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The Balboan View

Kenneth Silverman: Alfred Kinsey, 7 May 1998

Alfred Kinsey: A Public/Private Life 
by James Jones.
Norton, 937 pp., £28, October 1997, 0 393 04086 0
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... in the Human Male, better known as the ‘Kinsey Report’. Its author, as portrayed in James Jones’s exasperating biography, was no less of a paradox than his book. On this side, the public figure – a sober scientist with an original, careful methodology; over there, the man: a switch-hitting exhibitionist, voyeur and sadomasochist. The scientist’s ...
Wars and Revolutions: Britain 1760-1815 
by Ian Christie.
Arnold, 359 pp., £17.50, June 1982, 0 7131 6157 4
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Augustan England: Professions, State and Society 1680-1730 
by Geoffrey Holmes.
Allen and Unwin, 323 pp., £18.50, November 1982, 0 04 942178 6
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... his subject in vacuo. It is the great strength of both Ian Christie’s Wars and Revolutions and Geoffrey Holmes’s discussion of the Augustan professions that they each, in their different ways, avoid any such insularity of approach. Christie’s book is a sophisticated, wide-ranging and lucidly written text, one of the best in the ‘New History of ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty, 11 December 1997

... Isaacs), to the guest-house in Rhyl where Hanratty said he’d stayed. The landlady, Mrs Grace Jones, was not at all diverted by the pulverising she’d got from the prosecution at the trial. She was more sure than ever that Hanratty had stayed in her house on the night of the murder, 22 August 1961. She was backed up by Terry Evans, whom Hanratty had met ...

The Laying on of Hands

Alan Bennett, 7 June 2001

... Also thinking how English these occasions tended to be was the young priest in charge, Father Geoffrey Jolliffe. Father Jolliffe was Anglican but with Romish inclinations that were not so much doctrinal as ceremonial and certainly sartorial. Amiable, gregarious and plump, he looked well in the cloak he generally went about in, a priest with a bit of a ...

‘Oh no Oh No OH NO’

Thomas Jones: Julian Barnes, 17 February 2011

Pulse 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 228 pp., £16.99, January 2011, 978 0 224 09108 4
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Nothing to Be Frightened Of 
by Julian Barnes.
Vintage, 250 pp., £8.99, March 2009, 978 0 09 952374 1
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... him, though, he imagines it’s ‘a sprightly 65’. The narrator of Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), Geoffrey Braithwaite, is a sprightly 65, or thereabouts. He’s a retired, widowed doctor, whose wife, Ellen (note her initials), was serially unfaithful: in other words, he’s a sprightly updating of Charles Bovary, however much he would resist the ...

Access to Ultra

Brian Bond, 16 June 1983

Hidden Weapons: Allied Secret or Undercover Services in World War Two 
by Basil Collier.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £15, April 1982, 0 241 10788 1
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The Other Ultra: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan 
by Ronald Lewin.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £10.95, April 1982, 0 09 147470 1
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The Puzzle Palace 
by James Bamford.
Sidgwick, 465 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 283 98976 9
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... had much to boast about in the inter-war period. In his foreword to Hidden Weapons, Professor R.V. Jones recalls expressing disquiet to Lord Vansittart that MI6 was recruited on the basis of friendship rather than competence. Vansittart agreed, but added that the pay was so bad it was only your friends you could persuade to take the job. Ironically, Kim Philby ...

Shall we tell the children?

Paul Seabright, 3 July 1986

Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hodder, 516 pp., £19.95, June 1986, 0 340 25751 2
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Bloomsbury/Freud: The Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925 
edited by Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick.
Chatto, 360 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7011 3051 2
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... including Nina Searl, Ella Sharpe, Susan Isaacs, Donald Winnicott and Barbara Low). Ernest Jones, the President and later Freud’s biographer, was enthusiastic (‘absolutely heart-and-soul whole-hogging pro-Melanie’, according to James Strachey). In July 1925 Klein visited London to give a course of lectures on child analysis, and her arrival for ...

Raven’s Odyssey

D.A.N. Jones, 19 July 1984

Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... an anthology of poems edited by a Conservative MP. My first surprise was to find James Prior and Geoffrey Howe coming up the stairs behind me. Then I found that all the poets had been given red roses to wear, to distinguish them from the politicians. This was hardly necessary, since most of the politicians looked like T.S. Eliot and most of the poets looked ...

Diary

John Jones: Iris, Hegel and Me, 18 December 2003

... war) but enough for her to get excited over something that was much more than a commentary. Also, Geoffrey Mure had just (1950) published A Study of Hegel’s Logic, which was precisely a commentary but an excellent one, a helping hand over the very uneven, thickety terrain of its subject – rampant metaphysics codenamed logic. Mure was almost totally ...

Gurney’s Flood

Donald Davie, 3 February 1983

Geoffrey Grigson: Collected Poems 1963-1980 
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 419 4Show More
The Cornish Dancer 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 64 pp., £4.95, June 1982, 0 436 18805 8
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 420 8
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses: A Critical Collection 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 437 2
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Collected Poems of Ivor Gurney 
edited by P.J. Kavanagh.
Oxford, 284 pp., £12, September 1982, 0 19 211940 0
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War Letters 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 271 pp., £12, February 1983, 0 85635 408 2
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... straight or that one has the necessary stamina to keep the job, but it is a prerequisite.’) Geoffrey Grigson, so much older than Gunn (he is 77), has of course built his career about being considered impertinent, so it’s not surprising to find in his latest collection (his first was in 1939) runovers like these: So mud was on you that day. So it was ...

Something Rather Scandalous

Jean McNicol: The Loves of Rupert Brooke, 20 October 2016

Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth 
by Nigel Jones.
Head of Zeus, 588 pp., £12, April 2015, 978 1 78185 703 8
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Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke 
by Paul Delany.
McGill-Queen’s, 380 pp., £28.99, March 2015, 978 0 7735 4557 1
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The Second I Saw You: The True Love Story of Rupert Brooke and Phyllis Gardner 
by Lorna C. Beckett.
British Library, 216 pp., £16.99, April 2015, 978 0 7123 5792 0
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... 1930 her will replaced Marsh with four men she liked better). The most active of the new trustees, Geoffrey Keynes, brother of Maynard (‘the iron copulating-machine’ whose exploits are much discussed by Brooke and Strachey), was distressed at the idea that people might think Brooke was gay because Marsh, as Keynes put it, had ‘lived in a sexual ...

Rich and Poor in the Ancient World

Fergus Millar, 17 June 1982

... ought to know what to expect from a book called The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, by Geoffrey de Ste Croix, whose career as an ancient historian began after the war when he was a mature student at University College, London under the great A. H. M. Jones. Jones’s Athenian ...

Termagant

Ian Gilmour: The Cliveden Set, 19 October 2000

The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity 
by Norman Rose.
Cape, 277 pp., £20, August 2000, 0 224 06093 7
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... team’ in South Africa, who became an investment banker and remained easily the best of the set; Geoffrey Dawson, editor of the Times for 26 years, who almost worshipped Neville Chamberlain; Lionel Curtis, like Brand and Dawson, a fellow of All Souls, but unlike them often a grinding bore, who pursued impossible ideas such as the unification of the British ...

‘I love you, defiant witch!’

Michael Newton: Charles Williams, 8 September 2016

Charles Williams: The Third Inkling 
by Grevel Lindop.
Oxford, 493 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 19 928415 3
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... in his own life made it particularly precious to him. Aged nearly forty, Williams fell for Phyllis Jones, the 25-year-old blonde librarian at Amen House. This was the first of a series of affairs in which he would opt for a blessed state of sexual frustration. The relationship was that of lover and mistress, but also master and pupil. ...

The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters, 21 March 2013

The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... of Faraday’s experimental sophistication (by David Gooding) and his Sandemanian faith (by Geoffrey Cantor) have deepened, rather than challenged, our sense of his eminence. James’s work, meanwhile – in his own publications and his DNB entry on Faraday – has highlighted Faraday’s importance as a public scientist and government adviser. Drawing ...

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