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Andrew O’Hagan: Tweeting at an Execution, 6 October 2011

... crime, and a number of witnesses from the car park pointed to him as having been the man in the white shirt. The fact that seven of these nine witnesses later recanted appeared to have little influence on the final outcome. Desmond Tutu got involved. So did Pope Benedict. But it was the millions of Twitter users who seemed most powerfully in attendance ...

On the Titanic

Rosemary Hill: ‘Ocean Liners’ at the V&A, 24 May 2018

... double-height gallery that covers the interwar years, the heyday of stylish sea travel. Black and white film re-creates the central staircase of a first-class dining room, the focal point for onboard society, down which passengers ‘drifted’, as a description of the Paris in 1921 put it, under the eyes of languid bystanders, leaning out from swirling art ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998, 21 January 1999

... the scene even more touching. 6 February. I am reading a history of the Yorkshire Dales by Robert White, one of a series, Landscape through Time, published by English Heritage. During the enclosures of the 18th and 19th centuries, most of the land enclosed was added to existing farms, but in 1809 John Hulton used the land allotted to him from the enclosure of ...

After Monica

Edward Luttwak, 1 October 1998

... At the beginning of 1997, when Bill Clinton had just defeated Bob Dole, and his pursuer Kenneth Starr was visibly failing to pierce the Arkansas omertà – two of the Clintons’ companions in sordid deals sat silently in prison rather than testify – the annual State of the Union speech offered the perfect opportunity to reassert the full authority of a twice-elected President ...

Staying Alive in the Ruins

Richard J. Evans: Plato to Nato, 22 April 2021

Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe after World War Two 
by Paul Betts.
Profile, 536 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 1 78816 109 1
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... philosophising and artistic sophistication. When, in his television series Civilisation (1969), Kenneth Clark asked himself, ‘What is civilisation?’, the answer was: ‘I don’t know … But I think that I can recognise it when I see it.’ What Clark recognised was very much the ‘Western Civ’ idea, stretching back to the Ancient Greeks and given ...

At the MK

Brian Dillon: Gerard Byrne, 31 March 2011

... photograph’, said to have been taken by a London gynaecologist called Robert Kenneth Wilson. (It’s still the best-known image: something like Rod Hull’s Emu in grainy profile.) The monster’s celebrity is bound up with the rise of tabloids and motor trips; as Byrne notes in a video interview shown in the gallery foyer, the loch is a ...

Umpteens

Christopher Ricks, 22 November 1990

Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications 
edited by Adrian Room.
Bloomsbury, 354 pp., £17.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0521 7
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Unauthorised Versions: Poems and their Parodies 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 446 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14122 6
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The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse 
edited by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 407 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 571 14470 5
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... whose words the whole dedication turns: John Webster, in the note ‘To the Reader’ before The White Devil. Browning’s Elizabethanised play has its affinities with Webster: moreover, it was canny of him to emend Webster’s prefatory words so as to reduce them to a single-minded praise of Shakespeare (and then of Landor). For these are not the very words ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard Hollis, 24 May 2018

... image – Magritte’s A Key of Dreams – also to be centred. Inside, the imagery was black and white, and the text was entirely set in bold, so as to have the same weight as the pictures. Hollis liked to share the credit for his irreverent design with the then art editor at BBC Books, Peter Campbell, who designed the LRB and many of its covers, and with ...

Racist Litter

Randall Kennedy: The Lessons of Reconstruction, 30 July 2020

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution 
by Eric Foner.
Norton, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2019, 978 0 393 65257 4
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... Alexander Stephens, observed, ‘upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.’Lincoln did not believe that the federal government had the authority to do anything about slavery in the states in ordinary circumstances. He ...

Diary

Inigo Thomas: Michael Wolff’s Book Party, 8 February 2018

... stolen a subject from the seasoned political reporters. Or was it because, by getting inside the White House, he had exposed them for failing to do the same? Elizabeth Drew in the New Republic dismissed Fire and Fury: ‘better books’, she said, would be published soon. Better books? She mentioned David Frum’s Trumpocracy as an example, with its less ...

Paliography

John Sutherland, 15 September 1988

The Secret Life of Wilkie Collins 
by William Clarke.
Allison and Busby, 239 pp., £14.95, August 1988, 0 85031 960 9
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Wilkie Collins: Women, Property and Propriety 
by Philip O’Neill.
Macmillan, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1988, 9780333421994
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... was his name and dates of birth and death. This has proved to be an exaggeration. Thanks to Kenneth Robinson (whose revised Wilkie Collins, A Biography came out in 1974) and now, preeminently, to William Clarke, we now know much more – especially about Collins’s family affairs, or scandals, as they would have seemed to his contemporaries. As its ...

What difference did she make?

Eric Hobsbawm, 23 May 1991

A Question of Leadership: Gladstone to Thatcher 
by Peter Clarke.
Hamish Hamilton, 334 pp., £17.99, April 1991, 0 241 13005 0
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The Quiet Rise of John Major 
by Edward Pearce.
Weidenfeld, 177 pp., £14.99, April 1991, 0 297 81208 4
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... range from newspaper editors to political historians, it may make very little difference. As John Kenneth Galbraith has observed, changing the top man in important business corporations rarely affects the price of their shares on the market. A rapid glance at the history of the USA also suggests scepticism about the impact of individual leaders. That great ...

Keys to Shakespeare

Anne Barton, 5 June 1980

Shakespeare’s Tragic Practice 
by Bertrand Evans.
Oxford, 327 pp., £12.50, December 1979, 9780198120940
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The Tragic Effect: The Oedipus Complex in Tragedy 
by André Green, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £10.50, October 1979, 0 521 21377 0
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Shakespeare’s Tragic Sequence 
by Kenneth Muir.
Liverpool, 207 pp., £9.50, November 1979, 0 85323 184 2
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Shakespeare’s Comic Sequence 
by Kenneth Muir.
Liverpool, 207 pp., £9.50, November 1979, 0 85323 064 1
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... likely Jocasta, being considerably younger than Othello, as the Moor is keenly aware, and also white, Green has an ingenious answer: ‘It is as if in binding himself in love to the object furthest removed from his mother – not other than his mother, but exactly the converse – it is still his mother that he finds.’ The same reasoning allows Green to ...

Mortal Beauty

Paul Delany, 21 May 1981

Feminine Beauty 
by Kenneth Clark.
Weidenfeld, 199 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 297 77677 0
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Of Women and their Elegance 
by Norman Mailer.
Hodder, 288 pp., £12.50, March 1981, 0 340 23920 4
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Nude Photographs 1850-1980 
edited by Constance Sullivan.
Harper and Row, 204 pp., £19.95, September 1981, 0 06 012708 2
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... uneasiness about its very concrete power to inspire action: an uneasiness that is pervasive in Kenneth Clark’s latest book. Feminine Beauty insists on the ethereal or strictly formal qualities of beauty, continuing the same line of argument as Clark’s magisterial earlier work, The Nude. The introduction to Feminine Beauty takes us on a lightning tour ...

Wine Flasks in Bordeaux, Sail Spires in Cardiff

Hal Foster: Richard Rogers, 19 October 2006

Richard Rogers: Architecture of the Future 
by Kenneth Powell.
Birkhäuser, 520 pp., £29.90, December 2005, 3 7643 7049 1
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Richard Rogers: Complete Works, Vol. III 
by Kenneth Powell.
Phaidon, 319 pp., £59.95, July 2006, 0 7148 4429 2
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... but not before they had completed a breakthrough structure for Reliance Controls in Swindon, which Kenneth Powell describes as ‘neither a factory nor an office building nor a research station but a combination of all three’. The first of many ‘flexible sheds’ that Rogers has designed over the years, the Reliance Controls Electronics Factory owed much ...

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