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Rancorous Luminaries

R.W. Davies, 28 April 1994

Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives 
edited by J. Arch Getty and Roberta Manning.
Cambridge, 294 pp., £35, September 1993, 0 521 44125 0
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Beria: Stalin’s First Lieutenant 
by Amy Knight.
Princeton, 312 pp., £19.95, January 1994, 0 691 03257 2
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This I Cannot Forget: The Memoirs of Nikolai Bukharin’s Widow 
by Anna Larina.
Hutchinson, 385 pp., £25, March 1994, 0 09 178141 8
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Stalin i Ordzhonikidze: Konflikty v Politbyuro v 30-e gody 
by O.V. Khlevnyuk.
Rossiya Molodaya, 144 pp., December 1993, 5 86646 047 5
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... on the Politburo’s directive to root out all Trotskyists. In last autumn’s Slavic Review Amy Knight intemperately reproved a fellow historian for his claim that local influences played a significant part in the Great Purge. In Georgian archives and newspapers, she insists, ‘I found no indication that local officials were acting on their own ...

After the White Cube

Hal Foster, 19 March 2015

... otherwise would remain dead’. Here the proper retort in our time comes from the art historian Amy Knight Powell: ‘Neither institution nor individual can restore life to an object that never had it. The promiscuity of the work of art – its return, reiteration and perpetuation beyond its original moment – is the surest sign it never lived.’ The ...

Preposterous Timing

Hal Foster: Medieval Modern Art, 8 November 2012

Medieval Modern: Art out of Time 
by Alexander Nagel.
Thames and Hudson, 312 pp., £29.95, November 2012, 978 0 500 23897 4
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Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum 
by Amy Knight Powell.
Zone, 369 pp., £24.95, May 2012, 978 1 935408 20 8
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... at large. In Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum, Amy Powell also poses ‘pseudomorphic resemblances’ between premodern and (post)modern works, but her focus is tighter than Nagel’s, concerned as she is, in the first instance, with only one category of pictorial representation and ritualistic re-enactment ...

Hoo sto ho sto mon amy

Maurice Keen: Knightly Pursuits, 15 December 2005

A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry 
by Geoffroi de Charny, translated by Elspeth Kennedy.
Pennsylvania, 117 pp., £10, May 2005, 0 8122 1909 0
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The Master of Game: The Oldest English Book on Hunting 
by Edward, Duke of York.
Pennsylvania, 302 pp., £14.50, September 2005, 0 8122 1937 6
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... These two paperbacks, of Geoffroi de Charny’s A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry and Edward, Duke of York’s The Master of Game, make accessible two texts that are of exceptional interest for the light they shed on the ethos, style and tastes of the secular aristocracy of the later Middle Ages. Charny’s book offers an exploration and explanation of the values and proper manner of life for Christian knights and men at arms by someone who was a knight himself ...

Good Books

Marghanita Laski, 1 October 1981

The Promise of Happiness 
by Fred Inglis.
Cambridge, 333 pp., £17.50, March 1981, 0 521 23142 6
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The Child and the Book 
by Nicholas Tucker.
Cambridge, 259 pp., £15, March 1981, 0 521 23251 1
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The Impact of Victorian Children’s Fiction 
by J.S. Bratton.
Croom Helm, 230 pp., £11.95, July 1981, 0 07 099777 2
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Children’s Literature. Vol. IX 
edited by Francelia Butler, Samuel Pickering, Milla Riggio and Barbara Rosen.
Yale, 241 pp., £17.35, March 1981, 0 300 02623 4
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The ‘Signal’ Approach to Children’s Books 
edited by Nancy Chambers.
Kestrel, 352 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 7226 5641 6
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... brought before King William by Rahere the Jester revealed as Harold Godwin, and Hugh, the Saxon knight, kneeling to him. And ‘each time,’ writes Inglis, ‘the queer, crisp ripple of excitement tingled along my spine; the brimming tears which never quite fell, the chokey lump in the throat ... You see the same in children in the right mood listening to ...

What most I love I bite

Matthew Bevis: Stevie Smith, 28 July 2016

The Collected Poems and Drawings of Stevie Smith 
edited by Will May.
Faber, 806 pp., £35, October 2015, 978 0 571 31130 9
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... importunities, without hope, without hope of return, without the aggravating possibility of some knight-errantry, how delicious, when one is in the mood, the contemplation of such a fate. Stevie Smith in 1954 This is characteristic of Smith’s hard-edged daydreaming: the intensity of the imagined flight from ‘the necessities of human life’ is a ...

Foiled by Pleasure

Matthew Bevis: Barrett Browning, 30 August 2018

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Writings 
edited by Josie Billington and Philip Davis.
Oxford, 592 pp., £14.99, February 2018, 978 0 19 879763 0
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... for this reversal in fortunes, but the image of the sickly invalid, the tyrannical father and the knight in shining armour have something to do with it too. People knew that Miss Barrett lay on her sofa, and this made them less inclined to know other things. In 1922 Amy Lowell imagined her as ‘stretched out upon a ...

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