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Forget that I exist

Susan Eilenberg: Mary Wollstonecraft, 30 November 2000

Mary Wollstonecraft: A Revolutionary Life 
by Janet Todd.
Weidenfeld, 516 pp., £25, April 2000, 0 297 84299 4
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... and spoke of Wollstonecraft’s ‘imperfect heroism’, as Todd has it, she was annoyed; and when Richard Cobb’s review of that work subsequently appeared using the occasion to charge Wollstonecraft with silliness, egotism, envy, rancour, meddling, mediocrity and bad writing, she was furious. Describing these events a few years ago in Gender, Art and ...

At Christie’s

Paul Myerscough: Buying Art, 21 February 2008

... art in the first half of last year. In May, Sotheby’s in New York more than doubled the record price for a contemporary work when it sold Rothko’s White Centre (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) for $72.8 million; the following night, at Christie’s, Warhol’s Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) went for $71.7 million in a sale that fetched a record ...

Trollope’s Delight

Richard Altick, 3 May 1984

The Letters of Anthony Trollope 
edited by John Hall.
Stanford, 1082 pp., $87.50, July 1983, 0 8047 1076 7
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Anthony Trollope: Dream and Art 
by Andrew Wright.
Macmillan, 173 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 34593 2
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... civil but firm, who knew the market value of his product and was determined to get the best price for it. In a day when the royalty system was only beginning to be adopted and formal contractual arrangements between author and publisher, binding one to the other, book after book, through first-rights clauses, were rare, each new work was chaffered for ...

Done for the State

John Guy: The House of York, 2 April 2020

The Brothers York: An English Tragedy 
by Thomas Penn.
Penguin, 688 pp., £12.99, April, 978 0 7181 9728 5
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Richard III: The Self-Made King 
by Michael Hicks.
Yale, 388 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 300 21429 1
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... claim was by lineal descent from Edward III, and was a strong one if you ignored the deposition of Richard II in 1399. In the mid-1450s, Richard, Duke of York, Edward’s father and England’s pushiest peer, had twice attempted to sideline Henry VI, who suffered from lengthy spells of mental illness and was repelled by the ...


Richard Rudgley: Plant obsessions, 15 July 1999

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession 
by Susan Orlean.
Heinemann, 348 pp., £12.99, April 1999, 0 434 00783 8
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The Tulip 
by Anna Pavord.
Bloomsbury, 438 pp., £30, January 1999, 0 7475 4296 1
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Plants of Life, Plants of Death 
by Frederick Simoons.
Wisconsin, 568 pp., £27.95, September 1998, 0 299 15904 3
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... agents caught two men each carrying 16 orchids wired to their bodies, a haul with a black market price of $320,000. The Orchid Thief is full of twists and turns. At first it seems as if it is going to be a biographical account of the trickster figure of John Laroche, one of the thieves in question. Laroche is an obsessive collector, having been through ...

Liber Amoris

Christopher Hitchens, 28 May 1992

The Russian Girl 
by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 296 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 09 174536 5
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... in London is enough to vanquish and dissipate the phlegmatic composure of the Russianist lecturer Richard Vaisey. As we come to know old Vaisey we can only guess at how his phleg. comp. has held up so long, what with his terrifying spouse Cordelia and all. Cordelia, though rendered in an aspect of nastiness which entirely lacks chiaroscuro, turns out all the ...


John Sutherland: Do books have a future?, 25 May 2006

... the card, punched the buttons and waited for their lunch hour. The slogan was: ‘If you paid full price, you didn’t buy it at Crown.’ Hunter’s went to the wall. Customer loyalty, built up over decades, crumbled in months. Readers always think books overpriced – which they aren’t – and can rarely resist the opportunity to buy two for the ...


Richard Wollheim, 19 March 1987

Semites and Anti-Semites 
by Bernard Lewis.
Weidenfeld, 288 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 297 79030 7
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After the Last Sky 
by Edward Said and Jean Mohr.
Faber, 224 pp., £6.95, September 1986, 0 571 13918 3
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... cannot be effected without cost, and there are two distinct ways in which Lewis’s book pays a price. In both cases it is the book’s persuasiveness that is diminished. We are left wondering what really follows from the testimony that it provides. In the first place, it is obvious that the claim that anti-semitism is widespread within the frontiers of the ...

Cite ourselves!

Richard J. Evans: The Annales School, 3 December 2009

The Annales School: An Intellectual History 
by André Burguière, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Cornell, 309 pp., £24.95, 0 8014 4665 1
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... of Martin Luther and a book about the Rhine. The first issue of Annales included studies of the price of papyrus in Ancient Greece, German industry in the First World War, the population problem in the Soviet Union, and the theories of Max Weber. Articles and reviews in subsequent issues ranged widely across a variety of countries; in 1937 there was even a ...

‘Turbot, sir,’ said the waiter

E.S. Turner, 4 April 1991

After Hours with P.G. Wodehouse 
by Richard Usborne.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £15.99, February 1991, 0 09 174712 0
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... restlessness in After Hours with P.G. Wodehouse. Readers of this journal may recall a Diary by Richard Usborne (LRB, 4 October 1984) in which a determined investigation into the origins of Wodehouse’s use of ‘exquisite Tanagra figurine’ led to an evocation of the days when cut-price Boeotian coroplasts cluttered ...


Richard Clogg, 18 August 1994

... of the Byzantine Empire, Catholic Christendom sought to make acceptance of Papal supremacy the price of giving military assistance against the Ottoman Turks, leading one Byzantine notable to argue that better the turban of the Turk in Constantinople than the biretta of the Latin cardinal. Such blackmail has not been forgotten and the Orthodox cleric ...


Richard Wollheim: On A.J. Ayer, 27 July 1989

... colours. In the Thirties many of the abler philosophers of the previous generation, such as H.H. Price or William Kneale, in no way iconoclasts, felt grateful to Freddie. No one who has responded to the cadence of Freddie’s prose could doubt the expressiveness of his philosophy, or the vision of the world out of which he wrote. It was a world in which all ...

Seven Euro-Heresies

Richard Mayne, 26 March 1992

... peg’), then the answer must be that stability is of great value, and worth paying quite a price for. Even if devaluation did not put up the cost of imports (which it must, defeating part of its own object), the continual depreciation of a currency simply passes poverty on to posterity – unless it be used quickly, as a chance to improve productivity ...

Prophet of the Rocks

Richard Fortey: William Smith, 9 August 2001

The Map that Changed the World: The Tale of William Smith and the Birth of a Science 
by Simon Winchester.
Viking, 338 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 88407 3
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... Smith’s, it added little that was new. But Greenough knew enough about business to undercut the price of Smith’s map by a guinea or so. Smith wrote, in a rare display of emotion, that the Geological Society map ‘seemed like the ghost of my old map … mocking me in the disappointments of a science with which I could scarcely be in temper.’ Worse was ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour, 23 April 2015

... not ‘market-friendly’. In this situation, mild market interventions such as temporary energy price freezes might be possible, but nationalising energy companies will not be seriously considered. This narrowing of democratic choice renders Westminster politics increasingly irrelevant to the lives of citizens, except in so far as it panders to spite: the ...

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