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Blowing It

Ian Hamilton, 6 March 1980

Breaking Ranks 
by Norman Podhoretz.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £7.95, February 1980, 0 297 77733 5
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... new thoughts. Even as he describes his tremulous excitement as he first pores over the work of Paul Goodman or Norman O. Brown, we suspect that the excitement has as much to do with these thinkers’ viability in the intellectual marketplace as with the blinding rightness of their insights. There was invariably some strategic, career-planning element in ...

Westminster’s Irishman

Paul Smith, 7 April 1994

The Laurel and the Ivy: The Story of Charles Stewart Parnell and Irish Nationalism 
by Robert Kee.
Hamish Hamilton, 659 pp., £20, November 1993, 0 241 12858 7
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The Parnell Split 1890-91 
by Frank Callanan.
Cork, 327 pp., £35, November 1992, 0 902561 63 4
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... that could make him an ugly customer in private life or politics, as the manure merchant, Mr Hamilton, was one of the first to find when he offered to assist a sozzled undergraduate Parnell recumbent in Station Road, Cambridge, and was promptly knocked flat for his pains. Parnell seems to have been propelled by a consuming resentment of English patronage ...

Historian in the Seat of God

Paul Smith: Lord Acton and history, 10 June 1999

Acton and History 
by Owen Chadwick.
Cambridge, 270 pp., £30, August 1998, 0 521 57074 3
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... for composition. Even Acton’s best friends sometimes despaired. Asked maliciously by Eddie Hamilton ‘whether there was to be any result from such wondrous accumulations of knowledge’, W.E. Gladstone thought that Acton would have difficulty in finding a publisher for a dozen volumes on liberty, ‘but being so well versed in history, especially that ...

The Rupert Trunk

Christopher Tayler: Alan Hollinghurst, 28 July 2011

The Stranger’s Child 
by Alan Hollinghurst.
Picador, 565 pp., £20, June 2011, 978 0 330 48324 7
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... need to publicise. In Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography (1992), Ian Hamilton quotes Brooke’s Rugby and Cambridge friend Geoffrey Keynes on the underlying causes of the Eddie-Ranee stand-off: Brooke’s unmanly physical beauty was often taken as an indication that he was probably a homosexual … It had, of course, been far ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Unpopular Culture, 5 June 2008

... Chapter titles in Light, Air and Openness, Paul Overy’s new look at modern architecture between the wars, describe the dream that the style underwrote: ‘The City in the Country’, ‘The House of Health’, ‘Built into the Sun’ and so on.* In the recently restored De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, a rare early example of the international style in England, the Modernist spirit has been so well revived that if more of those whom I saw eating and sunning themselves had been young and bronzed, not old and white-haired, and if the pavilion was not still surrounded by the brick terraces you see in the earliest photographs, you would have guessed that the planner’s dream had been achieved ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blair on Blincoe?, 21 March 2002

... New Statesman. A couple of years ago, in an inspired piece of commissioning, they asked Christine Hamilton to review An Accidental MP, Martin Bell’s account of how he ended up wearing nothing but white suits. And now they’ve got Honor Fraser, a supermodel, to write about Nicholas Blincoe’s latest novel, White Mice (Sceptre, £10.99), because it’s set ...

Irving, Terry, Gary and Graham

Ian Hamilton, 22 April 1993

Behind Closed Doors 
by Irving Scholar and Mihir Bose.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £14.99, November 1992, 0 233 98824 6
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Sick as a Parrot: The Inside Story of the Spurs Fiasco 
by Chris Horrie.
Virgin, 293 pp., £4.99, August 1992, 0 86369 620 1
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Gary Lineker: Strikingly Different 
by Colin Malam.
Stanley Paul, 147 pp., £12.99, January 1993, 0 09 175424 0
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... Sugar’s partner-in-salvation, who helped to draw up the Spurs takeover package that sent Paul Gascoigne off to Lazio. EL Tel genuinely wanted to keep Gascoigne but he knew that the Midland Bank would never allow a near-insolvent Company to hang onto its prime asset. However, he also knows the fan-mentality, and he has somehow managed to persuade us ...

At Tate Britain

Rosemary Hill: ‘Ruin Lust’, 3 April 2014

... Abbey’ by Samuel Prout (date unknown) ‘Equivalents for the Megaliths’ by Paul Nash (1935) ‘The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum’ by John Martin (1822) ‘Sketch for Hadleigh Castle’ by John Constable (1828-9)PreviousNext Within it there are tantalising themes. The one which the Tate’s collection is best suited to develop ...

On Wall Street

Keith Gessen, 20 October 2011

... weeks than in the past few years, but maybe they have. It’s one thing to get berated by bearded Paul Krugman and irascible Barney Frank; it’s another to be told to shut up (‘Money talks … too much,’ one poster read) by an ever growing group of nice-looking kids. For banking to stop siphoning off some of the brightest people around would be a good ...

Theroux and Through

Julian Barnes, 21 June 1984

The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 241 11086 6
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Doctor Slaughter 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 137 pp., £6.95, June 1984, 0 241 11255 9
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... don’t you go writing any more of them, Melvyn, until we’ve all had time to catch up.’ Even Paul Theroux’s most devoted readers might by now be puffing a bit and asking for time to catch up. After a fertile beginning (five books in the first seven or so years), Theroux has doubled his striking rate: since Sinning with Annie (1975) he has published 14 ...

Italianizzati

Hugh Honour, 13 November 1997

A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 
compiled by John Ingamells.
Yale, 1070 pp., £50, May 1997, 0 300 07165 5
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... well known and, at the age of 80, under constant demands for help, he passed his archive to the Paul Mellon Centre in London, which has now published it as this Dictionary, under the editorship of John Ingamells. The Dictionary is unique in its comprehensiveness. No traveller from the British Isles or the British colonies in America who was spotted anywhere ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... Mouse equipped with machine gun and tripod. There’s another machine gun among a cluster of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s sculptures. Patrick Keiller’s 2012 installation The Robinson Institute (which also involved the filmmaker trawling the Tate archives) supplies several apposite works, among them Leonard Rosoman’s 1942 painting Bomb Falling into Water. In ...

Mortal Beauty

Paul Delany, 21 May 1981

Feminine Beauty 
by Kenneth Clark.
Weidenfeld, 199 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 297 77677 0
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Of Women and their Elegance 
by Norman Mailer.
Hodder, 288 pp., £12.50, March 1981, 0 340 23920 4
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Nude Photographs 1850-1980 
edited by Constance Sullivan.
Harper and Row, 204 pp., £19.95, September 1981, 0 06 012708 2
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... movie still of Greta Garbo in The Kiss. The major turning-point is Romney’s ‘Portrait of Lady Hamilton as Circe’. His sexual infatuation with his model is so intense and palpable as to define a tradition that continues unbroken down to the latest Playboy centrefold: the loosened hair, the eyes set in a lustful stare, the half-open rosebud ...

Refuge of the Aristocracy

Paul Smith: The British Empire, 21 June 2001

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 264 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9506 8
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... of rank and race is more ambiguous than he wants to admit. He quotes the wife (unnamed) of Arthur Hamilton Gordon, installed as Governor of Fiji in 1874, who found the manners of the high-ranking Fijians ‘so perfectly easy and well bred. Nurse can’t understand it at all, she looks down on them as an inferior race. I don’t like to tell her that these ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Gardens, 8 July 2004

... in a grotto and Vita Sackville-West’s gardening boots. All pictures in rather than of gardens. Paul Nash uses a grotto, a swordfish sword, a stone hen and a set of steps to articulate the greenery (which, because his photographs, like Smith’s, are in black and white, is not green at all). While water and sculpture are picked up by painters and ...

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