Frank Kermode (1919–2010) was a British critic and literary theorist. Born on the Isle of Man, he taught at University College London, Cambridge, Columbia and Harvard. Adapted from a series of lectures given at Bryn Mawr College, Kermode’s Sense of An Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction remains one of the most influential works of twentieth-century literary criticism.

IN THE REVIEW

A Bold New Bible

Jörg Breu the Elder: ‘Pontius Pilate washing his hands,’ 1502, one of eight panels formerly decorating the altar at the Melk Abbey Church, Austria

The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas

by Willis Barnstone
This heroic enterprise, an expansive single-handed edition of the New Testament, is a substantial addition to the sixty-odd publications of the poet and translator Willis Barnstone. It appears in company with the fourth edition of a collection called Ancient Greek Lyrics, which contains practically all of Sappho and a large …

The Dear, Dear Friend

Samuel Palmer: Moonlight, a Landscape with Sheep, circa 1831-1833

The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life

by Frances Wilson

The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals

by Dorothy Wordsworth, edited and with an introduction and notes by Pamela Woof
The Wordsworth family was gentlemanly. John W. Wordsworth, father of the poet and three more sons, as well as a daughter, Dorothy, was an attorney and the agent of a rapacious magnate who, on the father’s early death, declined to pay his children a large sum that had been due …

Heroic Milton: Happy Birthday

John Milton: Life, Work, and Thought

by Gordon Campbell and Thomas N. Corns

Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer, and Patriot

by Anna Beer
Celebrations of the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Milton in December 1608 have been modest and largely academic. He was born, and for the most part lived, in the City of London, now the financial district. Nationalistic sentiment in those days was such that the idea of …

You Can’t Take It with You

Nothing to Be Frightened Of

by Julian Barnes
E.M. Forster, who was sometimes criticized for scattering deaths too wantonly over his own plots, complained of “the studied ignorance of novelists” and advised them to “recapture their interest in death.” He considered that interest to be a necessary element in true creativity. The novelist Julian Barnes easily eludes this …

Ezra Conquers London

Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and His Work, Volume 1: The Young Genius, 1885–1920

by A. David Moody
The history of literature is punctuated by differences of opinion sometimes too strong to be regarded as mere literary quarrels. The most important and probably the most painful American example was the row over the award, in February 1949, of the first Bollingen Poetry Prize to Ezra Pound for his …

Wars Over the Printed Word

Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and Its Reformation Opponents

by James Simpson
James Simpson’s book, Burning to Read, is a lively and detailed study of the early-sixteenth-century reformers (here described as “fundamentalists”) who believed the Bible and not the papacy to be the sole authority in matters of religious faith. His object is not merely to offer a new look at an …