David Womersley

Eliot Agonistes: Letters to and from the editor

The latest volume of T.S. Eliot's letters provide agreeable shocks and reveals the travails of both his professional and love lives

Elizabethan Enigma

Edmund Spenser: A Life by Andrew Hadfield is vivid in parts, but ultimately fails to paint a clear picture of the 16th century poet

Trapped By His Style

Martin Amis is a true writer but Lionel Asbo is yet another example of his failure to break into a new vein

“Weary of Silence, Soon Sickened by Words”

Delving into the various linguistic predicaments of Samuel Beckett reveals the beautiful complications of his writings.

Capitalising on Human Capital

Book review of Capital by John Lanchester

Underrated: John Donne

The 17th-century Dean celebrated prosperity as well as poetry and felt no need to transform the Church into an agency of social work

What Survives of Him is Love

Philip Larkin's letters to his lover Monica Jones speak of a non-sexual intimacy and chart his progression to poetic maturity

They’ll Always Have Paris

Cynthia Ozick's intricate and artful new novel Foreign Bodies echoes the majesty of Henry James's late period

Shelley’s Arab Spring

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Percy Shelley's The Revolt of Islam looks mightily prophetic

Playtime is Over for Governors

Who will want to volunteer to sit on school boards in the harsh new education climate?

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"