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Conrad Russell

22 January 1987
War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525 
by G.W. Bernard.
Harvester, 164 pp., £25, August 1986, 0 7108 1126 8
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Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500-1550 
by Alistair Fox and John Guy.
Blackwell, 242 pp., £22.50, July 1986, 0 631 14614 8
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The Union of England and Scotland 1603-1608 
by Bruce Galloway.
John Donald, 208 pp., £20, May 1986, 0 85976 143 6
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Stuart England 
edited by Blair Worden.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 7148 2391 0
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... here to the cobbler of Hertford in 1640, who, hearing a man call the Scots traitors, said: ‘You will have to answer for those words at the day of judgment.’ The Reformation itself is tackled by AlistairFox and John Guy. AlistairFox, in the opening essays of the book, discusses Humanism, previously the main dues ex machina of the teleological interpretation of the Reformation. In his dissection of ...
10 May 1990
Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal 
by Tom Mayer.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £32.50, April 1989, 0 521 36104 4
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Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 317 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 631 13566 9
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The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Portraits at the Court of Henry VIII 
by Retha Warnicke.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 521 37000 0
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English Travellers Abroad 1604-1667 
by John Stoye.
Yale, 448 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 300 04180 2
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... jejune when it lacks a cultural dimension. Although the depth and durability of that trend cannot yet be judged, it is likely to gather strength from the important books in which Thomas Mayer and AlistairFox examine the literature and politics of early Tudor England, especially of the reign of Henry VIII. Mayer’s concern is the literature of political theory. His study examines the ideas of Thomas ...

Midwinter

J.B. Trapp

17 November 1983
Thomas More: History and Providence 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 271 pp., £19.50, September 1982, 0 631 13094 2
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The Statesman and the Fanatic: Thomas Wolsey and Thomas More 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 338 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 9780094634701
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English Reformation Literature: The Tudor Origins of the Protestant Tradition 
by John King.
Princeton, 539 pp., £30.70, December 1982, 0 691 06502 0
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Seven-Headed Luther: Essays in Commemoration of a Quincentenary, 1483-1983 
edited by Peter Newman Brooks.
Oxford, 325 pp., £22.50, July 1983, 0 19 826648 0
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The Complete Works of St Thomas More. Vol. VI: A Dialogue concerning Heresies. Part 1: The Text, Part 2: Introduction, Commentary, Appendices, Glossary, Index 
edited by T.M.C. Lawler, Germain Marc’hadour and Richard Marius.
Yale, 435 pp., £76, November 1981, 0 300 02211 5
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... This is not to say that a strong and interesting anti-More case, even a case for the word ‘fanatic’, is not there for the making. As made here, it is simplistic and weakened by overstatement. AlistairFox’s book is altogether different: reader-friendly, patient, sympathetic but not uncritical, one of the best things, in fact, to come out of More studies in the last fifty years. Fox draws on an ...

Two Poems

Alistair​ Elliot

19 January 1989
... in and out, Like the soul ashamed of having to be fed. Give me the bedroom with the cheap blue carpet And home-made cupboards, where we watched the hares Cavorting round their forms, and saw the fox (Corrected by our little son to Vox) Touring his fields, his land as much as ours. We had to move, but carried off the room In the box of memory like something sacred. Allow us back to entertain our ...

The Great Dissembler

James Wood: Thomas More’s Bad Character

16 April 1998
The Life of Thomas More 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 435 pp., £20, March 1998, 1 85619 711 5
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... comments, on More’s duplicity at court, that it was ‘a difficult as well as an ambiguous role and More was the only man in the kingdom who could have played it’. But a more cold-eyed scholar, AlistairFox, has written that it ‘gives evidence of a political endeavour in More so subtle and devious as to set not only Machiavelli, but also Richard III and Iago to school’. When More could not win ...

The Greatest

R.W. Johnson

4 August 1994
Charles de Gaulle, Futurist of the Nation 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 111 pp., £29.95, April 1994, 0 86091 622 7
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De Gaulle and 20th-Century France 
edited by Hugh Gough and John Horne.
Edward Arnold, 158 pp., £12.99, March 1994, 0 340 58826 8
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François Mitterrand: A Study in Political Leadership 
by Alistair​ Cole.
Routledge, 216 pp., £19.99, March 1994, 0 415 07159 3
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... a special medal to be presented only to FDR, Churchill, Stalin and de Gaulle, de Gaulle immediately scotched the idea: ‘I could not accept such an award. The state does not decorate itself.’ Alistair Cole’s study of Mitterrand suffers from the huge distance it takes from its subject. This is certainly not due to lack of diligence: Cole has very thoroughly and usefully set down the details of ...

Too Obviously Cleverer

Ferdinand Mount: Harold Macmillan

8 September 2011
Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan 
by D.R. Thorpe.
Pimlico, 887 pp., £16.99, September 2011, 978 1 84413 541 7
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The Macmillan Diaries Vol. II: Prime Minister and After 1957-66 
edited by Peter Catterall.
Macmillan, 758 pp., £40, May 2011, 978 1 4050 4721 0
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... When Roger Hollis, the head of MI5, exulted to Macmillan that they had arrested the spy John Vassall, the prime minister complained that this was the wrong approach: ‘When my gamekeeper shoots a fox, he doesn’t go and hang it up outside the Master of Foxhounds’ drawing room; he buries it out of sight.’ To which Hollis might legitimately have replied that some gamekeepers had the sense to ...

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