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... recklessness – itself a characteristic product of the Anglo-Scot on the loose, Madsen Pirie or Norman Stone – collided with a Scots conviction that we did at last know where we were, and where we wanted to go. The information revolution had managed to coincide with the cultural renaissance, without playing into the hands of the large concerns, and ...

Tea with Medea

Simon Skinner: Richard Cobb, 19 July 2012

My Dear Hugh: Letters from Richard Cobb to Hugh Trevor-Roper and Others 
Frances Lincoln, 240 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 7112 3240 2Show More
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... that the KA is a pub (I did know that), then you’re lost. ‘The Dean’ (of Peterhouse, Edward Norman) and ‘the Chancellor’ (of Oxford, Harold Macmillan) are not identified. How many readers will translate ‘My Successor … is not in much favour with your successor … owing to his lack of assiduity in his attendance beneath the portrait of Queen ...

Mr and Mr and Mrs and Mrs

James Davidson: Why would a guy want to marry a guy?, 2 June 2005

The Friend 
by Alan Bray.
Chicago, 380 pp., £28, September 2003, 0 226 07180 4
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... the authentic coinage. In case that seems like homophobophobia on my part, let us remember what Norman Stone foresaw for Denmark when it legalised gay marriage in 1989: ‘Its population will consist of golden oldies watching porn videos. The only people to get married will be the gays, and the only people to have children will be the Kurdish ...

The Queen Bee Canticles

David Harsent, 6 January 2011

... sleep. Her breasts were honeycombs and her womb a hive. The Queen in Rapture A summer of storms. A stone-built Norman church. Hives in the graveyard. The priest an incomer who preached only sin and redemption. There you have it. Oh, and on one of the corbels a bee in flight, flanked by a jack-in-the-green and a ...

Rules of the Game

Jon Elster, 22 December 1983

Mémoires 
by Raymond Aron.
Julliard, 778 pp., frs 120, September 1983, 9782260003328
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Clausewitz: Philosopher of War 
by Raymond Aron, translated by Norman Stone and Christine Booker.
Routledge, 418 pp., £15.95, October 1983, 0 7100 9009 9
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Clausewitz 
by Michael Howard.
Oxford, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 19 287608 2
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... Raymond Aron died of a heart attack on 17 October, a few weeks after the publication of his memoirs. He died on the steps of the Paris courthouse where he had been testifying on behalf of his friend Bertrand de Jouvenel, who had been violently attacked in a book on French Fascism. The case was not a simple one, as de Jouvenel had said and done some imprudent things in the Thirties ...

British Chill

Anatol Lieven: What E.H.Carr Got Right, 24 August 2000

The Vices of Integrity: E.H.Carr 1892-1928 
by Jonathan Haslam.
Verso, 306 pp., £25, July 1999, 1 85984 733 1
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... he doesn’t seem to have been the monster that some critics have made him out to be (not least Norman Stone, reviewing The Twilight of Comintern in these pages in 1982). He appears to have been a dutiful and helpful teacher, though he could also be an implacable enemy. If arrogance and bloody-mindedness were strong features of his personality, they ...

Wizard of Ox

Paul Addison, 8 November 1990

... liked to think that he had routed the critics, a judgment which has been endorsed, in the main, by Norman Stone. Others still say that Taylor was completely wrong. Whatever the truth of the matter, one thing at least is clear. Before Taylor, the origins of the Second World War were taken for granted. After Taylor, they were recognised as a major ...

Von Hötzendorff’s Desire

Margaret MacMillan: The First World War, 2 December 2004

Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy 
by David Stevenson.
Basic Books, 564 pp., £26.50, June 2004, 0 465 08184 3
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... Front or about the experiences of ordinary men and women, thanks to the work of historians such as Norman Stone, Hew Strachan, Annette Becker and Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau. With Cataclysm, David Stevenson draws on much recent work to provide a comprehensive account of the war, with a welcome interest both in the non-European theatres and in the home ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm, 29 April 1999

Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... never been broken’. This has to prevail against the modish view of technology as behemoth. As Norman Stone once wrote of Speer, ‘beyond a certain level, technical matters cannot be separated from morality.’ The latter’s claims remain importunate. A good deal of academic effort is devoted to trying to argue people ...

Back to the Ironing-Board

Theo Tait: Weber and Norman, 15 April 1999

The Music Lesson 
by Katharine Weber.
Phoenix House, 161 pp., £12.99, January 1999, 1 86159 118 7
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The Museum Guard 
by Howard Norman.
Picador, 310 pp., £12.99, February 1999, 9780330370097
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... Dutch master which pushes Freddie Montgomery over the edge into homicide. Like Banville, Howard Norman and Katharine Weber write about stealing Dutch paintings, and they share a similar attitude to them. For them, Dutch art represents modesty of subject-matter, and precision – ‘the details’ is a phrase of some importance in both novels, and both are ...

Halls and Hovels

Colin Richmond, 19 December 1991

The Architecture of Medieval Britain 
by Colin Platt, with photographs by Anthony Kersting.
Yale, 325 pp., £29.95, November 1990, 0 300 04953 6
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... are interesting or, for that matter, beautiful. Most castles, for instance, are ugly; almost all Norman buildings, especially Norman cathedrals, are large and little else. The aesthetics of Heritage History come into play here. Caernarvon Castle is an imperial monstrosity; the nave of Durham Cathedral is colonial brutalism ...

Unaccommodated Man

Christopher Tayler: Adventures with Robert Stone, 18 March 2004

Bay of Souls 
by Robert Stone.
Picador, 250 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 330 41894 7
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... Robert Stone was born in August 1937, nine months after Don DeLillo and three – we’re told – after Thomas Pynchon. Dog Soldiers, his second novel, made his name in the mid-1970s, and since then he has stubbornly held his ground on the upper slopes of American literary life. Fellowships, prizes, grants and commissions have rarely been in short supply, and his later books – from A Flag for Sunrise to Damascus Gate – have been much admired ...

Paradise Syndrome

Sukhdev Sandhu: Hanif Kureishi, 18 May 2000

Midnight All Day 
by Hanif Kureishi.
Faber, 224 pp., £9.99, November 1999, 0 571 19456 7
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... and young characters made it seem a product of a hypothetical GLC film unit. Small wonder that Norman Stone bemoaned ‘the overall feeling of disgust and decay’ conveyed by the film and complained that Kureishi was inciting a ‘sleazy, sick hedonism’. Audiences disagreed. Costing £600,000 to make, the film grossed $15,000,000 and earned the ...

Anglo-Saxon Aptitudes

John Gillingham, 17 November 1983

The Anglo-Saxons 
edited by James Campbell.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £16.50, July 1982, 0 7148 2149 7
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Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective 
by C.R. Dodwell.
Manchester, 353 pp., £35, October 1982, 0 7190 0861 1
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Anglo-Saxon Poetry 
edited by S.A.J. Bradley.
Dent, 559 pp., £10.95, August 1982, 0 460 10794 1
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The Anglo-Saxon World 
edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Boydell and Brewer, 275 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85115 169 8
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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The Authentic Voices of England, from the Times of Julius Caesar to the Coronation of Henry II 
by Anne Savage.
Heinemann, 288 pp., £14.95, March 1983, 0 434 98210 5
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... radical cultural transformation. It meant, for example, the coming of the book and of building in stone. As Patrick Wormald suggests, these are changes the significance of which should be understood by an age which has itself seen the advent of the microchip and pre-stressed concrete. In government, in art and in literature the Anglo-Saxons showed ...

In Good Estate

Eamon Duffy, 2 January 1997

Westminster Abbey and the Plantagenets: Kingship and the Representation of Power 1200-1400 
by Paul Binski.
Yale, 241 pp., £45, May 1995, 0 300 05980 9
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... West minster to St Paul’s East minster. The settlement which, under Edward the Confessor and his Norman successors, would become the nation’s capital, was thus sandwiched between two great churches, dedicated to the patron saints of the most symbolic of all ancient cities, Rome. This connection with Rome and Peter was fundamental to Westminster. Legend had ...

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