Non Fiction

David McInnis reviews 'Shakespeare’s Library: Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature' by Stuart Kells

David McInnis
26 September 2018

The search for Shakespeare’s library (the books ostensibly owned by Shakespeare but dispersed without a trace after his death) is driven largely by the hope that marginalia, notes, and d More

Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters' by Martin Gayford

Patrick McCaughey
26 September 2018

The geography of art post 1945 has a boringly settled look and needs disturbing. This engaging and readable book makes a useful starting point. The standard view begins with the switch of More

Robin Gerster reviews 'On War and Writing' by Samuel Hynes

Robin Gerster
26 September 2018

'Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier.’ Samuel Johnson’s aphorism was commended to me many years ago by Peter Ryan, then the long-serving publisher at Melbo More

Brian Matthews reviews 'Antipodean Perspective: Selected Writings of Bernard Smith' edited by Rex Butler and Sheridan Palmer

Brian Matthews
26 September 2018

The editors begin their introduction to Antipodean Perspective with some ground clearing: ‘The putting together of a series of responses to an important scholar’s work is a cl More

Paul Collins reviews 'The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914' by Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder

Paul Collins
26 September 2018

Mythology, Manning Clark regularly assured us, was our ‘great comforter’ because it explained creation, evil, and our place in the world. According to Clark, three ‘mythologies’ we More

Alan Atkinson on 'Endeavour: The Ship and the Attitude that Changed the World' by Peter Moore

Alan Atkinson
25 September 2018

In 1786, extraordinary limewood carvings at Hampton Court near London by the seventeenth-century master Grinling Gibbons were destroyed by fire. A recent book by the American carver David More

Peter McPhee reviews 'Napoleon: Passion, death and resurrection 1815–1840' by Philip Dwyer

Peter McPhee
25 September 2018

A son of the French Revolution, Napoleon embedded in French society the Revolution’s core goals of national unity, civil equality, a hierarchy based on merit and achievement, and a rural More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'City Life: The new urban Australia' by Seamus O’Hanlon

Frank Bongiorno
25 September 2018

Afew years ago, while taking a tram through Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs, I decided to visit the Northcote factory – an industrial laundry – where my father worked as a storema More

Paul Humphries reviews 'Wild Sea: A history of the Southern Ocean' by Joy McCann

Paul Humphries
25 September 2018

Icebergs loom large in Joy McCann’s Wild Sea: A history of the Southern Ocean. They are one of the most recognisable features of the higher latitudes of the Southern Ocean and t More

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A year of keeping bees' by Helen Jukes

Keegan O'Connor
25 September 2018

The eighteenth-century Swiss naturalist François Huber (1750–1831), who is still credited with much of what we know about bees, was almost completely blind when he made his acute ‘obs More

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