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Half-Way up the Hill

Frank Kermode, 7 July 1988

Young Betjeman 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 457 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 7195 4531 5
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... up by Maurice Bowra, and through him grew friendly with Kenneth Clark, John Sparrow, Henry Yorke, Alan Pryce-Jones, Osbert Lancaster, Robert Byron, Anthony Powell, Peter Quennell, Tom Driberg, Harold Acton, Christopher Sykes, Randolph Churchill, W.H. Auden, and lots of others, including Gaitskell once more (‘Hugh, may I stroke your bottom?’ ‘Oh, I ...

Great Fun

John Bayley, 22 January 1987

Gossip 
by Patricia Meyer Spacks.
Chicago, 287 pp., £9.25, November 1986, 0 226 76844 9
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The Bonus of Laughter 
by Alan Pryce-Jones.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 241 11903 0
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... that is to say, if the addict feels like contemplating real people rather than fictitious ones. Alan Pryce-Jones’s recollections – ‘autobiography’ would be too pompous a word for them – are incredibly readable. Page after page is turned in utter fascination to see who will next appear and to listen to what they did and said, how they carried ...
... Chatterley for a reference for a gamekeeper. The magazine sort of launched me on a career, because Alan Pryce-Jones, who was then the editor of the TLS, gave me a lot of reviewing work. AH: How did you see your future then? FW: I suppose I feebly wanted to be a writer, but, apart from those stories, I couldn’t think what on earth I was going to do. I ...

Mr Toad

John Bayley, 20 October 1994

Evelyn Waugh 
by Selina Hastings.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 600 pp., £20, October 1994, 1 85619 223 7
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... When Put out More Flags was published in March 1942, Alan Pryce-Jones reviewed it in the New Statesman, praising the writer’s ‘dead-accurate’ social sense and his vituperative use of ‘the unpopular weapons of economy and proportion’, and yet concluding that the book and its author were ‘fundamentally without humour ...

Vous êtes belle

Penelope Fitzgerald, 8 January 1987

Alain-Fournier: A Brief Life 1886-1914 
by David Arkell.
Carcanet, 178 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 85635 484 8
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Henri Alain-Fournier: Towards the Lost Domain: Letters from London 1905 
translated by W.J. Strachan.
Carcanet, 222 pp., £16.95, November 1986, 0 85635 674 3
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The Lost Domain 
by Henri Alain-Fournier, translated by Frank Davison.
Oxford, 299 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 19 212262 2
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... it is, is not a book for children. In 1959, in the World’s Classics, it had an introduction by Alan Pryce-Jones, who saw the book as ‘the last novel of idyllic love which is likely to have universal appeal’. He considered that nothing in it came up to the opening scenes, which established the ‘magic dependence’ of Seurel. (So did many ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann, 7 January 1999

John Lehmann: A Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... and furiously defended the Liberal cause at the Punch table. John himself had been at Eton with Alan Pryce-Jones, Anthony Powell, Eric Blair and Cyril Connolly, who, we are told, stood at the door of his room in the Sixth Form Passage asking, ‘Well, Johnny Lehmann, how are you this afternoon?’ While he was at Trinity his sister Rosamond published ...

Is the lady your sister?

E.S. Turner: An innkeeper’s diary, 27 April 2000

An Innkeeper's Diary 
by John Fothergill.
Faber, 278 pp., £23.95, January 2000, 0 571 15014 4
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... cool antarctic thrill/Of great Queen Anne in Fothergill’. A ‘pretty and clever lad’, Alan Pryce-Jones, boasts of the Loire castles where he is well received. The editor of the Observer, J.L. Garvin, who calls the universe to order every Sunday, talks his host into a state of near-insensibility; his articles, Fothergill shrewdly says, are ...

Phut-Phut

James Wood: The ‘TLS’, 27 June 2002

Critical Times: The History of the ‘Times Literary Supplement’ 
by Derwent May.
HarperCollins, 606 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 00 711449 4
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... time that a new English novel had been given a full page piece to itself; and the editorship of Alan Pryce-Jones (1948-59), during which the paper ‘became a serious, modern, intellectual journal’, and developed its willingness to comment freely about world events, something it has continued to do very well under its now departing editor, Ferdinand ...

Attila the Hus

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 4 November 1982

Rules of the Game: Sir Oswald and Lady Cynthia Mosley 1896-1933 
by Nicholas Mosley.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 436 28849 4
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... faith.’ Whether Harold Nicolson, inviting Osbert Sitwell, Raymond Mortimer, Peter Quennell and Alan Pryce-Jones to contribute to its pages, saw the ‘new faith’ in the same light as Mosley isn’t quite clear. ‘Week by week,’ Mosley exclaimed on the front page, ‘we shall put before you new vistas into the future. Week by week, you will see ...
... This was the generation of Bowra, Betjeman, Harold Acton, John Sutro, Connolly, Powell and Alan Pryce-Jones. Waugh was the supreme master and his novels are fit to stand by The Importance of Being Earnest. His vision is so penetrating and fantastical that infidels, heretics and schismatics, as well as the orthodox, can inhabit that world and rock ...

Even paranoids have enemies

Frank Kermode, 24 August 1995

F.R. Leavis: A Life in Criticism 
by Ian MacKillop.
Allen Lane, 476 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 7139 9062 7
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... at least as strong for disliking the editors of the Times Literary Supplement (successively Alan Pryce-Jones, Arthur Crook and John Gross) and indeed held the whole London literary world in contempt as a self-serving clique. He became a lecturer in 1936, already over forty, and a full lecturer at 52. MacKillop deals with this scandalously slow ...

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