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Keeping up the fight

Paul Delany, 24 January 1991

D.H. Lawrence: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. Lawrence: A Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... of Lawrence you thought were dead, and the first published photo of Lawrence’s supposed lover, William Henry Hocking. This is surely the most readable, judicious and authoritative scholarly biography of Lawrence yet written. Yet it also presses hard against the limitations of its single-volume narrative format. By embracing Jessie Chambers’s formula that ...

Burning Witches

Michael Rogin, 4 September 1997

Raymond Chandler: A Biography 
by Tom Hiney.
Chatto, 310 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 7011 6310 0
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Raymond Chandler Speaking 
edited by Dorothy Gardiner and Kathrine Sorley Walker.
California, 288 pp., £10.95, May 1997, 0 520 20835 8
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... on the screen by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, mortalised by Dick Powell and Robert Montgomery during Chandler’s lifetime, and afterwards by Elliot Gould, Robert Mitchum and James Garner. He was the hero of the most listened to radio detective serial in history, and, by the time Chandler died in 1959, had sold over five million books. The ...

Clothes were everything to me

Lisa Cohen: Bill Cunningham, 25 October 2018

Fashion Climbing: A New York Life 
by Bill Cunningham.
Chatto, 256 pp., £16.99, October 2018, 978 1 78474 281 2
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... that when he became a hat designer, at scarcely twenty years old, he did so semi-anonymously as ‘William J.’ and ‘William Jay’. We see his overwhelming desire to be close to women’s clothes transmuted into the need to know everything about them. He doesn’t reflect on how a flamboyant maker became a self-effacing ...

Boofy’s Bill

Alex Harvey, 18 September 1997

... announced in his newspaper column that he had decided to call his Homosexual Law Reform Bill ‘William’. This was partly because it was about ‘boys’, partly because it was his custom in restaurants to ask for ‘William’ instead of the bill, but giving the Bill a pet name also seems to have been an attempt to ...

Chinaberry Pie

D.A.N. Jones, 1 March 1984

Modern Baptists 
by James Wilcox.
Secker, 239 pp., £7.95, January 1984, 9780436570988
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by Sven Delblanc, translated by Paul Britten Austin.
Secker, 153 pp., £7.95, February 1984, 9780436126802
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High Spirits 
by Robertson Davies.
Penguin, 198 pp., £2.50, January 1984, 0 14 006505 9
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by Dudley St John Magnus.
Angus and Robertson, 133 pp., £6.95, January 1984, 0 207 14565 2
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Train to Hell 
by Alexei Sayle.
Methuen, 152 pp., £7.95, February 1984, 0 413 52460 4
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The English Way of Doing Things 
by William Donaldson.
Weidenfeld, 229 pp., £7.95, January 1984, 0 297 78345 9
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... Speranza is another foreign novel that may remind us of British genre-parody – especially William Golding’s Rites of Passage, that witty, near-sadistic parody of traditional seafaring yarns. Like Golding’s novel, Speranza begins with the journal of a healthy, self-satisfied, idealistic young gentleman enjoying an adventurous voyage and uttering ...


Ian Gilmour, 23 October 1986

Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... or 500 lb bomb in each village that speaks out of turn’ would satisfactorily solve the problem. Montgomery, too, was consistent in his ideas. In 1938 he disagreed with the view of his military superiors and the Palestine Government that the Arab rebellion was a national campaign: the rebels were merely ‘professional bandits’ who would be crushed by ...

False Brought up of Nought

Thomas Penn: Henry VII’s Men on the Make, 27 July 2017

Henry VII’s New Men and the Making of Tudor England 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 393 pp., £60, August 2016, 978 0 19 965983 8
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... surrounded himself with new men who had proved their loyalty to him and his family: warriors like William Hastings, who went from mere gentleman to lord in a matter of months, and the Welshman Sir William Herbert, who became earl of Pembroke; and administrators like Thomas Montgomery, the ...

A Hideous Skeleton, with Cries and Dismal Howlings

Nina Auerbach: The haunting of the Hudson Valley, 24 June 2004

Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley 
by Judith Richardson.
Harvard, 296 pp., £19.95, October 2003, 0 674 01161 9
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... belong in the region they haunt. One ghost has a chapter to herself. In 1755, a gentleman named William Salisbury killed his servant, Anna Dorothea Swarts, by dragging her behind his horse. The jury verdict was the evasive ‘ignoramus’, a term that either ignored the charge entirely or claimed ignorance of its legal merit. Salisbury escaped justice, but ...


Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend, 9 May 2013

... halls, judges’ thrones and trapdoors leading to basement cells where a Jack the Ripper suspect, William Piggott, was once held. Gravesend had a history of witch-finding, I was told. ‘If you were an elderly eccentric woman with bad skin, you had particular problems.’ Anne Neale, known as an ‘ill-tongued’ woman, sent for trial in 1675. Such ...

Whose Body?

Charles Glass: ‘Operation Mincemeat’, 22 July 2010

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Ben Macintyre.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £16.99, January 2010, 978 0 7475 9868 8
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... but a bloody fool would know it was Sicily.’ The Germans were no fools. General Montgomery feared the worst for Operation Husky, the Sicilian invasion: ‘It will be a hard and very bloody fight. We must expect heavy losses.’ Britain’s practitioners of the black arts, a cast of Ealing comedy characters whom Macintyre describes with ...


E.S. Turner, 23 February 1995

Edward Lear: A Biography 
by Peter Levi.
Macmillan, 362 pp., £20, January 1995, 0 333 58804 5
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... not on the poet but the painter that Levi chooses to concentrate. Lear was born in 1812, when Dr William Gilpin’s cult of the picturesque was being vigorously debunked in The Adventures of Doctor Syntax, and the bemused water-colourists who jostled at the viewing-stations in the Lakes had tired of holding up their tinted Claude glasses to reflect and ...


Patricia Craig, 19 September 1985

But for Bunter 
by David Hughes.
Heinemann, 223 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 434 35410 4
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Bunter Sahib 
by Daniel Green.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 340 36429 7
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The Good Terrorist 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 370 pp., £9.50, September 1985, 0 224 02323 3
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Unexplained Laughter 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 7156 2070 3
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Polaris and Other Stories 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 237 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 340 33227 1
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... of the recent past, as historians would have them (‘he was now going on about Field Marshal Montgomery, and then Pandit Nehru received an inscrutable mention’ – the inscrutability was no doubt terrific). Eventually, we are brought up to the mid-1950s, with Sir Anthony Eden in a fit of pique brought on by Aitken. Suez ensues. Daniel Green presents a ...

Wafted to India

Richard Gott: Unlucky Wavell, 5 October 2006

Wavell: Soldier and Statesman 
by Victoria Schofield.
Murray, 512 pp., £30, March 2006, 0 7195 6320 8
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... those of other Wykehamists who are remembered there: George Mallory, lost on Everest in 1924, and William Whiting, who wrote the hymn ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’. Archibald Wavell, one of the significant British military commanders of World War Two, as well as the penultimate viceroy of British India, was presented as a role model for the boys in ...

Dysfunctional Troglodytes with Mail-Order Weaponry

Iain Sinclair: Edward Dorn, 11 April 2013

Collected Poems 
by Edward Dorn.
Carcanet, 995 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84777 126 1
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... of younger English poets who had heard rumours of Black Mountain College, read their Pound and William Carlos Williams, cannibalised Donald Allen’s influential anthology, The New American Poetry (1960), but never experienced a prime specimen of this fascinating otherness. Where Dorn was exceptional, as Prynne points out, in a conversation recorded at a ...

The Devilish God

David Wheatley: T.S. Eliot, 1 November 2001

Words Alone: The Poet T.S. Eliot 
by Denis Donoghue.
Yale, 326 pp., £17.95, January 2001, 0 300 08329 7
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Adam’s Curse: Reflections on Religion and Literature 
by Denis Donoghue.
Notre Dame, 178 pp., £21.50, May 2001, 0 268 02009 4
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... practically the devil incarnate, portrayed in Paulin’s poem ‘The Yellow Spot’ gloating with Montgomery Belgion over the transportation of Jews and (could there be a connection here?) playing his favourite game of trying to find a rhyme for ‘Ritz’ (‘no not Biarritz’). ‘Resign resign resign,’ screams the last line of Eliot’s ‘Difficulties ...

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