Slow Food

Culture and Cuisine: A Journey Through the History of Food

by Jean-François Revel, translated by Helen R. Lane
Plenty of aesthetic history—in so far as we can talk of the history of aesthetic response—is presented to us in the words we use for selecting, eating, and liking food, and mixing it, and making it more likable. If we start with cookery words, our prime vocable may be or …

In the Crab Pots

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page

by G.B. Edwards, introduced by John Fowles
Several irrelevancies and relevancies, with related sub-irrelevancies and sub-relevancies, may be used to help a new piece of fiction with purchasers—libraries and the like—and with reviewers, and (we get to them in the end) with readers. Among them are subject and place. Another is that the novel should be “discovered,” …


Prehistoric Avebury

by Aubrey Burl
Writing this review in France engenders some thought about English and French attitudes toward antiquity. If Avebury or Stonehenge had been French—had they stood in France (outside Brittany)—I suspect that a past tense would be entirely appropriate to them. They would have been pulled down (though Stonehenge might have been …

Cosa Nostra

Four Rossettis: A Victorian Biography

by Stanley Weintraub
Pre-Raphaelitism, as a principle, was precociously brooded in 1847, by Holman Hunt, aged twenty, and John Millais, aged eighteen, with some not entirely convinced help from Dante Gabriel Rossetti, aged nineteen. Then a year later the Pre-Raphaelite group or movement was hatched. Hunt says that he and Millais, his pupil, …

Mining Morris

William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary

by E.P. Thompson

William Morris and the Art of the Book

edited by Paul Needham, with essays by Paul Needham and Joseph Dunlap and John Dreyfus
The Tamar dividing Devonshire from Cornwall is one of the more delectable of the small rivers of England. There were, above its woods and declivities, mines which yielded lead, silver, copper, and arsenic. The arsenic ovens—for a while the most extensive in the world—did foul damage along the river, about …

Nothing Like a Dame

Taken Care Of: The Autobiography of Edith Sitwell

by Edith Sitwell
How are we to explain or explain away (since it is going to need some explaining away for our posterity) the eminence or the acceptance or the at times reverential praise of the poems of the late Edith Sitwell? The poems will fall apart. They strike me, when I look …