Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.

  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.

Tom Crewe

Tom Crewe is an editor at the LRB.

Short Cuts: The Absence of Politics

Tom Crewe, 10 October 2019

The vocabulary​ of British politics is oddly constant. All of human life is potentially up for debate, but over the centuries our politicians have tended to fall back on stock phrases. This is especially true when it comes to talking about the constitution. Some word-pairings are predictable – e.g. ‘constitutional reform’. Some are inevitable: ‘constitutional’...

Diary: The Queen and I

Tom Crewe, 1 August 2019

I paused to take a closer look. There was someone sitting in the nearest seat. It was the queen, separated from me by a few inches and a pane of glass. We locked eyes for a vital moment: if my dead grandfather had been unwrapping a pork pie in there I couldn’t have been more surprised. When we got to Cambridge I stood and looked down the platform to confirm I wasn’t mad and there she was, stepping off the train into the waiting boredom of dignitaries. She was public again, in walkabout mode. But I knew we had seen into each other’s souls.

The​ definition of Conservative policy, according to Lord Salisbury, was the preaching of ‘confidence’: the ‘provision of work … will only exist where confidence exists; when the capitalist is sure of being repaid for his investment’. When ‘confidence is destroyed’, he told an audience in 1882, ‘capital will not flow, enterprise cannot be...

Robert Peters​, né Parkins, wasn’t much to look at. He was ‘a little man with a stiff back who walked like a penguin’. Photographs show him as steeply balding, with a rice puddingy face that glooped onto his dog collar. He was tubby, and got tubbier. But something about him made a certain kind of woman sit up. At the Institute of Historical Research in the 1950s,...

Not much​ has stuck with me from my two years studying politics at A-Level. The word ‘quango’ and what it stands for (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation). And the couple of times when actual politics, the thing itself, knocked on the classroom door asking to be let in. I happened to be in a politics lesson when David Cameron was declared the new leader of the...

Short Cuts: The p-p-porn ban

Tom Crewe, 4 April 2019

Have​ you p-p-picked up a porn pass? In April the UK government plans to introduce – or at least plans to announce a definite date for the introduction of – the world’s first ‘porn ban’, which will block all access to porn websites nationwide unless the user can prove they’re 18 or older. One such proof will be a ‘porn pass’, available at your...

What is​ a Gavin Shuker? Most of the time, it isn’t necessary to know, unless you live in the Luton South constituency. If you don’t live there, even if you’re a Labour voter, you don’t really need to know what a Gavin Shuker is. It is a vote in Parliament. It helps make a majority, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, it might next time. It is a sort of...

At Tate Britain: Burne-Jones

Tom Crewe, 24 January 2019

There are​ self-trained artists; then there are self-willed ones. Edward Burne-Jones, like Vincent Van Gogh, was one of the latter. That’s to say, he decided, in 1855, to be an artist – he was studying for a theology degree at Oxford at the time – without knowing whether he was capable of being one, perhaps even without considering absence of talent a potential obstacle....

Story: ‘Mr Gladstone’s Funeral’

Tom Crewe, 20 December 2018

William Ewart Gladstone​, four times prime minister of Great Britain and Ireland, died of a cancer of the palate on the 19th of May 1898. Ascension Day. It was fitting, Bill’s father said, for a Christian gentleman. It was at moments like these, he thought, when you could detect a pattern in the world.

Now they were travelling to stand with the crowds and bear witness at Mr...

Here was a plague

Tom Crewe, 27 September 2018

Aids starts with the deaths. With the dying. At first there was only confusion, incomprehension. Bodies that quickly became unintelligible to themselves. Nightsweats, shingles, thrush, diarrhoea, sores that crowded into mouths and made it impossible to eat. A fantastically rare form of pneumonia. Dementia in men of twenty: brains that shrank and withered. Tuberculosis of the stomach, of the bone marrow. A cancer meant to be slow-moving, to manifest benignly in elderly men from the Mediterranean, which burrowed from the outside in: from marks on the skin, to the stomach and lungs. Non-human illnesses: men dying from the blights of sheep, of birds, of cats, diseases no man had ever died of before. Men dying in the time it takes to catch and throw off a cold: ‘One Thursday,’ David France writes in How to Survive a Plague, ‘sexy Tommy McCarthy from the classifieds department stayed out late at an Yma Sumac concert. Friday he had a fever. Sunday he was hospitalised. Wednesday he was dead.’

Impressionists in/on London

Tom Crewe, 26 April 2018

It is​ a perfect Impressionist scene: a strangely empty stretch of the Seine, at the crossing-point between Suresnes and the Bois de Boulogne, where Parisians imagined themselves in the country. The view is from one side of the river, cropped so that the prow of a boat and the prongs of a tree intrude from the left; reflections seep and blur across its surface, like colours mixed into the...

Short Cuts: Colourisation

Tom Crewe, 22 March 2018

‘What​ was it like growing up in black and white?’ was a question I asked my mother once. Until that moment her memories of childhood, so much more engrossing than any bedtime story, had unspooled in my head in perfect greyscale. (They do still, in childish defiance of the facts.) It wasn’t as if I’d seen many photographs of her as a girl – I still...

There are​ two portraits Roger Fenton took of himself, separated by only a year, one of them in the exhibition of his photographs of the Crimean War at the Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh (until 26 November) and the other not. The first, from 1854, seems conventional: we see a Victorian gentleman – hair parted, beard trimmed to cover only the underside of his face, leaving the...

Short Cuts: The Party Conferences

Tom Crewe, 18 October 2017

Never despair​ of finding diamonds in the dust. Sir Eric Pickles, until 2015 Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, isn’t the sort of figure from whom one expects or desires fragments of autobiography, but, introducing his internal review of the Conservative Party’s performance in the 2017 election, he offered a gem, unasked:

In my Whitehall office as a...

Short Cuts: The State of Statuary

Tom Crewe, 20 September 2017

Most days​ I eat my lunch sitting under the statue of Charles James Fox in Bloomsbury Square. There are broad steps on each side of the statue, their Portland stone now stained an aqueous green, and I like to sit beneath and between Fox’s feet, looking, with him, down Bedford Place and towards Russell Square. Like most fat men in statuary (and in life), Fox is seated for greater...

The New Deal

Tom Crewe, 16 August 2017

‘Post-truth’ is a faulty concept because it presupposes the existence of shared, accepted ‘truths’ which are actually, you know, true. But also because it implies the existence of a ‘pre-truth’ period, a lawless Wild West of unmeaning and misunderstanding that was at some point tamed by the self-discipline and integrity of politicians and the media. This second assumption is equally misguided.

About​ ten years ago, my great-uncle spent a month in a coma. Afterwards, the only thing he could remember was a dream – it wasn’t clear whether it had lasted the whole month or five minutes. In the dream he was travelling on a cruise ship crewed entirely by chimpanzees. Each morning the human passengers were gathered on the foredeck of the ship and one was selected by the chimp...

Labour’s Prospects

Tom Crewe, 17 May 2017

There is no reason why a plea to ‘do things differently’ couldn’t work: the gamble has been that the public are sufficiently disillusioned and dissatisfied with politics-as-usual (which they are) to vote for radical change (which they’ve already done once, in choosing to leave the EU). The problem is that while May and the Conservatives have looked at the post-New Labour landscape with clear eyes, the Corbynites have looked at it predominantly through the lens of Labour history.

The Unrelenting Bensons

Tom Crewe, 19 April 2017

I’m not sure what characteristics are generally shared by the children of archbishops but I’m quite certain that the Bensons were unlike the children of anyone else. They were all prone to depression, to a greater or lesser extent, possessing what Arthur referred to as a ‘diseased self-consciousness’. They all – probably in reaction to their father – approached the world at an angle, preferring ‘a sort of casuistical, speculative, delicate, spectatorial criticism of life’. All of them wrote books. None married or had children, and they all preferred their own sex.

Assault on Local Government

Tom Crewe, 15 December 2016

The creation of the British state was a municipal project, and the state is now being unmade by the collapse of that project. What we really mean when we say that austerity has slashed the state – it is a vital distinction, and not made nearly often enough – is that it has wrecked the ability of elected local authorities to provide and administer many of the features and functions of the state as we understand them. Without seeing austerity in these terms, we can’t properly appreciate what it has been attempting, and what it has achieved.

Short Cuts: Ed Balls

Tom Crewe, 21 September 2016

The careers​ of politicians do not always end when they were supposed to. The Duke of Portland resigned as prime minister in 1783, only to have another, more successful go at governing 24 years later. Gladstone retired from the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1874 aged 65, but was leader and prime minister again by 1880, and quit his fourth premiership on a point of principle in 1894...

In the Corbyn Camp

Tom Crewe, 10 August 2016

It was impossible to disagree when someone pointed out that a year or so ago the idea of this many people sitting in a hall during a heatwave to discuss the Labour Party would have seemed fantastical.

Balfour and the Souls

Tom Crewe, 30 March 2016

Virginia Woolf’​s body was still undiscovered, lodged under Southease Bridge, when Margot Asquith, approaching eighty, published her personal tribute in the Times. The two women had been friends of a sort (Leonard disapproved): both were leading lights in famous circles of famous friends; both possessed a conversational brilliance liable to be iced with cruelty, an intensity...

Dance Halls

Tom Crewe, 7 January 2016

Maureen met Keith at a dance in Middlesbrough Town Hall, sometime in 1955. They were both in their early twenties; she was a nurse and he was in the merchant navy. The week before – she went dancing every week, if she didn’t have a shift – Maureen had been followed off the bus by a man who then stalked her all the way to her front door, lingering outside even as she slipped off her shoes in the hallway. It was with this in mind that she accepted Keith for the last dance of the evening, knowing he would be obliged to escort her home afterwards.

Mr and Mrs Disraeli

Tom Crewe, 15 July 2015

I first heard​ of Benjamin Disraeli in a school assembly when I was ten or eleven. Our headmaster also taught history, and though he was known to us mainly as an expert in horse-drawn hoes, seed drills and threshing machines, that day he introduced us to a man born into the wrong religion and given an imperfect education, an author of unlikely novels and unlikelier cheques, sniffed at...

From The Blog
22 April 2016

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a difficult time to be a Prince fan, not just because he was still in the creative gulf separating 1996's botched Emancipation from his return to the mainstream with Musicology in 2004, but because I wasn't even a teenager yet. I'd been given The Hits for my tenth birthday (My Dad was a fan); I played the first track – ‘Soft and Wet’, from his first album, For You (1978), sung in a joyful, sexy squeal – and then played it again and again. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Prince?


Here was a plague

27 September 2018

Tom Crewe writes: I don’t think I’m ‘nostalgic’ for the pre-HIV sex scene – envious, certainly. Nor did I claim that people with HIV felt themselves to be ‘missing out on the fun of sex’, though it would be very odd if this wasn’t one aspect of the appalling misery of infection, especially in the pre-symptom period – Oscar Moore and Derek Jarman...

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.