Eric Ormsby

From Jesus Sect to Imperial Faith

Two new works by Geza Vermes and Peter Brown eloquently and enthusiastically chart the progress of Christianity from Jesus Christ to the height of the Byzantine empire

Clutching at Straws and Tilting at Minarets

Two new books on the origins of Islam suffer from, at best, sloppy, and at worst, dishonest, scholarship

A Wee Dram of History

Review of new poetry from Carol Ann Duffy, Derwent May, W.G. Sebald and Tomas Tranströmer

The Erotic Inferno

Book review of Dante in Love by A.N. Wilson

Underrated — Alfred Lord Tennyson

This Victorian versifier has always been an acquired taste, even to his contemporaries. But today, his prolific output is barely read at all — and we are poorer for it

Overrated — Paul Muldoon

Acclaimed poet Paul Muldoon may be a dazzling wordsmith, but his verse is all style and no substance

Rhyming Triplets

Book Reviews: New & Collected Poems, by U. A. Fanthorpe; How Snow Falls, by Craig Raine; and Late Poems, by Anthony Thwaite

Geoffrey Hill

The "unabashedly elitist" elegist of England is an ideal candidate for the Oxford Professorship of Poetry

The Poetical Mollusc

True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell under the Sign of Eliot and Pound by Christopher Ricks

Holier than Thou

A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch and A New History of Early Christianity by Charles Freeman

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"