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T H I S W E E K

No. 6315

April 12 2024

the-tls.co.uk

UK £4.50 | USA $8.99

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

Paul Griffiths Anthony Burgess on music | Ann Kennedy Smith Left in charge of the palazzo

George Berridge A shorter Long Day’s Journey | Peter McDonald What is lyric verse?

Man into marble Corin Throsby and Kathryn Sutherland on the real Byron

A statue of Lord Byron at the Villa Borghese, Rome © David Lees/Corbis/ VCG via Gett y Images

In this issue

C anto IV of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage prophesied Byron’s immortality:

But I have lived, and have not lived in vain: My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire, And my frame perish even in conquering pain, But there is that within me which shall tire Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire. Before his death at Missolonghi, murdered by quack doctors while fighting for the cause of Greek independence, Byron foresaw that flocks of biographers would feast on his zestful, romantic life – “I flatter myself I shall have more than one”, he said knowingly. Corin Throsby reviews two more studies, published to coincide with the bicentenary of the poet’s death: Byron: A life in ten letters by Andrew Stauffer and Swimming with Byron by William Kuhn. Neither book attempts to compete with Leslie A. Marchand’s three-volume magnum opus (1957) for comprehensiveness. Stauffer follows the current trend “for using select works as the impetus for talking about specific moments in a writer’s life” (the letters were intended for public audience), while Kuhn sets out to prove that Byron is “relatable” to younger, contemporary readers – which, as the victim of childhood sexual abuse, omnivorous in his appetites and “misunderstood” by society, I suppose he probably is. All things considered, both biographers imply that it was better to be Byron’s boyfriend than Byron’s mistress.

To complete our own bicentenary celebration the TLS unearths two hitherto unpublished letters written by Byron to former University of Cambridge friends, taken from the Blavatnik Honresfield Collection. We also reproduce photographs from the centenary celebrations in Greece, along with John Drinkwater’s “Ode to Byron”, composed for the occasion. Byron’s body arrived in England on June 29, 1824, and for two days lay in state in a house on Great George Street, London, owned by Sir Edward Knatchbull, husband of Jane Austen’s niece Fanny Knight, before its interment in the family vault at Hucknall Church, near Newstead Abbey. Kathryn Sutherland reviews Jane Austen and Lord Byron by Christine Kenyon Jones, on “the many and surprising ways” in which the novelist and the poet “intersect, shadow each other, yet fail to meet”.

Reviewing Nick Lloyd’s The Eastern Front, Hew Strachan writes: “Ukrainians have looked at their war through the lens of the First World War, but for historians the reverse also now looks possible”. That’s one catastrophe that still resonates across Europe.

MARTIN IVENS

Editor

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

@the.tls @TheTLS

To buy any book featured in this week’s TLS,

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2

3 BIOGRAPHY

6 LETTERS TO THE

EDITOR

7 COMMENTARY

10 HISTORY

14 ARTS

17 FICTION

19 CLASSICS

20 TRAVEL

22 MUSIC

23 BIOGRAPHY

24 IN BRIEF

26 BIBLIOGRAPHY

27 AFTERTHOUGHTS

28 NB

CORIN THROSBY

KATHRYN SUTHERLAND

Byron – A life in ten letters Andrew Stauffer. Swimming with Lord Byron William Kuhn. Byron’s Travels – Poems, letters, and journals Fiona Stafford, editor Jane Austen and Lord Byron – Regency relations Christine Kenyon Jones

Walter Pater, Churchill and Brexit, Tohubohu, etc

STEVE ALLEN JOHN DRINKWATER KATHRYN SUTHERLAND

STEPHEN LOVELL

HEW STRACHAN STANLEY BILL WILLIAM POOLEY

LARRY WOLFF GEORGE BERRIDGE BOYD TONKIN

TOBIAS WARNER MICHAEL LAPOINTE JONATHAN GIBBS

PETER MCDONALD

NICK HOLDSTOCK NAT SEGNIT ANN KENNEDY SMITH

“Thy name, oh Byron …” – The first Byron centenary celebrations Ode to Byron (Missolonghi April 19th, 1824–1924) “Gipsy yearnings” – Letters to Byron’s Cambridge friends, published for the first time

Power and Possession in the Russian Revolution Anne O’Donnell. States of Anxiety – Scarcity and loss in revolutionary Russia William G. Rosenberg The Eastern Front – A history of the First World War Nick Lloyd The New Politics of Poland – A case of post-traumatic sovereignty Jarosław Kuisz Remembering Peasants – A personal history of a vanished world Patrick Joyce

Guillaume Tell Gioachino Rossini (La Scala, Milan, and on LaScalaTv) Long Day’s Journey into Night Eugene O’Neill (Wyndham’s Theatre, London) John Craxton – A modern odyssey (Pallant House Gallery, Chichester)

Bound to Violence Yambo Ouologuem; Translated by Ralph Manheim The Most Secret Memory of Men Mohamed Mbougar Sarr; Translated by Lara Vergnaud The Extinction of Irena Rey Jennifer Croft

The Penguin Book of Greek and Latin Lyric Verse Christopher Childers, translator and editor

Black Ghosts – A journey into the lives of Africans in China Noo Saro-Wiwa On This Holy Island – A modern pilgrimage across Britain Oliver Smith Love from Venice – A golden summer on the Grand Canal Gill Johnson

PAUL GRIFFITHS

The Devil Prefers Mozart – On music and musicians, 1962–1993 Anthony Burgess; Edited by Paul Phillips

EDWARD WILSON-LEE Tangled Paths – A Life of Aby Warburg Hans C. Hönes

The Hijacking of American Flight 119 John Wigger. Viva Bartali! Damian Walford Davies. Narcotopia Patrick Winn. Elizabeth Wiskemann Geoffrey Field. Kinderland Liliana Corobca; Translated by Monica Cure. Great Spanish Stories Margaret Jull Costa, editor. Time and Tide Fiona Stafford

HENRY HITCHINGS

The Book-Makers – A history of the book in 18 remarkable lives Adam Smyth

REGINA RINI

M. C.

The ethics of belief – Eclipses and philosophy

A Mancunian U-turn, Wye write, Sotheran’s advertising authors

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 LISA TARLING (lisa.tarling@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

APRIL 12, 2024

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