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Poet Squab

Claude Rawson, 3 March 1988

John Dryden and His World 
by James Anderson Winn..
Yale, 651 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 300 02994 2
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John Dryden 
edited by Keith Walker.
Oxford, 967 pp., £22.50, January 1987, 0 19 254192 7
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... isn’t like Rochester. If Rochester in the ‘Allusion’, and Shadwell in The Medal of John Bayes (1682), accused Dryden of clumsy attempts to ape the rakish idiom, some of the written specimens weren’t in the least clumsy. This couldn’t be said of the play’s dedication to Rochester, however – a document of such laboured oiliness and such ...

Mantegna’s Revenge

Nicholas Penny, 3 September 1987

Mantegna 
by Ronald Lightbown.
Phaidon/Christie’s, 512 pp., £60, July 1986, 0 7148 8031 0
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The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo Rediscovered 
edited by Massimo Giacometti, translated by Paul Holberton.
Muller, Blond and White, 271 pp., £40, September 1986, 0 584 11140 1
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... impressions of Mantegna’s prints has long been observed, but it was first pointed out – by Godfrey Evans, in an unpublished Courtauld Institute MA Report of 1977, which Landau properly credits – that early impressions, if examined under magnification, turn out to be ‘drypoints’, not engravings, and so were made with a sharp instrument handled not ...

Grey Panic

T.J. Clark: Gerhard Richter, 17 November 2011

... retrospective of Richter’s work at Tate Modern is a great event. It is beautifully hung by Mark Godfrey and Nicholas Serota: packed tight and relentless room after room, by the end exhausting, and in this entirely true to Richter’s half-century of effort. The selection of work could not be better, with things often seen before enlivened by juxtaposition ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... as a way of allowing honourable men to stay in office without appearing to want to do so. John Nott offered his resignation after the Falklands invasion but he allowed himself to be persuaded by Mrs Thatcher to stay in office. William Whitelaw has written that he wanted to resign as Home Secretary after an intruder had entered the Queen’s bedroom in ...
... tell you how awful it was. This period has now gone down in history as the great renaissance, with John Osborne, the Royal Court, but most of the time, night after night, you would go and see wretched actors, and there would always be something in the play like ‘God, is this never going to end?’ and Gallery Nell would seize her chance. One of the most ...

Dropping Their Eggs

Patrick Wright: The history of bombing, 23 August 2001

A History of Bombing 
by Sven Lindqvist, translated by Linda Haverty Rugg.
Granta, 233 pp., £14.99, May 2001, 1 86207 415 1
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The Bomber War: Arthur Harris and the Allied Bomber Offensive 1939-45 
by Robin Niellands.
Murray, 448 pp., £25, February 2001, 0 7195 5637 6
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Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Touchstone, 592 pp., $17, March 2001, 0 7432 0023 3
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... as terrifying guarantors of American power over China and Japan. The Man who Ended War, by Hollis Godfrey, features a radioactive beam that can ‘dissolve’ whole navies, but which is harmless against the human body and no threat to civilisation. Kipling also imagined ‘the mass destruction that delivers happiness’. In ‘As Easy as ABC’ (1912), he ...

The Cow Bells of Kitale

Patrick Collinson: The Selwyn Affair, 5 June 2003

... piece of Kenyan history of which no one could have been ignorant. In 1934 the issue was raised by Godfrey Benson, Lord Charnwood, a Liberal politician, who shared his concerns with the Colonial Secretary, Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, and asked a question in the House of Lords. ‘What really interests me is the impression which the defence, as reported ...

Pipe down back there!

Terry Castle: The Willa Cather Wars, 14 December 2000

Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism 
by Joan Acocella.
Nebraska, 127 pp., £13.50, August 2000, 0 8032 1046 9
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... characters – near enough to tell us what we need to know about Antonia or Jim or the professor, Godfrey St Peter, but not so near as to infringe on their privacy or essential dignity. She observes her characters respectfully, as if across the width of a farmhouse supper table, or from a distance equivalent to that between one furrow and the next in a neatly ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World, 2 August 2018

... in his own day could be accounted Powell’s leading champion. In a front-page spread in the TLS, John Bayley hailed him under the banner of ‘A Family and Its Fictions’. There was a conflict in Powell, he explained, between the Gothic and Gallic sides of his imagination, which lent much of the richness to his work – provided the former, with its better ...

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