Jonathan Bate

Poet Laureate of the English Shires

A hundred and fifty years after his death, John Clare remains the
greatest lyricist of country life

Universities Must Be Freed from Meddling

Britain’s seats of learning are coping with the new funding regime but are threatened by philistine regulators

The Costly New Idea of a University

With tuition fees about to triple to make up for the withdrawal of state funding, it is time to reread Coleridge, Bentham and Mill

Concerning Frank Kermode

Britain's most distinguished literary critic, who turned 90 last year, has many achievements to be proud of. But does the indefatigable grand old man of EngLit ever regret his role in promoting Deconstructivism, thereby unleashing a tide that he couldn't stem?

The Character of Englishness

Dr Johnson, the greatest writer of critical prose in the English language, was able to impart to his readers both human nature in general, and the character of Englishness in particular

The Wrong Idea of a University

Higher education has been hijacked by the quangocracy: teaching is neglected, research is distorted by bogus assessment methods, and trust in professional judgement is gone

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"