50 essays by the author on classic texts can be found at:

Son of . . .

Lincoln Allison, essayist and retired academic. I normally have lots of books on the go, but the pick of the current crop is Mick Channon Jnr., How’s Your Dad? Embracing Failure in the Shadow of […]

The Play’s the Thing

Brenda James and William D. Rubinstein, The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare, Pearson Longman, 2005 (2006 pb), pp. 360. On more than one occasion at a conference I have been buttonholed by someone […]

The Chairman of Surrey CCC (also Prime Minister)

John Major, More than a Game: the story of cricket’s early years, Harper, 2007, pp. 433. I overheard a remark on Radio 4 recently to the effect that Wagner was like Marmite and cricket: you […]

Risky Shores

George K. Behlmer, Risky Shores: savagery and colonialism in the Western Pacific, Stanford University Press, 2018, pp. xiv + 338. In the common rooms and waiting rooms of my youth Punch was ubiquitous. One rarely […]

Game Changer

Rayvon Fouché, Game Changer: the techno-scientific revolution in sports, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2017, pp. 262 A starting claim of Game Changer is that the impact of technology on sport in the last thirty […]

Knowing the Score

David Papineau, Knowing the Score, How Sport teaches us about Philosophy (and Philosophy about Sport), Constable, 2017, pp. 328 The sub-title to David Papineau’s book suggests a pair of objectives. They are, of course, open […]

Mountains of the Mind

Lincoln Allison, emeritus reader in politics, University of Warwick, is reading Robert Macfarlane’s Mountains of the Mind (Granta, 2003) Mountains were: forbidden and forbidding, an odious nuisance, God-forsaken and ugly, an “other” to be avoided. […]

Power, Pleasure and Profit

David Wootton, Power, Pleasure and Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018, pp. 386. This is a book on the (very large) subject of “the Enlightenment” and […]

Imperial Tea Party

Frances Welch, Imperial Tea Party, family, politics and betrayal: the ill-fated British and Russian royal alliance, Short Books, 2018, pp. 282. Although rather amateurishly presented in several respects this is a fascinating and well-researched slice […]


Lincoln Allison, emeritus reader in politics, University of Warwick, is reading James Hawes’ The Shortest History of Germany (Old Street Publishing, 2017) I was given this book in a pub by a friend who had […]


Lincoln Allison, emeritus reader in politics, University of Warwick, is reading Mikiso Hane’s Japan, A Short History (Oneworld, 2017 printing). When in Tokyo . . . I am one of many who must read the […]