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Somerdale to Skarbimierz

James Meek, 20 April 2017

... in February 2010. In March, Caramel and Freddo were moved to Cadbury’s Bournville plant and Fry’s Chocolate Cream went to Blois in France. In June, the Crunchie bar line and Fry’s Turkish Delight were moved to Poland, followed in September by Curly Wurly, and in December by Chomp, Fudge, Picnic and Double ...


Paul Seabright, 21 March 1985

The Forger’s Art 
edited by Denis Dutton.
California, 276 pp., £18, June 1984, 0 520 04341 3
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Of Mind and Other Matters 
by Nelson Goodman.
Harvard, 210 pp., £14.90, April 1984, 0 674 63125 0
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Fact, Fiction and Forecast 
by Nelson Goodman.
Harvard, 131 pp., £4.20, April 1984, 0 674 29071 2
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But is it art? 
by B.R. Tilghman.
Blackwell, 193 pp., £15, August 1984, 0 631 13663 0
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... seek illumination; the proper injunction is a practical one to ‘look and see’. He cites Roger Fry’s defence of Post-Impressionism in 1910 as a fine example of this practical way of understanding the unfamiliar. The Post-Impressionists, wrote Fry, were ‘in revolt against the photographic vision of the 19th ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... rue de Rivoli. I go with Jean-Claude. Adonis, Yves Bonnefoy, François-Xavier Jaujard and Paul le Jaloux already there. After an hour’s talk, champagne, quiche, sight of copious buffet in neighbouring room gives me nausea. I lie on sofa under rug. Recovered enough to go back to hotel at midnight. Thursday 3: This morning no desire for food, feel ...

At the NPG

Jean McNicol: ‘Virginia Woolf’, 11 September 2014

... in her outfit. She’s wearing a patterned dress and silk coat by the couturier Nicole Groult, Paul Poiret’s younger sister, commissioned for her by Dorothy Todd’s girlfriend Madge Garland, then Vogue’s fashion editor, whom Woolf had seen wearing the outfit. Garland thought it made Woolf look ‘supremely elegant’, Frances Spalding writes in the ...


Hal Foster: ‘Inventing Abstraction’, 7 February 2013

... 2 January 1911 was an epiphany for the artist) but also of the structural reflexivity of Bach for Paul Klee (who was a gifted musician). As for poetry, Mallarmé had already announced a crisis, and the next generation took the attack on conventional sense to an extreme in Futurist parole in libertà (‘words in freedom’), Russian zaum ...


Paul Foot, 4 August 1988

Britain’s Nuclear Nightmare 
by James Cutler and Rob Edwards.
Sphere, 200 pp., £3.99, April 1988, 0 7221 2759 6
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... in something smaller than a bucket, was a force which could light up every home in Scotland, and fry every egg for every breakfast all the way down to Manchester! It seemed quite wonderful: clean, simple, optimistic. The whole social atmosphere in the area reeked of this enthusiasm. New life had come to Thurso; new, well-off middle-class people had come to ...


Paul Davis: Networking in 18th-century London, 17 March 2005

Aaron Hill: The Muses’ Projector 1685-1750 
by Christine Gerrard.
Oxford, 267 pp., £50, August 2003, 0 19 818388 7
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... in the lines which linked Hill not only to the big fish of Georgian culture but also to smaller fry whom commentators of Brewster’s generation, taking their cue from The Dunciad, might have tossed back into critical oblivion with barely a second glance: the courtier MP William Collier and the theatrical impresario Christopher Rich, for instance, whose ...

Worse than a Defeat

James Meek: Shamed in Afghanistan, 18 December 2014

The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan 
by Jack Fairweather.
Cape, 488 pp., £20, December 2014, 978 0 224 09736 9
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Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War 
by Frank Ledwidge.
Yale, 287 pp., £10.99, July 2014, 978 0 300 20526 8
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British Generals in Blair’s Wars 
edited by Jonathan Bailey, Richard Iron and Hew Strachan.
Ashgate, 404 pp., £19.95, August 2013, 978 1 4094 3736 9
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An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict 1978-2012 
by Mike Martin.
Hurst, 389 pp., £25, April 2014, 978 1 84904 336 6
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... Generals in Blair’s Wars, a collection of 26 essays mainly by retired generals, Sir Paul Newton uses this story to mock the cliché that the British armed forces ‘punch above their weight’. ‘This was like telling a lightweight boxer he can only hit his oncoming heavyweight opponent by punching sideways … The army embraced the manoeuvre ...

Sonic Foam

Ian Penman: On Kate Bush, 17 April 2014

... to never quite spelling things out. My own list would include Powell and Pressburger, Nic Roeg, Paul Nash, Derek Jarman, Anna Kavan, as well as under-celebrated British surrealist painters like Ithell Colquhoun and Emmy Bridgwater. This art revels in the threshold places, the hidden rivers and eerie copses of the British landscape.5 At first it may feel ...

So South Kensington

Julian Bell: Walter Sickert, 20 September 2001

The Complete Writings on Art 
by Walter Sickert, edited by Anna Gruetzner Robins.
Oxford, 699 pp., £90, September 2000, 0 19 817225 7
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... except with a hand mirror’), and made leery mock-bows at academic savants such as Roger Fry and Bernard Berenson (‘making us feel small, and breaking our heads for years with his “inis” and “iccios”’). This unflaggingly stylish and ebullient performance drew on a well-stocked wardrobe of roles. Early appearances regularly featured the ...

All Monte Carlo

James Francken: Malcolm Braly, 23 May 2002

On the Yard 
by Malcolm Braly.
NYRB, 438 pp., £8.99, March 2002, 9780940322967
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... was always true) but I was bursting with urgency and the world was filled with things I wanted.’ Paul Juleson, one of the central characters in On the Yard, ends up in a funk because he shares Braly’s impatience: ‘Nothing had ever come to him as quickly as he had expected and he had always grabbed.’ Juleson is an old lag in San Quentin State ...

Rainy Nights

Sylvia Clayton, 1 March 1984

Sidney Bernstein 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Cape, 329 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 0 224 01934 1
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... several Modiglianis and a Utrillo and was one of the first collectors in this country to admire Paul Klee. He has a taste for ballet, for the plays of Sean O’Casey and Arthur Miller and the films of Eisenstein. He has contrived to be a lifelong socialist and a millionaire entrepreneur, to believe in democracy and have the reputation of running his company ...

Surviving the Reformation

Helen Cooper: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 15 October 1998

The Beggar and the Professor: A 16th-Century Family Saga 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Chicago, 407 pp., £11.95, June 1998, 0 226 47324 4
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... his father. Even plays were dangerous: the bolt from Heaven intended to spark the conversion of St Paul set fire to the actor’s trousers; the wicked son of Haman was almost hanged in the course of a performance of the story of Esther. And if you survived one hazard, it would not be long until the next one. A mason employed to dig a well for Thomas in the ...

Pudding Time

Colin Kidd: Jacobites, 14 December 2006

1715: The Great Jacobite Rebellion 
by Daniel Szechi.
Yale, 351 pp., £25, June 2006, 0 300 11100 2
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... people believed in witches and fairies, then why not also in the Stuarts as divine right monarchs? Paul Monod’s Jacobitism and the English People 1688-1788 (1989) established the importance of Jacobite allegiance within English political culture. It was no longer convincing to depict Jacobitism as an anachronism which, while capable of enchanting the ...

Our Lady of the Counterculture

Marina Warner: The Virgin Mary, 8 November 2012

... appeared on the back page of the comic I read then, called Girl: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth Fry, Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie mingled with Albert Schweitzer and Davy Crockett; their stirring words were blazoned in balloons, against backdrops of crenellated castles, jungles, battlefields. In the pages of the magazines my mother took, I followed ...

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