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William Thomas, 16 October 1980

Holland House 
by Leslie Mitchell.
Duckworth, 320 pp., £18, May 1980, 9780715611166
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Genius in the Drawing-Room 
edited by Peter Quennell.
Weidenfeld, 188 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 9780297777700
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... flow with a fund of amusing anecdotes which improved with telling. Though as the nephew of Charles James Fox he felt himself the embodiment of what was best in the Whig tradition, he had very little of the Whig consciousness of caste. When his friend Granville asked to be made an earl, he commented: ‘Why one of the ...


Inigo Thomas: Berry Bros, 20 December 2018

... are stored in an old safe and inside them are the figures for Beau Brummell, the younger Pitt, Charles James Fox and hundreds of others. It seems to me, after a cursory inspection, that the average weight of the Englishmen listed in these two books increased by about twenty pounds over a hundred-year period. In July ...


Michael Rogin, 20 August 1998

Celebrity Caricature in America 
by Wendy Wick Reaves.
Yale, 320 pp., £29.95, April 1998, 0 300 07463 8
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... Al Capone and a white-haired/eyebrowed/moustachioed, black-coated Supreme Court Chief Justice, Charles Evans Hughes. There’s Harpo again, this time with cotton-wool locks, alongside his brothers – Groucho’s moustache, glasses, cigar, wing-tipped head of hair, Chico’s sly open mouth and steel-wool hair identifying the ersatz Italian Jew. The three ...


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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... Walpole are famous) and Naples (Sir William Hamilton). There were political refugees, notably Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, and his brother, the Cardinal Duke of York (who was born in Rome and left only once to go to Paris in 1745 and prepare to go to England should the rebellion be successful). Many Jacobites had followed them and some may ...

Look me in the eye

James Hall: Self-portraiture, 25 January 2001

The Artist's Body 
edited by Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones.
Phaidon, 304 pp., £39.95, July 2000, 0 7148 3502 1
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Five Hundred Self-Portraits 
edited by Julian Bell.
Phaidon, 528 pp., £19.95, November 2000, 0 7148 3959 0
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Renaissance Self-Portraiture 
by Joanna Woods-Marsden.
Yale, 285 pp., £45, October 1998, 0 300 07596 0
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... dog sculpture, and Walpole regarded her work as equal to Bernini’s; she also presented busts of Charles James Fox and Nelson to Napoleon – Fox, because of her connection with the Whig opposition and Nelson, presumably, as an object of disinterested admiration now that he was safely ...

A Magazine of Wisdom

Linda Colley, 4 September 1997

Edmund Burke: A Life in Caricature 
by Nicholas Robinson.
Yale, 214 pp., £30, October 1996, 0 300 06801 8
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The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Vol. III: Party, Parliament and the American War 1774-80 
edited by Warren Elofson and John Woods.
Oxford, 713 pp., £75, September 1996, 0 19 822414 1
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Edmund Burke and India: Political Morality and Empire 
by Frederick Whelan.
Pittsburgh, 384 pp., £39.95, December 1996, 0 8229 3927 4
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... caricatured individual in Britain; and only three other politicians, William Pitt the Younger, Charles James Fox and North, featured in prints more. Yet, as Robinson points out, before 1778 visual representations of Burke were rare: and this is suggestive. In retrospect, Burke’s speeches in the 1760s and early ...

Admirable Urquhart

Denton Fox, 20 September 1984

Sir Thomas Urquhart: The Jewel 
edited by R.D.S. Jack and R.J. Lyall.
Scottish Academic Press, 252 pp., £8.75, April 1984, 0 7073 0327 3
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... and then took refuge in England, where (according to his own testimony) he was knighted by Charles I in 1641. In 1645 he brought out the Trissotetras, a work which apparently ‘expresses trigonometrical formulae logarithmically’. Urquhart’s biographer, Willcock, says that ‘no one is known to have read it or to have been able to read it,’ and ...

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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... Smith, sometimes he was Stewart, and sometimes he was Preston, but the most telling of the aliases Charles Stewart Parnell used to conduct the liaison with Mrs O’shea that eventually destroyed him was undoubtedly ‘Mr Fox’. Revealed by the divorce proceedings of November 1890, which, in wrecking his alliance with ...


Ian Hacking, 5 April 1990

Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf 
by Oliver Sacks.
Picador, 186 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 330 31161 1
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When the mind hears: A History of the Deaf 
by Harlan Lane.
Penguin, 537 pp., £6.99, August 1988, 0 14 022834 9
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Deafness: A Personal Account 
by David Wright.
Faber, 202 pp., £4.99, January 1990, 0 571 14195 1
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... orator in Europe, and see him talk with his fingers,’ Talleyrand may have said: he was with Charles Fox and his deaf son, then at school in Hackney, a spin-off from Edinburgh. In the medium term Leipzig had the greatest influence, for it and the later German establishments became the home of the ‘pure’ oral method. In 1880, at a world congress ...

The Ironist

J.G.A. Pocock: Gibbon under Fire, 14 November 2002

Gibbon and the ‘Watchmen of the Holy City’: The Historian and His Reputation 1776-1815 
by David Womersley.
Oxford, 452 pp., £65, January 2002, 0 19 818733 5
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... been done in 1688 and 1714 was compatible with hereditary succession, and distance himself from Charles Fox (whose company he found delightful) by arguing that it had not been the act of a sovereign people; but he would not have found this difficult. Womersley might have gone deeper. That Gibbon should have envisaged the English succession as the third ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership, 20 October 2005

... a better choice this time’. In a long dissertation the Daily Telegraph, whose editor was then Charles Moore, told its readers that Duncan Smith saw things with ‘the eyes of a voter’ and had a better ‘estimation of the huge scale of the Tory task’ than Clarke did. Moreover, he had ‘a more thoughtful analysis of what has gone wrong’ and was ...

Sire of the Poor

Linda Colley, 17 March 1988

Victorian Values and 20th-Century Condescension 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Centre for Policy Studies, 15 pp., £2.20, August 1987, 1 870265 10 6
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Peel and the Victorians 
by Donald Read.
Blackwell, 330 pp., £27.50, August 1987, 0 631 15725 5
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Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England 
by Olive Anderson.
Oxford, 475 pp., £40, July 1987, 9780198201014
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... in July 1850 provoked nationwide mourning. Unlike earlier great statesmen – Pitt the Younger and Charles James Fox – Peel attracted a cult following which transcended party and transcended class. Why? Read suggests two main reasons. First, Early Victorian technology allowed ideas and opinions to penetrate the nation more ...
By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in 18th-Century Russia 
by Anthony Cross.
Cambridge, 496 pp., £60, November 1996, 0 521 55293 1
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... victories against the Turks and Swedes in the 1780s and 1790s. Admirals Samuel Grieg and Sir Charles Knowles played a key role in this process. Grieg showed particular courage and presence of mind when he was called on (with only an adjutant and orderly to help him) to calm a group of sailors rampaging about the short measures and watered-down vodka ...

Pretty Much like Ourselves

Terry Eagleton, 4 September 1997

Modern British Utopias 1700-1850 
by Gregory Claeys.
Pickering & Chatto, 4128 pp., £550, March 1997, 1 85196 319 7
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... from the one around them. In a bold-faced piece of bohemianism, the utopianists of Lady Mary Fox’s Account of an Expedition to the interior of New Holland (1837) hold casual buffets rather than dinner parties. In Sarah Scott’s A Description of Millennium Hall (1778), utopia is a country mansion in Cornwall, an anodyne English pastoral in which female ...

Alan Bennett writes about his new play

Alan Bennett: ‘The Habit of Art’, 5 November 2009

... Pears were notorious for cutting people out of their lives (Eric Crozier is mentioned here, and Charles Mackerras), friends and acquaintances suddenly turned into living corpses if they overstepped the mark. A joke would do it, and though Britten seems to have had plenty of childish jokes with his boy singers, his sense of humour isn’t much in evidence ...

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