Frank Brownlow

Frank Brownlow is professor emeritus of English at Mount Holyoke College.

Latest by Frank Brownlow in Chronicles

Results: 35 Articles found.
  • Thank You, Auden!
    May 2018

    Thank You, Auden!

    With the publication of volumes V and VI, the Princeton edition of W.H. Auden’s collected prose is complete in almost 5,000 pages, covering over 45 years of a writing life.

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  • Still Unexplained
    September 2017

    Still Unexplained

    Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), dean of St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland cathedral in Dublin, was a most remarkable man.

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  • May 2016

    Sharia, Not Shakespeare

    When Allardyce Nicholl, then professor of English at Birmingham University, founded the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1951, he intended from the beginning that it should have an international flavor.

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  • Kidnapped
    February 2016


    Aldersey-Williams is obsessed, he says, with Browne, a fascinating combination of writer and protoscientist who, he believes, is “insufficiently known and unjustly neglected” by literary people and scientists alike.

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  • The Incomparable Max
    November 2015

    The Incomparable Max

    Back in 1965, reviewing Lord David Cecil’s life of Beerbohm, W.H. Auden wrote that Beerbohm’s kind of “pure” essay, written “only to produce aesthetic satisfaction,” was a genre “to which no reader under sixty can bring himself to attend.”

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  • My Only Light
    August 2015

    My Only Light

    One of the things that James VI of Scotland liked about becoming James I of England—apart from the money—was that as head of the Church of England he would never be bossed about by a Scotch Calvinist minister again.

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  • The Academic Shakespeareans
    May 2015

    The Academic Shakespeareans

    The last 30 years or so have seen a remarkable shift in the understanding of English religious history at the time of the Reformation.

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  • Mismatch
    April 2015


    Philip Larkin, the poet-librarian of Hull University, died December 2, 1985, over 29 years ago. In the years since Andrew Motion published the first biography (1993), and Anthony Thwaite published both the first complete edition of the poems (1989) and the first collection of letters (1992), a small industry has grown up devoted to the poet.

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  • Speaking as an Irishman
    November 2014

    Speaking as an Irishman

    If the best advice one can give an aspiring writer of prose is to study the best models, then Jonathan Swift’s prose, as a lot of people who should know agree, provides the best model of all in English.

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  • The Left’s Long March
    September 2014

    The Left’s Long March

    On June 2, FOX News’s The Five were discussing the Harvard commencement speech of ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, in which he pointed out that something like 95 percent of the faculty had supported Obama.

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  • An Epic Bogosity
    December 2012

    An Epic Bogosity

    The standard histories of English literature give Edmund Spenser top-drawer ranking with Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, and there is no denying the power of his idiosyncratic style at its best or his appeal to other poets with epic ambitions. Nonetheless, he has never been popular.

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  • An Unruly Character
    October 2012

    An Unruly Character

    While in prison awaiting trial, he converted to Catholicism, a dangerously countercultural thing to do in the England of 1598.

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  • Of Genes, Vowels, and Violence
    February 2010

    Of Genes, Vowels, and Violence

    Why do the British speak English and not a variety of Welsh? Philip Jenkins, having fallen under the sway of a Harvard medieval historian, Michael McCormick, believes it is because the invading Germans of the fifth and sixth centuries killed all the Celtic-speaking male Britons in what is now England.

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  • Exterminating Fantasies
    October 1999

    Exterminating Fantasies

    What do we make of these contradictions between received opinion and apparent fact? Apparently, nothing.

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  • The Leading Man
    August 1998

    The Leading Man

    On June 16,1956, Ted Hughes married Sylvia Plath in London. He was a recent graduate of Cambridge University, working for the J. Arthur Rank Organization; she, a Smith College graduate at Cambridge on a Fulbright scholarship.

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  • A Life in Themes
    December 1997

    A Life in Themes

    By any assessment, W.B. Yeats was an extraordinary man who led a more active and varied life than most poets.

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  • A Bard, By Any Other Name . . .
    August 1997

    A Bard, By Any Other Name . . .

    Story-telling is a feature of all societies. If the world is to make sense, if we are to live together in families, cities, nations, if we are to do our daily work, if life is to be livable at all, we must tell each other stories.

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  • Recoil and Revulsion
    March 1997

    Recoil and Revulsion

    Back in the 1950's and 60's, when Malcolm Muggeridge was one of the resident personalities of British television, all over Britain people used to wonder what the origins of such a bizarre figure might be.

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  • Bring Me a Grape
    February 1997

    Bring Me a Grape

    What a peculiar, in some respects downright weird little world this fascinating biography introduces us to. Imagine a very clever, very plain, very spoiled little boy, born at the turn of the century into the intensely competitive upper-middle or lower-aristocratic class in Britain.

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  • Johnson in His Time
    May 1995

    Johnson in His Time

    Every well-read person used to know Johnson's Lives of the Poets, and, knowing that collection, knew who Richard Savage was—or at least knew who Richard Savage told people he was.

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Results: 35 Articles found.