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Linda Colley, 19 August 1993

The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... dilemma is real and lies less in the antics of its younger representatives, which it can hope some day to resolve, than in massive changes which are completely beyond its control. There is first of all the religious issue. Since the Reformation, the English monarchs have been head of the Church. But since practising Anglicans have come to form only a ...

King Cling

Julian Bell: Kings and Collectors, 5 April 2018

Charles I: King and Collector 
Royal Academy, London, until 15 April 2018Show More
Charles II: Art and Power 
Queen’s Gallery/London, until 13 May 2018Show More
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... Perched​ on one platform, King Charles I; perched on another, the Dutch painter Daniel Mytens; lowered in between them, a canvas some two feet taller than the king, who was reportedly of small stature. If, as an inscription on the finished portrait insists, the likeness was painted ad vivum, then this might have been the way to do it ...

Dynasties

Antonia Fraser, 3 April 1980

The House of Stuart 
by Maurice Ashley.
Dent, 237 pp., £9.95, January 1980, 0 460 04458 3
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... parallels, as when he compares the court of the pious, abstemious James IV of Scotland to that of Charles II in Whitehall. He is occasionally far-fetched in his treatment of heredity: why should Charles I have inherited his taste from his great-grandfather James V, when his mother Anne of Denmark had strong artistic ...

Vies de Bohème

D.A.N. Jones, 23 April 1987

A Sport of Nature 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Cape, 396 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 224 02447 7
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Trust 
by Mary Flanagan.
Bloomsbury, 290 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 7475 0001 0
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... but with a note of desperation not quite concealed. Another South African novelist, Christopher Hope, told me recently that ‘the bookshelves are wet with South African tears’ and reminded me of an old novel by Kingsley Amis, in which a young seducer at a party takes a girl to the kitchen and makes her cry over South Africa. Another, Ezekiel ...

How to Be Tudor

Hilary Mantel: Can a King Have Friends?, 17 March 2016

Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend 
by Steven Gunn.
Amberley, 304 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 4456 4184 3
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... is measured on a scale, and scored by size of beard, love of jousting and trouble with wives, Charles Brandon would come near the top, second only to the king he served. The subtitle of Steven Gunn’s scholarly biography describes its subject as ‘Henry VIII’s Closest Friend’. What a prospect of damp-palmed horror that phrase evokes! The knocking of ...

Melancholy Actions

Charles Glass: Scuttling the French Fleet, 17 December 2009

England’s Last War against France: Fighting Vichy 1940-42 
by Colin Smith.
Weidenfeld, 490 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 0 297 85218 6
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... to capitulate to the invader. Few of the soldiers and almost none of the sailors recognised Charles de Gaulle, an armoured corps colonel temporarily elevated to brigadier general, as their leader. To them, de Gaulle seemed more of a traitor to his fellow officers for siding with Britain than Maréchal Pétain for seeking accommodation with ...

Balls and Strikes

Charles Reeve: Clement Greenberg, 5 April 2007

Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg 
by Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
Lund Humphries, 321 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 85331 940 5
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... of kitsch – late in life, he called it ‘an ongoing emergency’ – committed him to the hope that its audience could be rescued. But it also required him to believe that the fans of kitsch wanted and needed saving. As his audience expanded, Greenberg’s taste narrowed, its tight focus reflected in his personal collection. Presumably he liked much ...

The wind comes up out of nowhere

Charles Nicholl: The Disappearance of Arthur Cravan, 9 March 2006

... to be a supposition. Did Cravan, in fact, ever make it to Puerto Angel? In the somewhat unlikely hope of an answer I set off for this picturesque little fishing port, four days sailing in Cravan’s ‘little boat’, but nowadays reachable in a few hours by bus on an exhilarating coast road skirting the lower flanks of the Sierra Madre del Sur. An interview ...

Consequences

Christopher Reid, 15 May 1980

Renga 
by Octavio Paz, Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguineti and Charles Tomlinson.
Penguin, 95 pp., £1.95, November 1979, 0 14 042268 4
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Kites in Spring 
by John Hewitt.
Blackstaff, 63 pp., £2.95, February 1980, 0 85640 206 0
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The Island Normal 
by Brian Jones.
Carcanet, 91 pp., £2.95, February 1980, 9780856353406
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New Poetry 5 
edited by Peter Redgrove and Jon Silkin.
Hutchinson, 163 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 09 139570 4
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... composed in Paris more than ten years ago by Octavio Paz, Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguineti and Charles Tomlinson has recently been published here. This work, the result of five days’ collaboration in the basement of the Hôtel St Simon on the left Bank, has both oriental and occidental ancestry. The ceremonial meeting of poets to enact a ritual of ...

Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... is further modified by Michael Mendle’s searching essay on the constitutional programme of Charles I’s Parliamentary opponents in 1641-2. In the emergency created by royal mismanagement, Mendle argues, MPs were concerned less to assert legislative rights than to seize executive power – though, aiming for ‘a very English absolutism’ they can ...

A Childhood on the Edge of History

Charles van Onselen: J.M. Coetzee’s boyhood, 5 February 1998

Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 171 pp., £12.99, September 1997, 0 436 20448 7
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... they have been born to, is English. And, as the pool has no discernible ethnos, so one day I hope it will have no predominant colour, as more people of colour drift into it. A pool, I would hope then, in which differences wash away. In this way, and to the consternation of a certain class of cultural crusader for ...

Winner’s History

Howard Erskine-Hill, 20 August 1981

Some Intellectual Consequences of the English Revolution 
by Christopher Hill.
Weidenfeld, 100 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 297 77780 7
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The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714 
by Christopher Hill.
Nelson, 296 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 17 712002 9
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... so fully on Italian republican thought of the 16th century. That Locke (whose 1660 panegyric to Charles II as a new Augustus Hill may not know) drew on mid-century experience and Puritan and Leveller argument concerning original contract and natural freedom is probable. These key concepts already existed in 16th-century political thought, but their most ...

Antic Santa

James Francken: Nathan Englander, 28 October 1999

For the Relief of Unbearable Urges 
by Nathan Englander.
Faber, 205 pp., £9.99, May 1999, 0 571 19691 8
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... that Saul Bellow has described, the rules that restrain ‘haughty, spinning, crazy spirit’. Charles Morton Luger, high-flying financial analyst and ‘Christian non-believer’, has an epiphany in the opening paragraph of The Gilgul of Park Avenue’. Not a sudden, dizzying revelation – colours are ‘no brighter or darker’ as he sits in the back of ...

Eye Contact

Peter Campbell: Anthony van Dyck, 16 September 1999

Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641 
by Christopher Brown and Hans Vlieghe.
Royal Academy, 360 pp., £22.50, May 1999, 9780847821969
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Anthony van Dyck: A Life, 1599-1641 
by Robin Blake.
Constable, 435 pp., £25, August 1999, 9780094797208
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... Roger de Piles noted, ‘took his time to draw a face when it had its best looks on.’ He painted Charles I’s Queen, Henrietta Maria, as a handsome woman – without, it would seem, losing the likeness. Yet her niece, who knew her first from the painting, was surprised to find the Queen ‘a little woman with long, lean arms, crooked shoulders and teeth ...

At the National Portrait Gallery

Rosemary Hill: ‘The Lost Prince’, 6 December 2012

... Two of England’s best remembered kings, Henry VIII and Charles I, stand in the shadow of lost princes. Each had an elder brother who was Prince of Wales and expected to succeed. Had Prince Arthur and Prince Henry lived the Reformation and the Civil War would have followed different courses or might not, it is sometimes suggested, have taken place at all ...

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