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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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... party committee meetings at factories changed overnight’ after a secret letter had been received passing on the Politburo’s directive to root out all Trotskyists. In last autumn’s Slavic Review AmyKnight 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 ...
19 March 2015
... as a humanistic discipline’, whose mission, Erwin Panofsky wrote 75 years ago, is to ‘enliven what otherwise would remain dead’. Here the proper retort in our time comes from the art historian AmyKnight 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 ...

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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... a reprocessing of old artefacts in contemporary terms in a way that might play into the presentism of our culture 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 ...

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 ...

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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... He recalls his child self reading ‘The Tree of Justice’ in Rewards and Fairies, the old madman 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 ...

What most I love I bite

Matthew Bevis: Stevie Smith

27 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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... oneself and imprisoned ‘out of time’, beyond the necessities of human life, their humilities and 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 ...

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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... and still wonder why later generations didn’t bother to read her. Modernism may be one explanation 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 ...

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