"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Captured By Light

    Catherine Marshall
    Captured By Light
    Stained glass is a difficult medium to make one’s living in. Even in wartime, when Wilhelmina Geddes received many commissions for memorial windows, her work was frustrated by the scarcity of lead, which was also needed for bullets and coffins.

    The Great Incendiary

    Tom Wall
    The Great Incendiary
    A new study of James Larkin takes some of the shine off his reputation; still, plaster saints are no longer in vogue. Big Jim’s vision was fundamentally moral. His gift to workers will be remembered and he can afford to be taken down a peg or two and still tower above.

    Down Among the Dead Men

    John Fleming
    You cannot understand an old city if you are not tuned to the cacophony of tenancy claims that greet you in stairwells as you trudge up to a fifth-floor flat. You are dead inside if you do not heed the joyous calls from beyond the grave of deceased residents.

    A Larkinite In Power

    Barry Desmond
    Frank Cluskey had some very considerable achievements to his credit as a Labour Party minister in coalition governments, but he found himself at odds with many in his party, in particular over attitudes to the violence that was then beginning to unfold in the North.

    Curation Once Again

    John Fanning
    The current vogue for the term curation arose in tandem with the conceptual art movement, where the idea or concept of art took precedence over the traditional aesthetic, but accelerated in the 1990s when the boundaries between big art, big business and big data began to erode.

    War in Words

    Carlo Gébler
    And by wars what he had in mind, Gerald Dawe went on to explain, were not only those that one might expect Irish poets to write about (“the Easter Rising, the War of Independence, and the civil war in Ireland”) but those other twentieth century wars, including the Great War, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.

    The King’s Man

    Graham Price
    During the reign of Elizabeth, Shakespeare had concentrated on English political history, but following the accession of the Scottish King James and the Gunpowder Plot, the strife and politics of Britain as a whole would become the focus of Shakespearian drama.

    Kafka on Thames

    Adrian Hardiman
    The injustice done to British broadcaster Paul Gambaccini as part of the Yewtree investigation leads one to wonder if the presumption of innocence can survive in a legal system which permits the police and media to destroy a person’s reputation in advance of any trial.

    King Cotton

    Mary Jones
    Three elements - imperial expansion, expropriation, and slavery - became central to the forging of a new global economic order that eventually led to the emergence of capitalism. And the story of the development of cotton perfectly illustrates the stages of this process.

    The Thing Itself

    Peter Sirr
    Harvard told Helen Vendler they didn’t want her – or any woman – teaching there. Later, having established a foothold in academia, she settled on two guiding principles: first that her subject was to be poetry and second that she wanted to be a critic rather than a scholar.

    Rebellious Spirit

    Mary Rose Doorly
    When Charlotte Brontë looked into the mirror she saw nothing but flaws. But this sense of not being attractive was to goad her into a fierce assertion of independence and eventually to the creation of a heroine ‘as small and plain as myself’ whose name remains with us today.

    The Undead

    Terence Killeen
    A new study of Joyce is based on the idea that because of the retarded nature of Irish modernisation and its colonial status, communal belief in ghosts and the spirit world persisted, whereas elsewhere such beliefs were banished to the sphere of the subjective.

    A Book of Two Halves

    Andy Pollak
    A new history of sport in Ireland impresses with its meticulous research and its account of the historical origins and the momentous developments of the nineteenth century but somewhat runs out of steam and loses direction as we approach the present day.

    Muscular Christians

    Martin Henry
    The intellectualism of early Protestantism is hard to overestimate. It was bred in the universities and was a practice in which constant struggle, intellectual and spiritual, was central. A consequence was that it seemed to have little enough time for the unlettered.