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Unusual Endowments

Patrick Collinson

30 March 2000
Philip Sidney: A Double Life 
by Alan Stewart.
Chatto, 400 pp., £20, February 2000, 0 7011 6859 5
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... in an age of religious wars, both hot and cold. It is this considerable challenge to which Alan Stewart responds in only the second biography of Philip Sidney in almost fifty years. Stewart draws on foreign archives, as well as on the Languet-Sidney correspondence and other letters secured by the private scholar ...

Rigging and Bending

Simon Adams: James VI & I

9 October 2003
The Cradle King: A Life of James VI & I 
by Alan Stewart.
Chatto, 438 pp., £20, February 2003, 0 7011 6984 2
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... Lynch rather regretfully admit, has not yet been superseded, despite numerous subsequent studies. Alan Stewart is a lively writer, but heavily (and uncritically) reliant on the established published sources and liable to turn reported into direct speech to keep the narrative flowing. His bibliography is impressive, but appears to have been only partially ...

Verie Sillie People

Keith Thomas: Bacon’s Lives

7 February 2013
The Oxford Francis Bacon Vol. I: Early Writings 1584-96 
edited by Alan Stewart, with Harriet Knight.
Oxford, 1066 pp., £200, September 2012, 978 0 19 818313 6
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... and conflicting objectives that Bacon composed the works contained in the collection edited by Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight. The Oxford Francis Bacon is a major scholarly project conceived by the late Graham Rees and administered nowadays by an editorial advisory board of 16 experts under the direction of Brian Vickers, the leading Baconian ...
22 January 1987
... rapids, escaped from a whirlpool, There seemed nothing he wouldn’t do. David Douglas, in his Stewart tartan coat, Saw the Columbia River as a source For trees. In 1825 he scooped The Douglas fir, the noble fir, the Sitka spruce, The ponderosa, the bigcone, the sugar And the western white pines. This treasure Went to London. ‘You will begin to think I ...
18 March 1999
Life’s Other Secret: The New Mathematics of the Living World 
by Ian Stewart.
Penguin, 320 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 7139 9161 5
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... published in 1917. Although they have excited the admiration of some important thinkers, including Alan Turing and the biologists John Tyler Bonner and Stephen Jay Gould, Thompson’s ideas do not figure prominently in the biological curriculum or the mainstream of research. By contrast, that mainstream takes very seriously an unguarded remark of the youthful ...

Aberdeen rocks

Jenny Turner: Stewart Home

9 May 2002
69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess 
by Stewart Home.
Canongate, 182 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 9781841951829
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... I hadn’t read a Stewart Home book for years when I started the new one, 69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess. Let me be more precise. I hadn’t read a Home book properly since 1996, when I spent six months in a room in Brixton, so damp it had plants from outside growing up the insides of the walls, trying to write about him but unable to build a journalistic structure into which Home’s work might fit ...
23 June 1994
... a conspiracy of the unheard, and with one man in particular, the sharp-witted London activist Stewart Home.Home, in stark contrast to the brothers on the Celtic fringe, was a dynamo of invention, recycling Dadaist provocation into fugues of inspired counter-terror, then moving on. A suspicion lingers in the scorch marks that Home’s major project is ...
16 October 1980
An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy 
by John Stuart Mill, edited by J.M. Robson.
Routledge, 625 pp., £15.95, February 1980, 0 7100 0178 9
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... even if sometimes not very good ones. The second view is central to the philosophies of Reid and Stewart. But both Reid and Stewart believed that at least some of the truths which we know without supporting argument require sense-experience to be elicited; and thus, although they are not derived from sense-experience, they ...

Diary

Mike Selvey: Dumping Gower

24 September 1992
... racing. ‘I think a cup of coffee is in order,’ I said to Martin Johnson of the Independent and Alan Lee of the Times, ‘and the only place on the ground that serves a proper filtered cup of the stuff is the Hove Shop.’ Most County grounds have an establishment like this, where anything that can reasonably be sold at a profit ...

Grail Trail

C.H. Roberts

4 March 1982
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail 
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
Cape, 445 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 224 01735 7
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The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus 
by Desmond Stewart.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 241 10686 9
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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition 
by Jeffrey Burton Russell.
Cornell, 258 pp., £14, November 1981, 0 8014 1267 6
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... of scholarship and more than a dash of fiction or imaginative reconstruction. The late Desmond Stewart’s book (which Alan Neame, who introduces it, neatly describes as an ‘intuitive biography’) belongs to the second class. Though it draws on scholarship, it is not a book for scholars; his reading, though wide, was ...

Got to go make that dollar

Alex Abramovich: Otis Redding

3 January 2019
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life 
by Jonathan Gould.
Crown, 544 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 0 307 45395 2
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... vary), he drove Jenkins to Memphis to record at Stax and persuaded the studio’s founder, Jim Stewart, to let him sing a few songs too. ‘The first track they attempted was the latest of Otis’s Little Richard impersonations,’ Gould writes. ‘With Steve Cropper playing rhythm and Johnny Jenkins on lead, the band struck an uneasy b...
7 December 1989
Franz Liszt. Vol. II: The Weimar Years 1848-1861 
by Alan Walker.
Faber, 626 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 571 15322 4
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Franz Liszt: A Chronicle of his Life in Pictures and Documents 
by Ernst Burger, translated by Stewart Spencer.
Princeton, 358 pp., £45, October 1989, 0 691 09133 1
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... The second part of Alan Walker’s projected three-volume life of Liszt opens with events any biographer would relish. At the height of an immensely successful, indeed unprecedented career as an international virtuoso of the piano, Liszt, aged 35 and (as he felt) nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, decided on a complete change ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘The ARRSE Guide’

1 December 2011
... like to say, started queuing three days early. In the event, the movie’s female lead, Kristen Stewart, posed, according to Metro, ‘for red carpet photos wearing high heels with her sparkling black Roberto Cavalli dress and McQueen belt but changed into comfortable blue trainers before signing autographs’. Everything’s an advertisement. But in Oxford ...
7 March 1996
Leaving Las Vegas 
directed by Mike Figgis.
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... All about Eve, to any Western saloon, booze is the magnifier for all that 30-foot-tall emoting. As Alan Rudolph’s lugubrious 1995 biopic of Dorothy Parker, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, illustrates, it was Prohibition that made boozing an essential act of transgression among the Hollywood crowd of the Twenties and Thirties, matching the literary hard ...
5 April 1984
Whaur Extremes Meet: The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid 1920-1934 
by Catherine Kerrigan.
James Thin, 245 pp., £12.50, June 1983, 0 901824 69 0
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Elemental Things: The Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid 
by Harvey Oxenhorn.
Edinburgh, 215 pp., £15, March 1984, 0 85224 475 4
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Aesthetics in Scotland 
by Hugh MacDiarmid and Alan Bold.
Mainstream, 100 pp., £6.95, February 1984, 0 906391 60 1
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Annals of the Five Senses 
by Hugh MacDiarmid and Alan Bold.
Polygon, 161 pp., £6.50, July 1983, 0 904919 74 9
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Hugh MacDiarmid: The Terrible Crystal 
by Alan Bold.
Routledge, 251 pp., £9.95, August 1983, 0 7100 9493 0
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Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M. Grieve) 
by Kenneth Buthlay.
Scottish Academic Press, 143 pp., £3.25, September 1982, 0 7073 0307 9
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The Thistle Rises: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Hugh MacDiarmid 
edited by Alan Bold.
Hamish Hamilton, 463 pp., £12.95, February 1984, 0 241 11171 4
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A Scottish Poetry Book 
by Alan Bold, Bob Dewar, Iain McIntosh and Rodger McPhail.
Oxford, 128 pp., £4.95, July 1983, 0 19 916029 5
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Edinburgh and the Borders in Verse 
by Allan Massie.
Secker, 97 pp., £5.95, August 1983, 0 436 27348 9
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... in the hitherto unpublished Aesthetics in Scotland and from the trammels of which the editor Alan Bold cannot cut himself entirely free. Oxenhorn recognises the national character of MacDiarmid’s poetry, but he is seeking to judge it in international terms. This involves a certain deflation of the undeniable element of bombast and overwriting in ...

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