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At Pallant House

Eleanor Birne: Pauline Boty

6 February 2014
... and likened by contemporaries to Brigitte Bardot. Others disagreed: she was more like Simone Signoret. ‘There were other beautiful girls who could paint at the time,’ the architect Edward Jones recalled, ‘but none who were quite as wonderful as her.’ She had an acting career on the side, including a bit part in Alfie. She was almost cast as the lead in Darling, before Julie Christie ...

House History

John Sutherland

24 January 1980
Allen​ Lane: King Penguin 
by J.E. Morpurgo.
Hutchinson, 405 pp., £9.95, November 1980, 0 09 139690 5
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... The terms on which this book is set up are prefigured in the split title – Allen Lane: King Penguin. In Elizabethan drama the king’s two bodies might well be a theme for tragedy, and a latterday Lytton Strachey might have made much of the hypocritical discrepancies between ...

Oms and Hums

Julian Symons

22 March 1990
Ginsberg: A Biography 
by Barry Miles.
Viking, 588 pp., £20, January 1990, 0 670 82683 9
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... of the Beats were an exhilarating contrast to the careful sobriety of Movement poets and the wistful glances in the direction of social orthodoxy made by the younger English novelists. The heroes of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’, ‘destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix’ positively bounced with energy when put ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: National Poetry Day

5 October 2000
... Collection of Quotations on the History, Meaning and Practice of Science, edited by Rob Kaplan (Stonesong, £19.95). Here Edison is joined by, among others, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Curie and Woody Allen: ‘The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God’s mind – a pretty uncomfortable thought, particularly if you’ve just made a down payment on a house.’ Perhaps the most profound observation ...

Whose Candyfloss?

Christopher Hilliard: Richard Hoggart

16 April 2014
Richard Hoggart: Virtue and Reward 
by Fred Inglis.
Polity, 259 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 7456 5171 2
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... Publications Act for putting out an unexpurgated edition of Lawrence’s novel – Inglis dwells predictably on the Establishment snobbery personified by the prosecuting counsel, Mervyn Griffith-Jones. No one, as Inglis says, can resist quoting his rhetorical question to the jurors: was Lawrence’s novel the sort of thing they would wish their wives or servants to read? But the routine satirising ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Malcolm Gladwell

4 December 2008
... of Thinking without Thinking, which assured everyone that it’s OK for experts to trust their instincts, was just as popular. In the acknowledgments to his new book, Outliers: The Story of Success (Allen Lane, £16.99), Gladwell says: ‘Bill Phillips and I have been two for two so far . . . Here’s hoping we go three for three.’ There seems little doubt that they will. (Phillips, I assume, is ...
23 June 1994
... idea to catch his stage act. Fists clenched, tense but unafraid, he launches himself out of the shadows and onto the platform. At 32, the former boot boy was a man among men. Or, that’s how Richard Allen might choose to break in a new face in one of his New English Library Skinhead shockers. It’s an Allen pulp hologram that Stewart Home is impersonating. But impersonation is too weak a term for ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Lincoln’

20 December 2012
... and irony by David Strathairn; and in the House his opponent and ultimate ally is Thaddeus Stevens, a witty and domineering abolitionist, represented by an extraordinary black wig that has Tommy Lee Jones underneath it. Jones gets craggier with every film he is in, his face, as Woody Allen might say, a combination of Gertrude Stein’s and some local mountain. He manages to be funny and bleak without ...

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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... His father had heard Charles Dickens read when he was six, had helped to found Granta 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 ...
5 October 1995
Vale Royal 
by Aidan Dun.
Goldmark, 130 pp., £22.50, July 1995
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... same in most ways, these great cities’), but decided that Paris was the principal focus there. He couldn’t work up much enthusiasm for the post-Olsonian outpourings of the Seventies, most notably Allen Fisher’s Place, Place was set largely south of the river, a nowhere defined by unnecessary particulars. Now Roy Fisher, he could do something with him – but the man had the poor taste to base his ...
10 January 1991
Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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Bare 
by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... You get the crowd numbers, the length of each set, the hotel the band stayed in, how much they got paid and the girls Bill got off with afterwards. Especially the girls. Wyman had 278 (he and Brian Jones counted up) during the first two years of the Stones. Odd, in a way, that he got rid of his original surname: Perks. Stone Alone is perversely fascinating in its grinding, routine repetitiveness: gig ...
5 September 1996
Cambridge Women: Twelve Portraits 
edited by Edward Shils and Carmen Blacker.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 521 48344 1
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A Woman in History: Eileen Power 1889-1940 
by Maxine Berg.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £45, April 1996, 0 521 40278 6
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... what is far worse for the community) inefficient? You can never tell till the time comes, and then many of your seemingly healthy Girton and Newnham Girls break down utterly. So, according to Grant Allen, writing in the Pall Mall Gazette in the 1880s, higher education could damage your health. More to the point, it interfered physically (not just, that is, by opening up wider and more attractive ...

At Manchester Art Gallery

Inigo Thomas: Annie Swynnerton

27 September 2018
... or in Paris – but they married in 1883, a year after the Married Women’s Property Act. In their book Annie Swynnerton: Painter and Pioneer (Sarsen Press, £11.99), Penny Morris and Christine Allen say it would have been implausible for Swynnerton to marry before that legislation became law, such was her commitment to equal rules for men and women. A pattern emerged in Annie and Joseph’s ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation

7 September 2016
... In​ the Beat constellation, Allen Ginsberg’s star now shines more brightly than the rest. True, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs glowed on in the aftermath of On the Road (1957) and Naked Lunch (1959); Brion Gysin, inventor of ...

Spying on Writers

Christian Lorentzen

11 October 2018
... crib from newspaper reviews and interviews and watch their subjects on TV. They do maintain some scruples. In response to a query from Hoover – ‘Isn’t Baldwin a known pervert?’ – an Agent Jones responds: It is not a matter of official record that he is a pervert; however, the theme of homosexuality has figured prominently in two of his three published novels. Baldwin has stated that it is ...

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