Placing Chaucer

Placing Chaucer

Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner. Princeton University Press, 2019. Hardcover, 624 pages, $40. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson We know so little about Shakespeare’s life. The facts could be put onto no more than a page. That has not prevented biographers from...
Writer as Goad

Writer as Goad

Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures by Adina Hoffman. Yale University Press, 2019 Hardcover, 264 pages, $26. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson Ben Hecht is one of those American writers who seems to have had a hand in everything. He was a Chicago newspaperman who also...
Nothing More to Prove

Nothing More to Prove

The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965–2005 By Zachary Leader Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. Hardcover, 784 pages, $40. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson I was hard on the first volume, The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915–1964, in the June 2015 issue of The New...
A Plodding Penn

A Plodding Penn

William Penn: A Life Andrew R. Murphy Oxford University Press, 2018. Hardcover, 488 pages, $35. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson By the time William Penn (1644–1718) received his charter in 1681 from King Charles II for a new American colony he was already behind the times....
Calhoun, Compromise, and Consequence

Calhoun, Compromise, and Consequence

Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants by H. W. Brands. Doubleday, 2018. Hardcover, 432 pages, $30 Reviewed by Carl Rollyson Henry Clay (1777–1852), John Calhoun (1782–1850),...

Subscribe to the University Bookman