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What architects said before they said ‘space’

Andrew Saint: The vocabulary of modern architecture, 30 November 2000

Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture 
by Adrian Forty.
Thames and Hudson, 335 pp., £28, April 2000, 0 500 34172 9
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... discoursing as you went. The clamour among competing exegetes today has become deafening. Adrian Forty’s enterprise in Words and Buildings is to reap all this architectural verbiage and run it ruthlessly through the logic-mill. Having winnowed his crop, he sorts it into heaps of words, of different sizes and kinds; then he takes 18 of the most ...

The Whole Orang

Paul Smith, 12 March 1992

Darwin 
by Adrian Desmond and James Moore.
Joseph, 808 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 7181 3430 3
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... epoch in which any individual could singlehandedly precipitate a major shift in human thought. Adrian Desmond and James Moore place Darwin above Marx and Freud. It is hard to think of successors to that trinity of lone rangers in an age when research is financed by foundations and carried on by teams and generally mounted on the kind of scale where the ...

With Gods on Their Side

Basil Davidson, 7 September 1995

The Church in Africa, 1450-1950 
by Adrian Hastings.
Oxford, 706 pp., £65, January 1995, 0 19 826921 8
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A History of Christianity in Africa from Antiquity to the Present 
by Elizabeth Isichei.
SPCK, 420 pp., £25, February 1995, 0 281 04764 2
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Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression 
edited by Thomas Blakely, Walter van Beek and Dennis Thomson.
Currey, 512 pp., £45, November 1994, 0 85255 206 8
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... heathen, on a missionary perspective, are now resident in Britain, not in Borrioboola Gha. Adrian Hastings seems right to tell us that in 1960, the misnamed ‘Year of Africa’, ‘a new era of the African Church was about to begin’; and Elizabeth Isichei has clearly felt the same Christian impulse from a somewhat more African-centred approach. Both ...

Momentous Conjuncture

Geoffrey Best: Dracula in Churchill’s toyshop, 18 March 2004

Prof: The Life of Frederick Lindemann 
by Adrian Fort.
Cape, 374 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 224 06317 0
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... pianist, social climber, near teetotaller, non-smoker, vegetarian, buttoned-up loner and through forty years the most disliked don in Oxford. A rogue English aristocrat, family man, soldier, historian, journalist, MP and PM, drinking, smoking, eating and tirelessly talking his way through more than fifty years of politics, statecraft and war. Yet these two ...

Umpteens

Christopher Ricks, 22 November 1990

Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications 
edited by Adrian Room.
Bloomsbury, 354 pp., £17.99, September 1990, 0 7475 0521 7
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Unauthorised Versions: Poems and their Parodies 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 446 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 0 571 14122 6
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The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse 
edited by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 407 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 571 14470 5
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... Adrian Room has garnered umpteen dedications, and some of them are of interest, but what is the point of unrolling them alphabetically as something purporting to be a dictionary? Abbott opens, and Zangwill closes, yet the book is not a work of reference. It is an anthology. A lazy piece of work, or of relaxation, and not just because its compiler has declined the effort of an imaginative ordering and has instead fallen back on A to zzzz ...

Through Plate-Glass

Ian Sansom: Jonathan Coe, 10 May 2001

The Rotters’ Club 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 405 pp., £14.99, April 2001, 0 670 89252 1
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... either musical, or literary, or filmic, or perhaps a combination of all three’. He’s like Adrian Mole. He is everyone. It’s pathetically funny. Coe’s work is routinely described as comic, but it is not routinely comic. The humour occurs either in elaborate set pieces, or in occasional waspish asides. The funniest passage in his work ...

Into the Southern Playground

Julian Bell: The Suspect Adrian Stokes, 21 August 2003

'The Quattro Cento’ and ‘Stones of Rimini’ 
by Adrian Stokes.
Ashgate, 668 pp., £16.99, August 2002, 0 7546 3320 9
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Art and Its Discontents 
by Richard Read.
Ashgate, 260 pp., £35, December 2002, 0 7546 0796 8
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... Adrian Stokes’s Stones of Rimini is an extended obeisance performed by a young Englishman before some marble panels in an Italian church. The panels were carved in the 1450s, mostly by a Florentine called Agostino di Duccio, who was working in Rimini for the local warlord. Three dozen illustrations punctuate Stokes’s reissued text of 1934 ...

Singing the Blues

Noël Annan, 22 April 1993

A History of Cambridge University. Vol. IV: 1870-1990 
by Christopher Brooke.
Cambridge, 652 pp., £50, December 1992, 9780521343503
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... omission. He describes the genesis of physiology under Michael Foster but never mentions Adrian, Hodgkin or Huxley, all Nobel Laureates and masters of Trinity, who immediately after the war worked in the most prestigious biological department which pullulated with FRS. The greatest change in social life? Brooke is in no doubt. Women. He writes with ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2019, 2 January 2020

... gust from Storm Gareth, and fall heavily in the road. I lie there for a minute or two, and it’s Adrian, one of the builders from next door, who picks me up. I haven’t broken anything, but it’s the third time I’ve come off in the last six months, and it leaves me shaken and bruised, and Rupert shaken too when he comes downstairs. Now I lie on the sofa ...

The Road to Independence

David Caute, 21 November 1985

Peasant Consciousness and Guerrilla War in Zimbabwe 
by Terence Ranger.
James Currey, 377 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 85255 000 6
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Guns and Rain: Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe 
by David Lan.
James Currey, 244 pp., £19.50, October 1985, 0 85255 200 9
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... Many of those who survived still enjoy no option beyond unemployment and anomie. As Professor Adrian Hastings recently put it in the Catholic magazine Moto, ‘it is true that many former freedom fighters feel left out in the cold, if not betrayed, but for the time being at least they have almost ceased to matter.’ A former guerrilla told the same ...

Did Lady Brewster faint?

Eric Korn, 24 April 1997

Huxley: Evolution’s High Priest 
by Adrian Desmond.
Joseph, 372 pp., £20, March 1997, 0 7181 3882 1
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... meeting of 1870, taking time out for a tour through the slums, as squalidly shocking as London forty years before. The Huxley of Desmond’s second volume is a different creature from the (retrospectively) happy warrior of Volume One. To mark the difference of tone, or perhaps out of mere incompetence, Michael Joseph have arranged matters so that the two ...
The Dons 
by Noël Annan.
HarperCollins, 357 pp., £17.99, November 1999, 0 00 257074 2
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A Man of Contradictions: A Life of A.L.Rowse 
by Richard Ollard.
Allen Lane, 368 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 7139 9353 7
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... accustomed to exclaim.’ Annan, too, scrutinises its recipients minutely: the Trinity scientists (Adrian, Hodgkin and Huxley) undoubtedly deserved theirs; but he is far less clear about Sir Richard Jebb (‘but there was, after all, his edition of Sophocles’); and as for Henry Jackson (Jebb’s successor in the chair of Greek at Cambridge in 1906), his ...

Wall in the Head

Carolyn Steedman: On Respectability, 27 July 2016

Respectable: The Experience of Class 
by Lynsey Hanley.
Allen Lane, 240 pp., £16.99, April 2016, 978 1 84614 206 2
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... coming together of north Solihull and south Solihull, a clash of the provincial titans to match Adrian Mole and Pandora’, without the romance. In and out of their A-level history and politics class he kept talking at her about things she didn’t know but knew she wanted to know. A year later she had begun to plait the rope of knowing that would haul her ...

Do squid feel pain?

Peter Godfrey-Smith, 4 February 2016

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts 
by Stanislas Dehaene.
Penguin, 336 pp., £11, December 2014, 978 0 14 312626 3
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... and Ryle believed, we’d see there was no issue. That moment having finally passed, say forty years ago, philosophy took the problem of consciousness as one of the three major challenges faced by anyone attempting a theory of the relation between mind and body. The others were the problem of ‘qualia’, explaining how the subjective feel of the ...

Between Victoria and Vauxhall

John Lanchester: The Election, 31 May 2017

... in 1950. The last election offered an exemplary range of candidates: the magnificently named Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, the UK’s only openly HIV-positive candidate, stood for the Lib Dems; Cameroon-born Ace Nnorom, who arrived in the UK in 2001, stood for Ukip (‘You can’t have a country hosting people it can’t take care of … It’s like if you ...

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