Welcome to our new edition. We begin with a major research article by Fred Donnelly which examines Thomas Jefferson's political radicalism, and whether it may have been influenced by John Lilburne and the Levellers: a feat of careful and painstaking detective work.
In Art, the focus is chiefly on sculpture. Paul Flux looks at an important new set of books on the works of major post-war sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. The Henry Moore exhibition at the Tate Modern was arguably the major artistic event of this year, and Paul provides his own impressions, with special emphasis on the famous Underground drawings. The theme of war crops up again in the new book Punch Goes to War, which has been published to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain. It is historically fascinating, poignant, and of course very amusing.
Neil Jackson provides a probing feature on the works of modern working-class novelist Magnus Mills, and a review of the dystopian sixties film Privilege, a new release on the BFI's Flipside imprint, which bears uncanny parallels with today's England. I examine A Kid for Two Farthings, a sweet-tempered and obscure Carol Reed film which provides a window into a now-vanished London, and nostalgia of a different kind surfaces in the works of Helen Bradley, charming evocations of an Edwardian Northern childhood. Alex Betts' tracing of Robin Hood Through the Ages highlights the mutability and permanence of this shadowy figure.
There are also plenty of music reviews: James Turner evaluates numerous new folk and rock releases, from Merlin's Keep, David Rotheray and many others, including the Talking Elephant restoration of the legendary Beggar's Hill album. In the classical section, Em Marshall contributes reviews of composers from Byrd to Sorabji, highlighting obscure and well-known works. Diversions muses on Peter Sarstedt's haunting Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) and advises on roasting chestnuts. There should, in other words, be something for everyone.--The Editor