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Catharama

J.L. Nelson: Heretics, 7 June 2001

The Perfect Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars 
by Stephen O’Shea.
Profile, 333 pp., £7.99, May 2001, 1 86197 350 0
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The Yellow Cross: The Story of the Last Cathars 1290-1329 
by René Weis.
Viking, 453 pp., £20, November 2000, 0 670 88162 7
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... cheese and Cathar cake. This may seem as innocuous as the 20th-century British retro-chic Raphael Samuel describes in Theatres of Memory. But search the Internet on Cathars (I looked at only a handful of the 5790 web-pages), and material that would clearly interest historians of modern and contemporary culture can only be described as depressing ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... all eat doner kebabs and smoke as much dope as we can get our alien hands on.The social historian Raphael Samuel described the carnival as ‘the most working-class demonstration I have been on … one of the very few [events] of my adult lifetime to have sensibly changed the climate of public opinion’. RAR found itself in a new and unfamiliar ...

Porringers and Pitkins

Keith Thomas: The Early Modern Household, 5 July 2018

A Day at Home in Early Modern England: Material Culture and Domestic Life, 1500-1700 
by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson.
Yale, 311 pp., £40, October 2017, 978 0 300 19501 9
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... and others in 1937 – and furthered by the History Workshop movement launched in 1966 by Raphael Samuel. The modest social origins and leftish sympathies of many academic historians had generated a concern with the lives of ‘ordinary’ people rather than those of the political, social and intellectual elites. In subsequent decades, feminist ...

Upwards and Onwards

Stefan Collini: On Raymond Williams, 31 July 2008

Raymond Williams: A Warrior’s Tale 
by Dai Smith.
Parthian, 514 pp., £25, May 2008, 978 1 905762 56 9
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... and in certain ways damaging, criticism – again, most notably in this paper, where the late Raphael Samuel itemised its failings in particularly unforgiving fashion (4 July 1996). Inglis’s was an unusual biography, partly because it was based on relatively little research into unpublished or archival material: instead, he drew on extensive ...

Rodinsky’s Place

Patrick Wright, 29 October 1987

White Chappell: Scarlet Tracings 
by Iain Sinclair.
Goldmark, 210 pp., £12.50, October 1987, 1 870507 00 2
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... Trust. As the anniversary meeting of the Trust was told by an early and now dissenting member, Raphael Samuel, the conservation of Georgian buildings and the total clearance of local ways of life turn out to be two sides of the same coin. The rising property market threatens Spitalfields with an altogether more devastating uniformity than welfare ...

Diary

Perry Anderson: On E.P. Thompson, 21 October 1993

... but virtually two generations older, since between us lay those – the cohort of Stuart Hall or Raphael Samuel – who had co-founded the New Left, from beginnings in the Fifties rather than the Forties. His looks assisted the illusion, the handsome features at once melodramatically mobile and geologically deep-set, a landscape of wild scarp and ...

Downhill from Here

Ian Jack: The 1970s, 27 August 2009

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies 
by Andy Beckett.
Faber, 576 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 571 22136 3
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... of industrial action not only brought material rewards, but also a kind of spiritual uplift. Raphael Samuel, quoted by Beckett, thought that ‘strikes, for those who took part in them, took on something of the character of [religious] Revivals . . . an occasion for mass conversion, a time when all things are made anew.’ Little of ...

But she read Freud

Alice Spawls: Flora Thompson, 19 February 2015

Dreams of the Good Life: The Life of Flora Thompson and the Creation of ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ 
by Richard Mabey.
Allen Lane, 208 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 14 104481 1
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... the war). Unsurprisingly, farm workers abandoned the land in their hundreds of thousands and, as Raphael Samuel wrote in Village Life and Labour, ‘the village labourer of the 19th century’ became ‘a curiously anonymous figure’; a statistic in parish records, a name on birth, death and marriage certificates, an occupation on the census, but not a ...

Diary

E.P. Thompson: On the NHS, 7 May 1987

... imperatives and taboos – the oaths of égalité – are a goldmine for the oral historian, and Raphael Samuel will collect us as specimens in a nostalgic book. Not many did stay loyal, though, to the oaths of 1942 or 1945. Most proved adaptable. We’ve all adapted a bit. Which reminds me that I neglected to congratulate the young Dame on the new ...

Where are all the people?

Owen Hatherley: Jane Jacobs, 27 July 2017

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs 
by Robert Kanigel.
Knopf, 512 pp., £34, September 2016, 978 0 307 96190 7
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Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs 
edited by Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring.
Random House, 544 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 0 399 58960 7
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... was dominated by The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Kanigel, like Nathan Storring and Samuel Zipp, is keen to make a case for what she did both before and after it, but the space he gives to the various phases of her life tells its own story. Only a quarter of Eyes on the Street is devoted to the fifty years of Jacobs’s life that followed ...

Thirty Years Ago

Patrick Parrinder, 18 July 1985

Still Life 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 358 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 7011 2667 1
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Wales’ Work 
by Robert Walshe.
Secker, 279 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 9780436561450
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... the novel of things. In Still Life these objections to English fiction are voiced by Raphael Faber, supposedly a leading young Cambridge don. Faber, who teaches the French Symbolists and abominates George Eliot and D.H. Lawrence, is a poet whose art is one of ‘material reference’ deprived of (apparent) spiritual meaning. He is also a ...

The Age of EJH

Perry Anderson: Eric Hobsbawm’s Memoirs, 3 October 2002

Interesting Times: A 20th-Century Life 
by Eric Hobsbawm.
Allen Lane, 448 pp., £20, September 2002, 0 7139 9581 5
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... preliminary to justify himself, to disparage those who made the opposite choice. A profile of Raphael Samuel – ‘this eager vagabond figure, the absolute negation of administrative and executive efficiency’ – devotes itself principally to berating his ‘hare-brained project’ for a coffee house in London, and lamenting his own indulgence in ...

Out of this World

David Armitage, 16 November 1995

Utopia 
by Thomas More, edited by George Logan, Robert M. Adams and Clarence Miller.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £55, February 1995, 0 521 40318 9
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Utopias of the British Enlightenment 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, July 1994, 0 521 43084 4
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... us from the Latinate culture that spawned figures as diverse as Milton, Hobbes and (at its end) Samuel Johnson. The waning of humanistic education in the 18th century, and the later separation of the modern academic disciplines, has made Utopia doubly distant and difficult. Without a knowledge of the categories More was manipulating, we are left with ...

Jesus and Cain

Edmund Leach, 2 December 1982

The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt 
by Hyam Maccoby.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £10.95, September 1982, 0 500 01281 4
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... Even the scholarly popularisers are neglected. Julian Morgenstern is only mentioned in passing and Raphael Patai is not mentioned at all; nor is Louis Ginzberg’s seven-volume The Legends of the Jews, which is, by general consent, the major classic in its field. Maccoby, who is librarian of a Jewish college in London, certainly knows all such stuff and much ...

Cultivating Cultivation

John Mullan: English culture, 18 June 1998

The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the 18th Century 
by John Brewer.
HarperCollins, 448 pp., £19.99, January 1997, 0 00 255537 9
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... could enjoy reproductions of pictures scattered throughout Europe.’ We hear the Whig politician Samuel Romilly remembering how the Soho parlour of his tradesman father was a little gallery, ‘elegantly adorned’ with ‘the beautiful prints of Vivares, Bartolozzi or Strange, from the pictures of Claude, Caracci, ...

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