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Ghost Artists

J.I.M. Stewart, 18 December 1980

The Case of the Philosophers’ Ring by Dr John H. Watson 
by Randall Collins.
Harvester, 152 pp., £6.95, September 1980, 0 85527 458 1
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... A good many years ago the late Sir John Masterman, when Provost of Worcester College, had the idea of creating a species of Sherlock Holmes Apocrypha. He wrote two or three short stories which appeared, I think, in an evening newspaper. I myself can recall nothing of them except a little joke. In the course of investigating a case of poisoning ...

Bright Old Thing

D.A.N. Jones, 23 July 1987

Letters of Conrad Russell1897-1947 
edited by Georgiana Blakiston.
Murray, 278 pp., £16.95, May 1987, 0 7195 4382 7
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... Conrad Russell was a nephew of the ninth Duke of Bedford: every publisher in Great Russell Street and Bedford Square must have wanted to publish his selected letters, if only from simple loyalty to the landowner. Russell’s life was not remarkable, on the surface ...

Diary

Michael Dobson: The Russell-Cotes, 23 February 2012

... to be pictures purported to be a repository of the other stuff. This was a building called the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, but since it clearly wasn’t really a museum – it was quite unlike the nearby Rothesay Museum, with its dreary glass cases of geological samples, pot shards and flint arrowheads – perhaps its claim to be an art gallery ...

All that matters is what Tony wants

John Vincent: Reforming the Lords, 16 March 2000

Reforming the House of Lords: Lessons from Overseas 
by Meg Russell.
Oxford, 368 pp., £18.99, January 2000, 0 19 829831 5
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... which uses the Upper House as a clerk might use Tippex. The ‘sober second thought’ which Sir John Macdonald, the first Canadian premier (and a notable inebriate) attributed to senates is largely the stuff of legend. To see what lessons may be learned from abroad, Meg Russell has examined seven upper houses in modern ...

Greatest Happiness

Brian Barry, 19 January 1984

The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Vol. I: Cambridge Essays 1888-1899 
edited by Kenneth Blackwell, Andrew Brink, Nicholas Griffin, Richard Rempel and John Slater.
Allen and Unwin, 554 pp., £48, November 1983, 0 04 920067 4
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... will be sufficient affidavit for the scholar of the authenticity and location of any quotation of Russell’s written word.’ With this ringing prophecy, William Ready, the General Editor of the McMaster University Library Press and the man who brought the Russell archives to McMaster in 1968, introduced a prospectus of ...

Just one more species doing its best

Richard Rorty, 25 July 1991

The Later Works 1925-1953. Vol. XVII: Miscellaneous Writings, 1885-1953 
by John Dewey, edited by Jo Ann Boydston.
Southern Illinois, 786 pp., $50, August 1990, 0 8093 1661 7
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Dewey 
by J.E. Tiles.
Routledge, 256 pp., £35, December 1988, 0 415 00908 1
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John Dewey and American Democracy 
by Robert Westbrook.
Cornell, 608 pp., $32.95, May 1991, 0 8014 2560 3
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Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank and Lewis Mumford 
by Casey Blake.
North Carolina, 370 pp., $38.45, November 1990, 0 8078 1935 2
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... A.J. Ayer began his Bertrand Russell with his customary insouciance, saying that Russell was ‘unique among the philosophers of this century in combining the study of the specialised problems of philosophy, not only with an interest in both the natural and the social sciences, but with an engagement in primary as well as higher education, and an active participation in politics ...

Around Here

Alice Spawls: Drifting into the picture, 4 February 2016

... When​ I walk up Bury Place on my way from Little Russell Street and the London Review office, I get the same view of the British Museum that Vilhelm Hammershøi recorded in 1906. Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s really there and not the painting. The row of buildings – now mostly hotels – that runs down Montague Street to the east of the museum is unchanged, the railings are the same, down to their gold tips, and though in the painting there’s no tree where a large plane tree ought to be, the scene looks just as it does now, in the thinnest light of the year ...

Seething

Colin McGinn, 21 March 1996

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Cambridge Letters 
edited by Brian McGuinness and Georg Henrik von Wright.
Blackwell, 349 pp., £45, November 1995, 0 631 19015 5
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... Wittgenstein to John Maynard Keynes: When I saw you last I was confirmed in a view which had arisen in me last term already: you then made it very clear to me that you were tired of my conversation etc. Now please don’t think that I mind that! Why shouldn’t you be tired of me, I don’t believe for a moment that I can be entertaining or interesting to you ...

Types of Ambiguity

Conrad Russell, 22 January 1987

War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525 
by G.W. Bernard.
Harvester, 164 pp., £25, August 1986, 0 7108 1126 8
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Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500-1550 
by Alistair Fox and John Guy.
Blackwell, 242 pp., £22.50, July 1986, 0 631 14614 8
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The Union of England and Scotland 1603-1608 
by Bruce Galloway.
John Donald, 208 pp., £20, May 1986, 0 85976 143 6
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Stuart England 
edited by Blair Worden.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 7148 2391 0
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... for those words at the day of judgment.’ The Reformation itself is tackled by Alistair Fox and John Guy. Alistair Fox, in the opening essays of the book, discusses Humanism, previously the main dues ex machina of the teleological interpretation of the Reformation. In his dissection of the notion that there is ‘one coherent thing called humanism’, Dr ...

Leave it to the teachers

Conrad Russell, 20 March 1997

... This is not how things were done when we were at the schools.’ This is not John Major yearning to get back to basics: it is Pope Innocent IV writing to the schools of Paris in the middle of the 13th century. There is nothing new about politicians aching to stick their noses into the management of education, nor about their belief that because they have received education, they know all about it ...

Lord Cupid proves himself

David Cannadine, 21 October 1982

Palmerston: The Early Years, 1784-1841 
by Kenneth Bourne.
Allen Lane, 749 pp., £25, August 1982, 0 7139 1083 6
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... is the spur stood on its head). But many prime ministers have fared less well: Chatham and Lord John Russell because there are few private papers; Gladstone and Salisbury because their careers were too long for any one writer to encompass comprehensively; Charles James Fox and Lloyd George because their passion to rule and their ruling passions are so ...

Solid and Fleeting

David Sylvester, 17 December 1992

... as a setting for sculpture are the consequences of a single-minded pursuit by its main architect, John Russell Pope, of its underlying purpose, which was to provide a famous dealer in need of respectability, Lord Duveen, with a chance to display his munificence on a colossal scale. So the space seems designed to diminish any person or thing that enters ...

Hollow-Headed Angels

Nicholas Penny, 4 January 1996

Art and Power: Europe under the Dictators 1930-1945 
edited by David Britt.
Hayward Gallery, 360 pp., £19.95, October 1995, 1 85332 148 6
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... in Kolbe as in Maillol; they will dispassionately compare Speer’s classicism in Berlin and John Russell Pope’s in Washington; they will be interested in the ideological content of art, but only incidentally in the cards the artists carried. They will be as aware of the limitations of the avant garde as of those of official artists. And they will ...

Down with Age

Michael Young, 25 October 1990

... besides. When the Bill making the registration of births compulsory was introduced in 1836, Lord John Russell, recommending it to Parliament, said that everyone would ‘so soon perceive the benefit of having their children’s names inserted in the general register that it would not be very long before every one would be willing to concur in carrying ...

Exporting the Royals

Robert Tombs, 7 October 1993

Maximilian and Juárez 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 353 pp., £16.95, March 1993, 0 09 472070 3
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Maximilian’s Lieutenant: A Personal History of the Mexican Campaign, 1864-7 
by Ernst Pitner, translated and edited by Gordon Etherington-Smith.
Tauris, 256 pp., £35, October 1993, 9781850435600
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... as protector. Britain had been approached a number of times, but the Empire had no vacancies. Lord John Russell defined his attitude to Mexico in what could serve as a permanent axiom of British diplomacy: ‘it would be ... unwise to provoke the ill feeling of North America unless some paramount object were in prospect, and tolerably easy of ...

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