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Scholarship and its Affiliations

Wendy Steiner, 30 March 1989

... a scholarly cause célèbre. One has only to compare the recent furore over Martin Heidegger and Paul de Man to see how slight the impact of the Blunt affair has been on the academic community. Mutatis mutandis, all three men had disreputable if not dishonourable commerce with totalitarian regimes, all three produced widely influential and respected ...

Sit like an Apple

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Artists’ Wives, 23 October 2008

Hidden in the Shadow of the Master: The Model-Wives of Cézanne, Monet and Rodin 
by Ruth Butler.
Yale, 354 pp., £18.99, July 2008, 978 0 300 12624 2
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... him: like the other two women who are the subject of Ruth Butler’s new book – Hortense Fiquet (Paul Cézanne) and Rose Beuret (Auguste Rodin) – Doncieux was first the artist’s mistress and later his wife. Hiring a model cost a minimum of one franc an hour; painting the woman who already shared your bed was clearly the cheaper alternative. Though both ...

Rogering in Merryland

Thomas Keymer: The Unspeakable Edmund Curll, 13 December 2007

Edmund Curll, Bookseller 
by Paul Baines and Pat Rogers.
Oxford, 388 pp., £30, January 2007, 978 0 19 927898 5
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... congers, a contemporary alleged, because ‘as a large conger eel is said to devour the small fry, so this united body overpowers young and single traders.’ But sometimes the single traders bit back, and Curll’s great skill was to operate as both predator and parasite, always for his own purposes, though often in short-term tactical alliances that ...

He’s Bad, She’s Mad

Mary Hannity: HMP Holloway, 9 May 2019

Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison 
by Caitlin Davies.
John Murray, 373 pp., £10.99, February 2019, 978 1 4736 4776 3
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... the belly’ to avoid execution) at the cost of sixpence. When the Quaker penal reformer Elizabeth Fry visited Newgate in 1813, she found three hundred women detained in a space designed for fifty, crammed together regardless of age or offence. By contrast, the new Victorian houses of correction discouraged idleness and tried to induce reflection. In the early ...

Death in Greece

Marilyn Butler, 17 September 1981

Byron’s Letter and Journals. Vol. XI: For Freedom’s Battle 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 243 pp., £11.50, April 1981, 0 7195 3792 4
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Byron: The Complete Poetical Works 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 464 pp., £35, October 1980, 0 19 811890 2
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Red Shelley 
by Paul Foot.
Sidgwick, 293 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 283 98679 4
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Ugo Foscolo, Poet of Exile 
by Glauco Cambon.
Princeton, 360 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 691 06424 5
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... to realise the standards of free men. ‘Whoever goes into Greece at present should do it as Mrs Fry went into Newgate – not in the expectation of meeting with any especial indication of existing probity – but in the hope that time and better treatment will reclaim the present burglarious and larcenous tendencies which have followed this General Gaol ...

Why Barbie may never be tried

R.W. Johnson, 5 March 1987

The People’s Anger: Justice and Revenge in Post-Liberation France 
by Herbert Lottman.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 09 165580 3
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... Academy was a grudging discretion. Ten years was deemed a decent enough interval in the case of Paul Morand, for example, whose ‘role during the last war’ led to the defeat of his candidacy in 1958: in 1968 he was duly elected to the Academy. The Academy’s refusal of all attempts at reform and renewal has not done it much good: today it is seen by ...


Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend, 9 May 2013

... immaculately planned funerary procession, by limousine and gun-carriage, out of Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral, had the appearance, on the news feeds streaming unwitnessed into the cafés and pubs of the Thames Gateway, of a triumphalist police outing, a reunion for veterans of the Battle of Orgreave. A reunion attended, in true British fashion, by a ...

Bourgeois Reveries

Julian Bell: Farmer Eliot, 3 February 2011

Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper 
by Alexandra Harris.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £19.95, October 2010, 978 0 500 25171 3
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... And so, as she pores over Virginia Woolf’s posthumous reinterpretation of her friend Roger Fry and Evelyn Waugh’s thoughts about Rossetti, she notes Eliot’s essay on Kipling, published just after ‘East Coker’. The author of Puck of Pook’s Hill was ‘another literary exile who had sought out an English home and taken possession of it in his ...

Double Duty

Lorna Scott Fox: Victor Serge, 22 May 2003

Victor Serge: The Course Is Set on Hope 
by Susan Weissman.
Verso, 364 pp., £22, September 2001, 1 85984 987 3
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... games’ (Breton’s presence at the Villa attracted the Deux Magots crowd of a Sunday). Varian Fry remembered a ‘dyspeptic but keen-minded old Bolshevik . . . At the house he talked for hours about his experiences in Russian prisons . . . or discussed the ramifications and interrelations of the European secret police . . . Listening to him was like ...

I met murder on the way

Colin Kidd: Castlereagh, 24 May 2012

Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny 
by John Bew.
Quercus, 722 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 85738 186 6
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... cannibalistic practices of rank and file Ulster Unionists. In a variant on the traditional Ulster fry-up – and Swift’s Modest Proposal – Wharton described Dreadberg’s cameras secretly filming the sautéeing of children, their screams muffled by the sinister beat of Lambeg drums. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland continues to ...

The Call of Wittenham Clumps

Samuel Hynes, 2 April 1981

Paul Nash 
by Andrew Causey.
Oxford, 511 pp., £35, June 1980, 0 19 817348 2
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The Enemy 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Routledge, 391 pp., £15, July 1980, 0 7100 0514 8
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Wyndham Lewis: A Revaluation 
edited by Jeffrey Meyers.
Athlone, 276 pp., £13.50, May 1980, 0 485 11193 4
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Wyndham lewis 
by Jane Farrington.
Lund Humphries, 128 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 85331 434 9
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... Consider, for example, the two best English painters of the Eighties generation – Paul Nash and Lewis. In their early careers there are some remarkable resemblances: in both cases public school was followed by study at the Slade, early recognition by older artists, exhibitions (they were both represented in the ‘English ...

In the Body Bag

Adam Mars-Jones: Ian McEwan’s ‘Nutshell’, 6 October 2016

by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 198 pp., £16.99, September 2016, 978 1 911214 33 5
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... term. The incidental detail (smog in Beijing, conflict in Syria, the growing fashion for ‘vocal fry’ among women, the popularity of luggage with four wheels rather than two) is satisfactorily contemporary, but the human particulars are either missing or unconvincing. If Trudy is 28 at the time of the novel’s setting, and Nutshell-Hamlet can ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... in Kenneth Macpherson’s 1930 avant-garde masterpiece Borderline, starring H.D., Bryher and Paul Robeson. He plays the adulterous husband of H.D., who is likewise visually transfixing. Later, he would become a popular Bay Area psychic, a friend to Allen Ginsberg and the Beats and the experimental filmmaker James Broughton and a prominent gay political ...

Strange Apprentice

T.J. Clark, 8 October 2020

... Pissarro​ , Camille Pissarro’s eldest son, was barely into his teens in the mid 1870s when Paul Cézanne came to live nearby. Nonetheless he retained strong memories of the time, and many years later his brother Paul-Émile wrote down these sentences at Lucien’s dictation:Cézanne lived in Auvers, and he used to ...


Tom Paulin: Summer in Donegal, 16 September 1999

... the hillside and are spreading over the lower meadow. Yes, the hill is coming down with hazel, as Paul Muldoon says. I’ve brought a bow saw with me and I begin cutting away some of the tall wands. Should I be disturbing this place? In among the stones, as I lift them, are a few large torpid worms which I put in the shopping bag I’ve brought. There’s a ...

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