Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Myth of Medieval Paganism

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. Most people who have explored the medieval architecture of Western Europe have heard a tour guide explain that a particular carving . . . . Continue Reading »

The Unreasonable Man

Speaking to his friend Frederick Lindemann in the 1920s, Winston Churchill remarked, “Far too much has been and is being written about me.” Among Churchill’s many chroniclers, even at that early date, was Churchill himself: a true history-writing history-maker, who wrote not only to make money . . . . Continue Reading »

The Individualist

On February 2, 2018, seven members of a group called Bristol Antifascists assembled outside a lecture hall at the University of the West of England in Bristol. They donned balaclavas or dark glasses, according to taste, and entered through the double doors at the back of the hall. “No platform for . . . . Continue Reading »

Chaucer’s Divine Seriousness

Chaucer:  A European Life marion turner princeton, 624 pages, $39.95 Chaucer has not lacked for biographies, but Marion Turner’s is of a rare ambition and competence. Its method is geographical, even topographical, approaching the poet’s life by way of the extraordinarily disparate places . . . . Continue Reading »

Carry On, Plum

Jeeves and the King of Clubs:  A Novel in Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by ben schott little, brown, 320 pages, $27 Jeeves and the Wedding Bells:  An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by sebastian faulks st. martin’s, 256 pages, $25.99 Aunts, Comrades, Gentlemen . . . According to Hilaire Belloc, . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

A Field Guide to the English Clergy:  A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising by fergus butler-gallie oneworld, 192 pages, $20 Ah, the holy fool. Though we often associate such characters with the great tomes of Russian . . . . Continue Reading »

Inside Amazon

Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain by james bloodworth atlantic, 288 pages, $19.95 What single image best sums up Amazon, which this year became, after Apple, the world’s second-ever trillion-dollar company? Is it the grinning face of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and very . . . . Continue Reading »

The Monster's Servant

Thomas Cromwell:  A Revolutionary Life by diarmaid macculloch viking, 752 pages, $40 They said it could not be done. At least Sir Geoffrey Elton, to whose memory his former doctoral student has dedicated this book, said it could not be done. According to him, as Diarmaid MacCulloch reminds us, . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles