasions and even once mouthed “thank you” on her way up the aisle at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen was sometimes taken to task for her alleged emotional distance from her children and their spouses, writes Jane Ridley. However, a quote from Adrienne Rich in Miranda France’s review of six books about mothering seems apposite here: “the institution of motherhood finds all mothers more or less guilty”.

MARTIN IVENS

Editor

Find us on www.the-tls.co.uk Times Literary Supplement

@the.tls @TheTLS

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2

3 SOCIAL STUDIES

MIRANDA FRANCE

6 LETTERS TO THE

EDITOR

Don’t Forget to Scream – Unspoken truths about motherhood Marianne Levy. Motherhood – Feminism’s unfinished business Eliane Glaser. Motherload – Modern motherhood and how to survive it Ingrid Wassenaar. The Baby on the Fire Escape – Creativity, motherhood, and the mind-baby problem Julie Phillips. Still Born Guadalupe Nettel; Translated by Rosalind Harvey. Abolish the Family – A manifesto for care and liberation Sophie Lewis

Colette in translation, Defining a coup, Carlo Levi, etc

7 QUEEN ELIZABETH II CLAIRE LOWDON

JANE RIDLEY ANDREW MOTION

All good clean fun – How the Queen has been depicted by the arts Elizabeth II in history – Looking back at the Queen’s long reign The Queen and I – A Poet Laureate remembers

11 NATURE

NANCY CAMPBELL YVONNE REDDICK

12 POLITICS

13 HISTORY

LINDSEY HILSUM

CATRIONA KELLY

14 CULTURAL STUDIES MARY C. FLANNERY

15 FILM

MICHAEL CAINES

16 ARTS

ADAM MARS-JONES MURIEL ZAGHA

A Line in the World – A year on the North Sea coast Dorthe Nors; Translated by Caroline Waight Thunderstone – A true story of losing one home and discovering another Nancy Campbell

The Fifth Act – America’s end in Afghanistan Elliot Ackerman

Russia – Myths and realities Rodric Braithwaite. The Story of Russia Orlando Figes

The Fires of Lust – Sex in the Middle Ages Katherine Harvey. Painful Pleasures – Sadomasochism in medieval cultures Christopher Vaccaro, editor

Japanese Cinema – A personal journey Peter Cowie. A Companion to Japanese Cinema David Desser, editor. The Ghibliotheque Anime Movie Guide Michael Leader and Jake Cunningham

Three Thousand Years of Longing (Various cinemas) Who Killed My Father (Young Vic, until September 24)

19 FICTION

22 COMMENTARY

24 HISTORY

26 RELIGION

KATE MCLOUGHLIN MICHAEL LAPOINTE HARRIET BAKER JAKOB HOFMANN ALEX CLARK

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida Shehan Karunatilaka The Trees Percival Everett After Sappho Selby Wynn Schwartz Trust Hernan Diaz Haven Emma Donoghue

CHRIS JONES

Help from Uncle Possum – Unpublished letters from T. S. Eliot about Omar Pound’s schooldays

RODERICK BAILEY RICHARD DAVENPORT-HINES Colditz – Prisoners of the castle Ben Macintyre. The Traitor of Colditz Robert Verkaik Coffee with Hitler – The British amateurs who tried to civilise the Nazis Charles Spicer. Hitler’s Girl – The British aristocracy and the Third Reich on the eve of WWII Lauren Young

ADAM YUET CHAU

Portraits of Confucius – The reception of Confucianism from 1560 to 1960, Volumes I and II Kevin DeLapp, editor. Confucius’ Courtyard – Architecture, philosophy and the good life in China Xing Ruan

28 IN BRIEF

30 AFTERTHOUGHTS

31 NB

IAN SANSOM

M. C.

No Pain Like This Body Harold Sonny Ladoo, etc

A lovely bunch of coconuts – Music like it used to be

Literary anniversaries, Japanese James Joyce, Booker abashment, Yeats celebrated

Editor MARTIN IVENS (editor@the-tls.co.uk) Deputy Editor ROBERT POTTS (robert.potts@the-tls.co.uk) Associate Editor CATHARINE MORRIS (catharine.morris@the-tls.co.uk) Assistant to the Editor LIBBY WHITE (libby.white@the-tls.co.uk) Editorial enquiries (queries@the-tls.co.uk) Managing Director JAMES MACMANUS (deborah.keegan@news.co.uk) Advertising Manager JONATHAN DRUMMOND (jonathan.drummond@the-tls.co.uk)

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The Times Literary Supplement (ISSN 0307661, USPS 021-626) is published weekly, except combined last two weeks of August and December, by The Times Literary Supplement Limited, London, UK, and distributed by FAL Enterprises 38-38 9th Street, Long Island City NY 11101. Periodical postage paid at Flushing NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: please send address corrections to TLS, PO Box 3000, Denville, NJ 07834 USA. The TLS is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation and abides by the standards of journalism set out in the Editors’ Code of Practice. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk. For permission to copy articles or headlines for internal information purposes contact Newspaper Licensing Agency at PO Box 101, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1WX, tel 01892 525274, e-mail copy@nla.co.uk. For all other reproduction and licensing inquiries contact Licensing Department, 1 London Bridge St, London, SE1 9GF, telephone 020 7711 7888, e-mail sales@newslicensing.co.uk

TLS

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

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