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John Sutherland has been a professor of literature for a long time and in many places. Currently he teaches at the California Institute of Technology and is the emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor at UCL. He is the author of numerous books, including the puzzle-collection Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (probably, yes) and the encyclopedic Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. In recent years he has written voluminously on a variety of literary and non-literary topics in, principally, the Guardian and the Financial Times.
You only have to read the newspapers to know that elephants are in serious danger; huge numbers being killed for their ivory but from reading John Sutherland’s Jumbo we learn that tragedy and the elephant have long been linked. Jumbo was just one of too many elephants suffering at the hands of man and through Jumbo’s story we learn of other elephants, elephant facts and figures, everything the committed elephant lover will want to read. Like for Like ReadingThe Tiger that Swallowed the Boy: Exotic Animals in Victorian England, John SimonsThe Tower Menagerie: The Amazing True Story of the Royal Collection of Wild Beasts, Daniel Hahn
His taste is impressively catholic: an appreciation of The Ambassadors is immediately followed by a consideration of American Psycho. War and Peace, Heat and Dust and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all make an appearance. There are imposing Victorian novels, entertaining contemporary thrillers and everything in between, from spy novels to romance. In each case a sense of the flavour of the novel is brilliantly evoked and a compelling case made for why it should be a candidate for the bookshelf or bedside table. The end result is both a wonderful dip-in book and a virtual history of the novel.
February 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. You only have to read the newspapers to know that elephants are in serious danger; huge numbers being killed for their ivory but from reading John Sutherland’s Jumbo we learn that tragedy and the elephant have long been linked. Jumbo was just one of too many elephants suffering at the hands of man and through Jumbo’s story we learn of other elephants, elephant facts and figures, everything the committed elephant lover will want to read. Like for Like ReadingThe Tiger that Swallowed the Boy: Exotic Animals in Victorian England, John SimonsThe Tower Menagerie: The Amazing True Story of the Royal Collection of Wild Beasts, Daniel Hahn
As the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature is announced, Icon publish twenty years of powerful lectures from previous winners, introduced by former Booker Prize chairman-of-judges, critic and author John Sutherland. Here are Nobel lectures by the Literature Laureates from the past twenty years that together offer a glimpse into the inspirations, motivations and passionately-held beliefs of some of the greatest minds in the world of literature. Mediations on imagination and the process of writing intermingle with polemical discussions of global politics, cultural change and the ongoing influence of the past. All the writers demonstrate in their essays lyrical beauty and ethical depth; the result is an intelligent and humanistic integrity. From Harold Pinter, we hear about the nature of truth in art and politics. Toni Morrison explores the link between language and oppression. J.M. Coetzee takes an allegorical journey through the mysteries of the creative process, while Nadine Gordimer ponders the ways in which literature can shape the worlds of individual and collective being. Orhan Pamuk's touching 2006 lecture describes how his father inspired him to write. Nobel Lectures attests to the continuing power of literature to shape the world.
Welcome to future past. We are in the reign of Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution is forcing great and terrible changes on the world. But civilisation stands at a junction: one road will lead to wealth, peace and prosperity, the other to war, poverty and ruin. Clockwork limbs, steam-powered automobiles, tanks and robots; aerial warships and an endless variety of inventions have been built using Steam Age technology. Dark and mysterious forces lurk on the fringes of civilisation, both human and supernatural. These forces reveal themselves as fleeting images only to those who have the power to see beyond the normal. YOU are Nicholas Fantom, a young newspaper reporter who has seen these forces, although few dare believe your visions. Only YOU have the will to battle these shadow empires. In The Golem of Brick Lane London is wreathed in smoke and fog: out there stalks a terrible and terrifying creature. Its victims are carried away to an unknown fate. YOU, a reporter on the Daily Examiner, are despatched to uncover the truth. But even YOU are not prepared for what you will face beneath the streets and hovels of the city. The hunter becomes the hunted in the world of labyrinths and sewers inhabited by nightmare creatures.
Since its launch 70 years ago, Alcoholics Anonymous has sparked hot debate. IN AA to LA, John Sutherland examines the exotic mutation of the movement in the hothouse atmosphere of southern California. This book is part-reportage, part-confession - a study of AA as it has evolved alongside the Dream Factory of Hollywood, laced with personal testimony from two generations of Sutherlands who have passed through it. When it comes to cleaning up, West is best - or at least more fun...
John Sutherlanda s new critical biography is an undertaking of major importance in which he penetrates into the darker areas of Scotta s life in a sceptical (yet sympathetic) spirit,
Love, so the song goes, is a many-splendoured thing, and fiction has been trying for years both to promote and subvert the cliches it encourages. We turn to literature to learn what love is and what it should be, and readers of this collection will find consolation and inspiration in equal measure from some of the sharpest observers of this most essential human emotion. In tracing the lineaments of `English love' through the fiction of 200 years we can see something of its infinite variety and of the shifting rules of the game. Sylvia Plath seems closer to Aphra Behn than to Elizabeth Gaskell or even Thomas Hardy in her concept of feminine modesty, while violence, or sheer incomprehension, enter the definition in the worlds of D. H. Lawrence and Katherine Mansfield. Romantic love is at the heart of the `love story' and these stories, while taking love as their subject, do not always follow the conventional route. Bittersweet endings, ironic angles on traditional platitudes and other surprises make the insights of writers such as Anne Ritchie, Somerset Maugham or V. S. Pritchett always fresh and challenging. Simple or sophisticated, sometimes comic and often very moving, these stories bring a delightful perspective to the mysteries of the English in love.
An engaging guide to a rich literary heritage, The Stanford Companion presents a fascinating parade of novels, authors, publishers, editors, reviewers, illustrators, and periodicals that created the culture of Victorian fiction. Its more than 6,000 alphabetical entries provide an incomparable range of useful and little-known source material, its scholarship enlivened by the author's wit and candor.
Mary Ward (1851-1920) had a furiously active public career, her literary and philanthropic activities transforming her from an eminent Victorian into a pre-eminent Edwardian. The granddaughter of Thomas Arnold, she found herself at the centre of an intellectual and cultural coterie comprising the Arnold, Huxley, and Trevelyan families. Her novel, Robert Elsmere (1888), the first of a series of bestsellers, earned her both unprecedented sums of money and the critical respect of writers such as Henry James. She helped found Somerville College, Oxford, the University's first institution for the higher education of women, and inaugurated a number of play centres for the children of London's working women, despite being a fierce opponent of women's suffrage. As the first female reporter to visit the trenches in 1916, she was instrumental in bringing America into the war. Yet for all her achievements, her private life was overshadowed - often tragically so - by misfortune. Her parents's marriage was seriously affected by her father's religious doubts; she eclipsed her husband, a Times journalist and art critic, while her indolent son frittered away her financial and emotional resources. John Sutherland's fascinating study of the private suffering of this predominantly public person also provides useful insights into the restrictions placed upon women in the late-Victorian-Edwardian era. This title also appears in the Oxford General Books catalogue for Autumn 1990.
This provocative book takes decensorship from the 1960 Lady Chatterley trial through the long-term drive against pornography which continues into the 1980s.
'What spectacle is more august than that of a great king in exile? Who is more worthy of respect than a brave man in misfortune?' When Henry Esmond appeared in 1852, noted writers and critics of the time acclaimed it as the best historical novel ever written. Set in the reign of Queen Anne, the story follows the troubled progress of a gentleman and an officer in Marlborough's army, as he painfully wrestles with an emotional allegiance to the old Tory-Catholic England until, disillusioned, he comes to terms of a kind with the Whiggish-Protestant future. This change also entails a very uncomfortable switch in his affections. The love story of Henry Esmond is charged with sombre, unconscious emotions, yet is skilfully embedded into historical events which are convincing but never too prominent.