John Carey
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Reviews I have written recently, appearing in the Sunday Times.

Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre by Nicholas Hytner: From War Horse to The History Boys, Nicholas Hytner had a run of successes, but it was often turbulent behind the scenes  (30 April 2017)

The Good Bohemian: The Letters of Ida John edited by Rebecca John and Michael Holroyd: The never-before published letters of Augustus John’s wife Ida show how she suffered from his selfish sexual behaviour  (16 April 2017)

David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet by Thomas Dilworth: Called a ‘genius’ by TS Eliot, the poet and painter David Jones is now barely known. An admiring volume aims to change that  (2 April 2017)

Eat Me: A Natural and Unnatural History of Cannibalism by Bill Schutt: A gripping and alarming study tells us eating humans might be natural after all  (29 January 2017)

Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum by Kathryn Hughes: From Darwin’s bushy beard to Rossetti’s painting of his mistress’s bee-stung lips: how the buttoned-up Victorians really felt about their bodies (15 January 2017)

The Disappearance of Emile Zola: Love, Literature and the Dreyfus Case by Michael Rosen: Fleeing the French authorities over the Dreyfus Affair, Emile Zola took refuge in Upper Norwood  (01 January 2017)

Christmas in the Crosshairs: Two Thousand Years of Denouncing and Defending the World’s Most Celebrated Holiday by Gerry Bowler: Killjoys have been taking potshots at the festive season ever since medieval times  (18 December 2016)

Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison by Jerry White: You either paid or starved to death in the privately run Marshalsea debtors’ prison  (11 December 2016)

Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy: Marconi helped shape the modern world, but this superb biography throws fresh light on his dark side — and his unsavoury connections with fascism (20 November 2016)

The Man Who Ate The Zoo: Frank Buckland, Forgotten Hero of Natural History by Richard Girling:  Despite eating rhinos and wombats, this Victorian naturalist was the Attenborough of his time (6 November 2016)

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J Skal:  The creator of Dracula modelled him on the great actor-manager Henry Irving, suggests this biography (30 October 2016)

Keeping On Keeping On by Alan Bennett:  Not such a teddy bear after all; Alan Bennett abhors the middle classes and thinks Tories are self-seeking liars  (16 October 2016)

A Day in the Life of the Brain: The Neuroscience of Consciousness from Dawn Till Dusk by Susan Greenfield  A revelatory look at what is going on inside our heads  (2 October 2016)

Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation by James Stourton  The man who had a pivotal role in postwar British culture led a picturesque private life  (11 September 2016)

Beryl Bainbridge - Love by All Sorts of Means: A Biography by Brendan King  Beneath her cosy, eccentric surface, the novelist Beryl Bainbridge led a rackety, promiscuous life  (11 September 2016)

Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis by Catrine Clay  A  Brilliant but tormented, Jung was kept sane by his marriage to the wealthy Emma  (7 August 2016)

The Long, Long Life of Trees by Fiona Stafford  From Ancient Greek myth to the Second World War bomber built from wood: a fascinating, impeccably written look at man’s millennia-long relationship with trees  (31 July 2016)

Housman Country: Into the Heart of England by Peter Parker  A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad has represented bucolic England for generations. But we’ve been misunderstanding both the man and the poems all along  (19 June 2016)

Love From Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother ed Donald Sturrock  Roald Dahl’s cheery letters to his mother from the school he hated show the first signs of his fantastical imagination and sadistic sense of humour (5 June 2016)

Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper  He was quarrelsome, dogmatic and bigoted, but by defying the Catholic church, Martin Luther changed the western world for ever (22 May 2016)