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Modern Prejudice

M.I. Finley, 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 impossible to appreciate the two volumes without some understanding of the course of Classical studies in 20th-century Britain and of the author’s role in them ...

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 that they throw upon Taylor the practising historian, musing to a fellow historian about the mysteries of his craft ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... 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) as one of the books he was putting in the guest bedrooms at ...

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 1943, lured the Royal Navy to its destruction after learning that the British had cracked the Enigma code, and intimidated the United States into signing a peace treaty by successfully testing an atom bomb and launching an intercontinental V3 rocket across the Atlantic ...

Memories of Lindsay Anderson

Alan Bennett, 20 July 2000

... 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 meditation and even been given a mantra is understandable ...

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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... 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, Wilde will be anything you want him to ...

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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... 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 evidence for saying so. Two weeks later, when everyone else ...
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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... 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 way to the library in Neath Road, the main road. After ...

On the Streets

Peter Campbell: The Plane Trees of London, 18 October 2001

... 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 forgotten that he also says that planes are an exception and ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows, 7 October 1993

... 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 owe more to a modest, clean, unadorned English than to the ...

Diary

Peter Craven: On the Demidenko Affair, 16 November 1995

... 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. Who’s ...

Hurricane Brooke

Brian Bond, 2 September 1982

Alanbrooke 
by David Fraser.
Collins, 604 pp., £12.95, April 1982, 0 00 216360 8
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... 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 and achievements have never been widely ...

Ten Days that Shook Me

Alan Bennett, 15 September 1988

... couple. At an Embassy cocktail party back in Moscow I talk to the BBC correspondent Jeremy Harris, who has been at Philby’s funeral. He says the first evidence that it was happening was a phone call to a Reuter’s colleague to say that Philby’s funeral was taking place at the Kurskaya cemetery. ‘When?’ ‘Now,’ said the voice, and rang ...

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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... 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 no surprise when Helen Mirren, who plays Patricia, the ...

Coalition Monsters

Colin Kidd, 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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... 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-collectivism, chairing the ...

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