Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 23 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


At St Peter’s

Colm Tóibín: The Dangers of a Priestly Education, 1 December 2005

The Ferns Report 
by Francis Murphy, Helen Buckley and Laraine Joyce.
Government Publications, 271 pp., €6, October 2005, 0 7557 7299 7
Show More
Show More
... of the Ferns Report, written by a tribunal chaired by the former Irish Supreme Court judge Francis Murphy. Ferns is a diocese made up of County Wexford in the south-east of Ireland and parts of some of the bordering counties. The tribunal was set up by the Irish government because there seemed to be more clerical offenders in this diocese than in ...

Great Thoughts

E.S. Turner, 7 May 1981

The Macmillan Treasury of Relevant Quotations 
edited by Edward Murphy.
Macmillan, 658 pp., £3.95, August 1980, 0 333 30038 6
Show More
Show More
... and an obscurely naughty joke he is said to have passed on about the female pudenda. At heart, Mr Murphy seems to be a serious-minded man and he concentrates on the writings of the great and not-so-great philosophers. Like Roget, he is too keen on grouping his material under abstract headings: the section on Self is followed by ...


Francis Spufford, 4 July 1996

Why Things Bite Back: New Technology and the Revenge Effect 
by Edward Tenner.
Fourth Estate, 360 pp., £18.99, June 1996, 1 85702 560 1
Show More
Show More
... you could say, turns on the implicit difference between Sod’s Law (everything goes wrong) and Murphy’s Law (if something can go wrong, it will). While the first is vacuous – or a matter of the psychology which ensures we remember the times things go wrong and forget the times they don’t – the second is an engineer’s motto about the scope we ...

Collect your divvies

Ferdinand Mount: Safe as the Bank of England, 15 June 2023

Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the 18th-Century Bank of England 
by Anne Murphy.
Princeton, 275 pp., £30, May, 978 0 691 19474 5
Show More
Show More
... to reinforce the reputation of ‘the Palladium of public credit’. It is at this point that Anne Murphy takes her bird’s eye view of a day in the life of the bank. In her acknowledgments she expresses some apprehension about having plumped for this approach, but she need not have worried. This is a model of economic history, acute, profound and ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
Show More
Show More
... of three now almost forgotten lesbian women: the American heiress and intellectual polymath Esther Murphy (1897-1962); Mercedes de Acosta (1893-1968), the Cuban-American Hollywood screenwriter, memoirist and seductress extraordinaire (Garbo and Dietrich and Isadora Duncan were among her conquests); and the brittle yet pioneering British fashion editor and ...


Bruce Bawer, 2 May 1985

Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald 
by James Mellow.
Souvenir, 569 pp., £15.95, February 1985, 0 285 65001 7
Show More
Home before Dark: A Personal Memoir of John Cheever 
by Susan Cheever.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £10.95, January 1985, 0 297 78376 9
Show More
Show More
... St Paul as the humiliated son of a failed businessman (and as the inordinately proud descendant of Francis Scott Key, author of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’); the glorious salad days at Princeton University, which he left without a degree; the wartime courtship of Zelda Sayre, the belle of Montgomery, Alabama; the sudden fame – and the marriage to Zelda ...

Who scored last?

Gavin Francis: Collision Sport, 5 October 2023

Concussed: Sport’s Uncomfortable Truth 
by Sam Peters.
Allen & Unwin, 448 pp., £20, August, 978 1 83895 577 9
Show More
Show More
... Lisa Hodgson, talking about a pitch-side encounter she had with the renowned player and coach Alex Murphy: ‘“You don’t bring that player off,” and then he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “unless he’s ——ing dead.”’ And then he pushed me onto the field.’ In 2009, it was discovered that at a game between Harlequins and Leinster, the ...

Green Martyrs

Patricia Craig, 24 July 1986

The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse 
edited by Thomas Kinsella.
Oxford, 423 pp., £12.50, May 1986, 0 19 211868 4
Show More
The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry 
edited by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 415 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 571 13760 1
Show More
Irish Poetry after Joyce 
by Dillon Johnston.
Dolmen, 336 pp., £20, September 1986, 0 85105 437 4
Show More
Show More
... enrich another. ‘Rapparees, white-boys, volunteers, ribbonmen ...’: so runs a line in Richard Murphy’s poem ‘Green Martyrs’, one of Kinsella’s choices, naming bands of disaffected countrymen from the 17th century to the 19th, and getting the fullest flavour from these allusions; in a similar way, the phrase ‘hedge school’, with its ...

Life of Brian

Kevin Barry, 25 January 1990

No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O’Brien 
by Anthony Cronin.
Grafton, 260 pp., £16.95, October 1989, 0 246 12836 4
Show More
Show More
... Between 1947 and 1950 Samuel Beckett and Francis Stuart produced a clutch of novels which extend Irish fiction into the world of Europe. Beckett’s life in wartime Paris is not irrelevant to Molloy, Malone dies and The Unnamable, nor is Stuart’s in wartime Berlin to The Pillar of Cloud, Redemption and The Flowering Cross ...

Own your ignorance

Freya Johnston: Samuel Johnson’s Criticism, 25 April 2024

The Literary Criticism of Samuel Johnson: Forms of Artistry and Thought 
by Philip Smallwood.
Cambridge, 219 pp., £85, September 2023, 978 1 009 36999 2
Show More
Show More
... intellectual heroes were English and Continental humanists of the Renaissance – Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Erasmus – questing, chivalric figures who pursued their arduous scholarly experiments in a landscape fraught with dangers and temptations (Smallwood also discerns a ‘tantalising’ series of parallels with Montaigne). Those antecedents went on ...

Saint John Henry

Richard Altick, 5 August 1982

John Henry Newman: His Life and Work 
by Brian Martin.
Chatto, 160 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 7011 2588 8
Show More
Protestant versus Catholic in Mid-Victorian England 
by Walter Arnstein.
Missouri, 271 pp., £14, June 1982, 9780826203540
Show More
Show More
... of a mid-Victorian Ian Paisley, an Irishman bearing the exquisitely un-Protestant name of Murphy, which enliven the pages of Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy: but both belong to the same record of continual religious controversy in 19th-century England. (It was intramural contention, however, not the larger one between Protestant and ...

Karel Reisz Remembered

LRB Contributors, 12 December 2002

... than one generation of British film-makers, and what he did for the stage – Beckett, Pinter, Tom Murphy, Terence Rattigan – has changed the game for several more to come. You might say the drama in Karel Reisz’s life existed at quite a deep level, but it also existed in his conversation. At tables, in cars, in foyers, on the phone, Karel Reisz and his ...

You’ve got it or you haven’t

Iain Sinclair, 25 February 1993

Inside the Firm: The Untold Story of the Krays’ Reign of Terror 
by Tony Lambrianou and Carol Clerk.
Pan, 256 pp., £4.99, October 1992, 0 330 32284 2
Show More
Gangland: London’s Underworld 
by James Morton.
Little, Brown, 349 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 356 20889 3
Show More
Nipper: The Story of Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read 
by Leonard Read and James Morton.
Warner, 318 pp., £5.99, September 1992, 0 7515 0001 1
Show More
Smash and Grab: Gangsters in the London Underworld 
by Robert Murphy.
Faber, 182 pp., £15.99, February 1993, 0 571 15442 5
Show More
Show More
... This might, of course, be strategic confusion, some reflex habit of legalistic discretion. Robert Murphy’s Smash and Grab gets Jan son’s name and publisher right, and offers an altogether sparkier bibliography, with a list of films as an entertaining extra, and a useful glossary of underworld slang (for aspirant screenwriters trying to knock out an ...

The Whole Bustle

Siobhan Kilfeather, 9 January 1992

The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing 
edited by Seamus Deane.
Field Day Publications/Faber, 4044 pp., £150, November 1991, 0 946755 20 5
Show More
Show More
... dominated by issues of national government and sectarian difference. With the exception of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington’s essay ‘War and Feminism’ there is no acknowledgment of the debates over women’s rights, sexuality and reproduction in which Mary Robinson, for example, established her reputation. Indeed, one could read through this whole ...

Just one of those ends

Michael Wood: Apocalypse Regained, 13 December 2001

Apocalypse Now Redux 
directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
August 2001
Show More
Marlon Brando 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Weidenfeld, 216 pp., £12.99, October 2001, 0 297 84284 6
Show More
Show More
... too, and takes off on an extraordinary literary ramble from which it never returns and in which Francis Coppola and his team seem to have decided to do The Golden Bough as their Christmas pantomime. The confused ending weighs on the film but doesn’t wreck it, so we don’t need to hush up the confusion or pretend it isn’t confusion at all. Apocalypse ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences