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1662

D.A.N. Jones, 5 April 1984

Old Catholics and Anglicans: 1931-1981 
edited by Gordon Huelin.
Oxford, 177 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 19 920129 3
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Anglican Essays 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 141 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 85635 456 2
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The Song of Roland 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 135 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 9780856354212
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TheRegrets 
by Joachim du Bellay, translated by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 147 pp., £4.50, January 1984, 0 85635 471 6
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... with Oliver Cromwell, and his denunciation by Judge Jeffreys: Oy! Oy! What ailed the old stock-cole, unthankful villain that he could not conform? Richard, Richard, dost thou think we’ll hear thee poison the court? Richard, thou art an old fellow, an old knave; thou has written books enough to load a cart, every one as full of sedition, I might say ...

Bad News

Iain Sinclair, 6 December 1990

Weather 
by John Farrand.
Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 239 pp., $40, June 1990, 1 55670 134 9
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Weather Watch 
by Dick File.
Fourth Estate, 299 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 1 872180 12 4
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Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment 
edited by J.T. Houghton, G.J. Jenkins and J.J. Ephraums.
Cambridge, 365 pp., £40, September 1990, 9780521403603
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Crop Circles: The Latest Evidence 
by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews.
Bloomsbury, 80 pp., £5.99, October 1990, 0 7475 0843 7
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The Stumbling Block, Its Index 
by B. Catling.
Book Works, £22, October 1990, 9781870699051
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... The visual package in this book might once have been marketed to showcase a selection of poems by Robert Frost. The text is calm and informative, and quietly redundant – like Norman Mailer’s overwrought rhetoric polyfilling a collection of Marilyn Monroe pin-ups. Guiltily, we thirst for something wilder, more fearful. Though, in fairness, several ...

Identity Parade

Linda Colley, 25 February 1993

People and Places: Country House Donors and the National Trust 
by James Lees-Milne.
Murray, 232 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 7195 5145 5
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The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769 
by Michael Dobson.
Oxford, 266 pp., £30, October 1992, 0 19 811233 5
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Myths of the English 
edited by Roy Porter.
Polity, 280 pp., £39.50, October 1992, 0 7456 0844 2
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Fields of Vision: Landscape Imagery and National Identity in England and the United States 
by Stephen Daniels.
Polity, 257 pp., £39.50, November 1992, 0 7456 0450 1
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... contributed to the undermining of Britishness. One reason for this, as the Party’s historian Robert Blake comments, is that Tories have always tended towards English nationalism, enjoying electoral paramountcy in the Southern counties, but possessed of far less secure roots in the North or in Wales or in Scotland. Predictably, therefore, the recent ...

My Heart on a Stick

Michael Robbins: The Poems of Frederick Seidel, 6 August 2009

Poems 1959-2009 
by Frederick Seidel.
Farrar, Straus, 509 pp., $40, March 2009, 978 0 374 12655 1
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... sixty-four miles an hour. The Ducati 916 is a nightingale. It sings to me more sweetly than Cole Porter. Slender as a girl, aerodynamically clean. Sudden as a shark. Seidel’s first book, Final Solutions, caused a minor scandal when it was chosen to receive a small award from the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association in 1962. The ...

C (for Crisis)

Eric Hobsbawm: The 1930s, 6 August 2009

The Morbid Age: Britain between the Wars 
by Richard Overy.
Allen Lane, 522 pp., £25, May 2009, 978 0 7139 9563 3
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... index – of the Eugenics Society’s Charles Blacker, of Vera Brittain, Cyril Burt, G.D.H Cole, Leonard Darwin, G. Lowes Dickinson, E.M. Forster, Edward Glover, J.A. Hobson, Aldous and Julian Huxley, Storm Jameson, Ernest Jones, Sir Arthur Keith, Maynard Keynes, Archbishop Cosmo Lang, Basil Liddell Hart, Bronislaw Malinowski, Gilbert Murray, Philip ...

Shaving-Pot in Waiting

Rosemary Hill: Victoria’s Albert, 23 February 2012

Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death That Changed the Monarchy 
by Helen Rappaport.
Hutchinson, 336 pp., £20, November 2011, 978 0 09 193154 4
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Albert 
by Jules Stewart.
I.B. Tauris, 276 pp., £19.99, October 2011, 978 1 84885 977 7
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... popularity with her accession, it could take nothing for granted. It was less than a decade since Robert Peel had predicted that it would not last another five years, and while the violent civil disorder of the early 1830s had abated, there was still considerable ambivalence towards an institution whose incumbents in the two previous reigns had done much to ...

Diary

August Kleinzahler: My Last Big Road Trip, 2 December 2010

... keyboard. He keeps his hand in by studying piano with Mr Natural, or the individual on whom Robert Crumb’s comic-strip character Mr Natural is based. Mr Natural teaches out of a storefront in the Haight in San Francisco, where the Maestro and I are long-time neighbours. The Maestro regularly drives between San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin, where ...

Reduced to Ashes and Rubbage

Jessie Childs: Civil War Traumas, 3 January 2019

Battle-Scarred: Mortality, Medical Care and Military Welfare in the British Civil Wars 
edited by David Appleby and Andrew Hopper.
Manchester, 247 pp., £80, July 2018, 978 1 5261 2480 7
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... popular literature took account of various stress disorders. Even before the wars, in books like Robert Burton’s bestselling Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), there was an awareness that ‘the simple narration many times’ of traumatic stories could help bring meaning to confusion and offer control to the sufferer. But in an age of Christian, neo-Stoic ...

‘Researcher dies in combat’

Hugh Wilford: Middle East Inexpertise, 2 March 2017

America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State 
by Osamah F. Khalil.
Harvard, 426 pp., £25.95, October 2016, 978 0 674 97157 8
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... of Islam still commands respect. And today a number of US scholars – Rashid Khalidi, Juan Cole and Mark LeVine, to name a few – are trying to offer the general public a better informed perspective on the region. Khalil does, once or twice, acknowledge the existence of such voices, and because this is a critical account he’s bound to emphasise the ...

Diary

Will Self: Cocaine, 5 November 2015

... white rather than the right stuff. The cocaine literature of the era reflected these attitudes: Robert Sabbag’s Snowblind (1976) was a gonzo-inflected account of how one man, Zachary Swan, single-handedly turned southern California onto coke; and while there’s plenty of nastiness in the tale (how could there not be?), the overall impression Sabbag gives ...

Unpranked Lyre

John Mullan: The Laziness of Thomas Gray, 13 December 2001

Thomas Gray: A Life 
by Robert Mack.
Yale, 718 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 300 08499 4
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... of syntax and the personification of abstract ideas (another of Wordsworth’s special hates). Robert Mack, properly enough, sets out to be Gray’s advocate and though not all his vindications of individual poems are persuasive, his biography does add an important consideration to our understanding of Gray’s poetic values, and therefore of his high ...

Seductress Extraordinaire

Terry Castle: The vampiric Mercedes de Acosta, 24 June 2004

‘That Furious Lesbian’: The Story of Mercedes de Acosta 
by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 210 pp., £16.95, June 2004, 0 8093 2579 9
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Women in Turmoil: Six Plays 
by Mercedes de Acosta, edited by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 252 pp., £26.95, June 2003, 0 8093 2509 8
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... in the early 1960s, she nonetheless continued picking up nubile girls with aplomb, including (says Robert Schanke) a ‘tubercular young British actress who was a waitress in a coffee shop’. Once one might have welcomed such a seduction, fang marks, TB and all. I remember much relishing de Acosta’s gossipy 1960 autobiography, Here Lies the Heart, when it ...

Self-Made Man

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Edith Wharton’s Domestic Arrangements, 5 April 2007

Edith Wharton 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 853 pp., £25, February 2007, 978 0 7011 6665 6
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... that Proust was too much of a snob – but they had a number of friends in common, including Robert d’Humières, the model for Robert de Saint-Loup in A la recherche du temps perdu. D’Humières was working on the French translation of The Custom of the Country when he was killed in action in 1916, and there was ...

Time of the Red-Man

Mark Ford: James Fenimore Cooper, 25 September 2008

James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years 
by Wayne Franklin.
Yale, 708 pp., £25, July 2008, 978 0 300 10805 7
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... the more Cooper earned the more rapaciously he was hounded by such associates as the lawyer Robert Sedgwick, a one-time friend who extracted exorbitant amounts of interest on his loans, and the unsavoury duo of Thomas Bridgen and William Holt Averell, who ended up acquiring, by various devious stratagems, much of the land and property that had made up ...

Rolling Back the Reformation

Eamon Duffy: Bloody Mary’s Church, 7 February 2008

... to discover the Counter-Reformation is a very old one, first advanced by the Elizabethan Jesuit Robert Parsons. In a lengthy memorandum he composed in the 1590s, sketching out a reform agenda should Elizabeth be succeeded by a Catholic, Parsons suggested that Mary’s attempt to reimpose Catholicism had failed because it was ‘huddled’ and ‘shuffled up ...

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