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At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: How We Are, 5 July 2007

... interior does that), as is the paparazzi in-your-face flash snapshooting used by Paul Reas and Martin Parr. Photography now builds on its own history. In the exhibition you see the influence on later pictures of William Eggleston’s prints of penetratingly ordinary American things and places, which released art photography from puritanical black and white ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann, 7 January 1999

John Lehmann: A Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... He has come into all the material collected by John Lehmann’s commissioned biographer, Martin Taylor, who died before he could write a word of it. He has seen photocopies of the extensive diaries, and he has interviewed the survivors and their descendants. Lehmann himself wrote three volumes of dignified autobiography about his work, his ...

The Atmosphere of the Clyde

Jean McNicol: Red Clydeside, 2 January 2020

When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside 
by Maggie Craig.
Birlinn, 313 pp., £9.99, March 2018, 978 1 78027 506 2
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Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside 
by Kenny MacAskill.
Biteback, 310 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 1 78590 454 7
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John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside 
by Henry Bell.
Pluto, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2018, 978 0 7453 3838 5
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... Sunday night meetings on Bath Street in the city centre that Maclean began in late 1914 are Henry Bell’s nomination, in his biography of Maclean, for ‘the birthplace of Red Clydeside’.The city itself became a huge armaments factory: the Clyde Munitions Area. Most of the industrial unrest during the war took place in the engineering works: Beardmore’s ...

Being two is half the fun

John Bayley, 4 July 1985

Multiple Personality and the Disintegration of Literary Character 
by Jeremy Hawthorn.
Edward Arnold, 146 pp., £15, May 1983, 0 7131 6398 4
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Doubles: Studies in Literary History 
by Karl Miller.
Oxford, 488 pp., £19.50, June 1985, 9780198128410
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The Doubleman 
by C.J. Koch.
Chatto, 326 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 9780701129453
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... Plath, who for Hawthorn had the problem that being a woman – personified in the heroine of The Bell Jar – ‘she is not granted the luxury of a double life.’ But Madame Bovary has one – indeed, three lives and more. Plath’s problem was certainly connected with this disability but took a different form. Like many fictional heroines, she was trying ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... that nowadays fills American papers and airwaves (his devastating National Review article on The Bell Curve should be required reading). Liberals can take comfort in the fact that, despite the advances conservatives have lately achieved, The Southern Tradition is by no means celebratory. In fact, Genovese’s tone is almost one of ideological despair, of a ...

Bloody

Michael Church, 9 October 1986

The Children of the Souls: A Tragedy of the First World War 
by Jeanne Mackenzie.
Chatto, 276 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 9780701128470
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Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain 1936-39 
edited by Ian MacDougall, by Victor Kiernan.
Polygon, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 948275 19 7
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The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War 
by Walter Gregory, edited by David Morris and Anthony Peters.
Gollancz, 183 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 575 03790 3
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Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War 
edited by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 388 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 19 212258 4
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The Spanish Cockpit 
by Franz Borkenau.
Pluto, 303 pp., £4.95, July 1986, 0 7453 0188 6
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The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 
by Paul Preston.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 297 78891 4
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Images of the Spanish Civil War 
by Raymond Carr.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 04 940089 4
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... 16th; 1 Pomeranian. November 17th; 2 Pomeranians.’ Two decades later in Spain, Julian Bell informed his mother Vanessa that the war in which he was serving as an ambulance man was ‘perpetually entertaining and very satisfactory’, one of the chief pleasures being ‘getting back into male society’. John Cornford fought in Spain as a zealous ...

Poor Devils

Peter France, 2 December 1982

The Literary Underground of the Old Regime 
by Robert Darnton.
Harvard, 258 pp., £11.55, November 1982, 0 674 53656 8
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... good taste and witty conversation, a haven of the ‘civilisation’ celebrated long ago by Clive Bell. But at the same time the dynamic new France, in which great thinkers shake the foundations of traditional society and prepare the way for the Revolution and the modern age – such is the view propagated in different guises by the French republican ...

I had to refrain

Andrew Saint: Pre-Raphaelite Houses, 1 December 2005

Philip Webb: Pioneer of Arts and Crafts Architecture 
by Sheila Kirk.
Wiley-Academy, 336 pp., £29.99, February 2005, 0 470 86808 2
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... in the puritan tradition. This study by Sheila Kirk and the equally thoughtful photographs by Martin Charles that go with it at last set out the full evidence on which this claim can rest. Webb was 18 and embarking on an obscure apprenticeship in Reading when The Seven Lamps of Architecture came out in 1849. By the time he met Ruskin seven years later, he ...

Favourite without Portfolio

Jonathan Meades: Designs for the Third Reich, 4 February 2016

Hitler at Home 
by Despina Stratigakos.
Yale, 373 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 0 300 18381 8
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Speer: Hitler’s Architect 
by Martin Kitchen.
Yale, 442 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 0 300 19044 1
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... appeal for a particular sensibility: gullible, cheek-turning, risibly generous, smugly liberal. Martin Kitchen does not possess that sensibility. Speer: Hitler’s Architect is not a biography. It is a 200,000-word charge sheet. Kitchen is steely, dogged and attentive to the small print. He shows Speer no mercy, nailing his every exculpatory ruse and ...

Going Straight

Neal Ascherson, 17 March 1983

After Long Silence 
by Michael Straight.
Collins, 351 pp., £11.95, March 1983, 0 00 217001 9
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A Matter of Trust: MI5 1945-72 
by Nigel West.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £8.95, December 1982, 0 297 78253 3
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... equilibrium – not a matter of forgiveness – was regained between the two friends. When Arthur Martin, the investigator, rang the bell, they were talking about Cézanne. Blunt was disgraced, Long more grievously hurt, and Straight, after enjoying some quite respectful attention from the mass media, was eventually ...

Travels with My Mom

Terry Castle: In Santa Fe, 16 August 2007

... ironically, starting with the jackalopes and the women who love them.And who, precisely, is Agnes Martin? Her semi-obscurity is exactly the point. True, her paintings now reside in all the fabled modern collections and sell for millions of dollars. True, like O’Keeffe she lived near Taos and Santa Fe for much of her life. But she remains a cult figure ...

Passing-Out Time

Christopher Tayler: Patrick Hamilton’s drinking, 29 January 2009

The Slaves of Solitude 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Constable, 327 pp., £7.99, September 2008, 978 1 84529 415 1
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The Gorse Trilogy 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Black Spring, 603 pp., £9.95, June 2007, 978 0 948238 34 5
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... distinguished by the most alliterative opening sentences I have ever read’. (‘Boom! went the bell of St Botolph’s, bidding her boys from book and board. Clang! came the curfew of Carfax, calling the citizens from counter and cloth-yard.’) From time to time Bernard would show up in Sussex and bark orders in ‘his military voice’ – he had others ...

The Clothes They Stood Up In

Alan Bennett, 28 November 1996

... can be anywhere nowadays. It’s computers. Actually the person who could help you at Aylesbury is Martin but I happen to know he’s out on a job most of today.’ ‘I wonder whether I ought to go down to Aylesbury,’ Mr Ransome said, ‘just to see if there’s anything there.’ Christine was unenthusiastic. ‘I can’t actually stop you,’ she ...

Making strange

John Sutherland, 19 March 1981

Other people 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 223 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 224 01766 7
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The Magic Glass 
by Anne Smith.
Joseph, 174 pp., £6.50, March 1981, 9780718119867
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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page 
by Gerald Edwards.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £7.50, March 1981, 0 241 10477 7
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Sharpe’s Eagle 
by Bernard Cornwell.
Collins, 266 pp., £6.50, February 1981, 0 00 221997 2
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XPD 
by Len Deighton.
Hutchinson, 397 pp., £6.95, March 1981, 0 09 144570 1
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... Since Success, Martin Amis has been involved in a spectacular case of alleged plagiarism. As the apparently aggrieved author, Amis showed himself notably unresentful and unlitigious. Indeed, he took the offence as an occasion to ruminate good-naturedly on the oddities of literary ‘borrowing’. It’s relevant to bring this up since Other People depends very largely on a trick which is usually thought to be someone else’s trademark ...

Which Face?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Emigrés on the Make, 6 February 2020

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia 
by Benjamin Tromly.
Oxford, 329 pp., £75, September 2019, 978 0 19 884040 4
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The Dissidents: A Memoir of Working with the Resistance in Russia, 1960-90 
by Peter Reddaway.
Brookings, 337 pp., £25.50, February, 978 0 8157 3773 5
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... in the Soviet Union in 1963-64. Shortly before he was due to leave for Moscow, Reddaway’s friend Martin Dewhirst took him to meet someone from NTS, a nice man, like most of the people Reddaway meets, who asked him to act on NTS’s behalf in the Soviet Union. Reddaway wouldn’t agree to that, though he promised to ‘write via a secure channel to ...

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