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2 December 1982
Blood for the Ghosts: Classical Influences in the 19th and 20th Centuries 
by Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Duckworth, 312 pp., £24, May 1982, 0 7156 1500 9
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Classical Survivals: The Classics in the Modern World 
by Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Duckworth, 184 pp., £18, May 1982, 0 7156 1517 3
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History of Classical Scholarship 
by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, translated by Alan Harris.
Duckworth, 189 pp., £18, February 1982, 0 7156 0976 9
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... Of the 53 short essays, book reviews, lectures and obituaries assembled in Hugh Lloyd-Jones’s two volumes, two were published in the year before he assumed the Regius Professorship of Greek in the University of Oxford, one was his Inaugural Lecture of 1960, and the remainder were written subsequently. I say this not as a prelude to yet another bad joke about ‘the other place’ but because it is ...

The Lady in the Back Seat

Thomas Jones: Robert Harris’s Alternative Realities

15 November 2007
The Ghost 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £18.99, October 2007, 978 0 09 179626 6
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... Robert Harris’s first novel, Fatherland (1992), was a counterfactual historical thriller set in Nazi Germany in 1964. In the alternative reality of the book, Germany defeated the Soviet Union in the Caucasus in ...

Nobody wants it

José Harris

5 December 1991
Letters to Eva, 1969-1983 
by A.J.P. Taylor, edited by Eva Haraszti Taylor.
Century, 486 pp., £20, June 1991, 0 7126 4634 5
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... A cynic? How can I not be when I have spent my life writing history?’ Alan Taylor’s love letters to his Hungarian third wife created a predictably prurient, though transient, stir when they were published earlier this year. Their more lasting interest may lie in the light ...
20 July 2000
... heart. And maybe we do overdose on it, but with more irony (or even some) Britannia Hospital would have seemed less crass and been easier to swallow. (A voice from a French lakeside: ‘But, my dear Alan, why should it be easy to swallow? I didn’t want it to be “easy to swallow” as you put it.’) There are odd surprises in Lambert’s book. That Lindsay should have had a stab at transcendental ...

Outside Swan and Edgar’s

Matthew Sweet: The life of Oscar Wilde

5 February 1998
The Wilde Album 
by Merlin Holland.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85702 782 5
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Cosmopolitan Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy of Art 
by Julia Prewitt Brown.
Virginia, 157 pp., $30, September 1997, 9780813917283
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde 
edited by Peter Raby.
Cambridge, 307 pp., £37.50, October 1997, 9780521474719
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Wilde The Novel 
by Stefan Rudnicki.
Orion, 215 pp., £5.99, October 1997, 0 7528 1160 6
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Oscar Wilde 
by Frank Harris.
Robinson, 358 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 1 85487 126 9
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Moab is my Washpot 
by Stephen Fry.
Hutchinson, 343 pp., £16.99, October 1997, 0 09 180161 3
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Nothing … except My Genius 
by Oscar Wilde.
Penguin, 82 pp., £2.99, October 1997, 0 14 043693 6
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... heavyweight; and celebrates his ‘dodginess’ in order to instal him in a post-dualist tradition of aesthetic theory – a missing link between Kierkegaard and Adorno. For Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, he’s the original Queer wit, who would today have been the toast of Sussex University and Old Compton Street. Oscar Wilde, posing as a Post-Modernist. Like the most obliging of renters ...

Diary

Alan​ Bennett: Fresh Revelations

20 October 1994
... boy, I suppose, has ever known anything but a Tory government nor by the sound of it ever wants to. At Birmingham I have a session with David Edgar’s playwrights’ class, then do another ‘Our Alan’ performance for a more general audience. 26 January. Run into Tristram Powell. Andrew Devonshire (sic) has done a diary for the Spectator mentioning the memoir of Julian Jebb (edited by Tristram ...

Holy Relics

Alan​ Milward

3 April 1986
Selling Hitler: The story of the Hitler Diaries 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 402 pp., £10.95, February 1986, 0 571 13557 9
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... expert on 17th-century British history. When Lord Dacre later had doubts about what he had so boldly written about their authenticity in the Sunday Times, Murdoch swept him aside, according to Robert Harris, with the memorable line: ‘Fuck Dacre, publish.’ Meanwhile the historian David Irving denounced the diaries as fakes, on the radio and television of three countries, although he had no sound ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows

7 October 1993
... achievements as writer and film-maker. Surprisingly, D.J. Taylor doesn’t even mention him in his new survey of post-war fiction. In the late Fifties and after, Kingsley Amis, Johns Wain and Braine, Alan Sillitoe and Co struck a new, demotic note. The ‘traditional’ English novel of good and bad manners was radicalised and updated. Karl Miller helped to institute a new criticism which seemed to ...

On the Streets

Peter Campbell: The Plane Trees of London

18 October 2001
... it: when I was making some primitive measurements and taking photographs a couple came up and told me that they felt as I did. I led them astray, however, because although I remembered rightly that Alan Mitchell says in his Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe that the circumference of a tree in inches at five feet above the ground gives a good idea of its age in years, I had ...
2 September 1982
Alanbrooke 
by David Fraser.
Collins, 604 pp., £12.95, April 1982, 0 00 216360 8
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... energy, almost of electricity, suddenly pervaded the place. I could feel it stabbing through me. This was the CIGS. Thus Anthony Powell brilliantly evokes the dynamic personal impact of General Sir Alan Brooke in his novel The Military Philosophers. Brooke held positions of critical responsibility and as CIGS was titular head of the Army for the greater part of the Second World War, yet his career ...

Diary

Peter Craven: On the Demidenko Affair

16 November 1995
... proved to be false within a matter of days. There was also a certain black comedy in the fact that the girl who had lied about being a lawyer should be attacked two days later, in the same papers, by Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard professor of law, who happened to be visiting Australia. I met Jill Kitson on the morning his article was published. ‘Now we’ve been attacked by a man called Dershowitz ...

Mockney Rebels

Thomas Jones: Lindsay Anderson

20 July 2000
Mainly about Linsay Anderson 
by Gavin Lambert.
Faber, 302 pp., £18.99, May 2000, 0 571 17775 1
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... only a villainous millionaire businessman who flogs napalm to an African country to secure his investments in the tourist industry, but also an eccentric hotel resident who gives Travis a gold suit; Alan Price, whom we see, in footage intercut with the main narrative, playing songs in a studio as Anderson listens, turns up in a campervan with his band to give Travis a lift to London. So it comes as ...
9 January 1992
Martha Jane and Me: A Girlhood in Wales 
by Mavis Nicholson.
Chatto, 243 pp., £14.99, November 1991, 0 7011 3356 2
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Vanessa Redgrave: An Autobiography 
Hutchinson, 300 pp., £17.99, October 1991, 0 09 174593 4Show More
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... know who were her neighbours in Mansel Street as she passed hitching a ride on the greengrocer’s cart? ‘He stopped at intervals to serve Mrs Vigars, Mrs Hill, Mrs Jones, the Misses Gethins, Mrs Harris, Mrs Lane, Mrs Farral, Mrs Hale, Mrs Pike, Mrs Southcourt, Mrs Evans, Mrs Hughes and Mrs Trimnel.’ Or the route she takes as the place expands while she explores it? I counted the streets on the ...

Free Schools

Dawn Foster

6 May 2015
... indicated that £76,933 had not been used for its intended purpose. During its first year the school apparently had no chair of governors, despite legal stipulations. But the school prospectus listed Alan Lewis, a former deputy chair of the Conservative Party, as its ‘executive patron’, and the leaked EFA report concludes that he had been the ‘chair of governors between September 2011 and ...
6 March 2014
In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... of Economic Affairs, which though it later became intimately associated with the propagation of the Thatcherite gospel, was set up as a non-partisan think-tank and co-directed by a Tory, Ralph Harris, later ennobled by Thatcher as Lord Harris of High Cross, and the Liberal Arthur Seldon. Elliot Dodds, president of the Liberal Party in 1948, celebrated the party’s diverse heritage of anti ...

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