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7 February 1980
The Climate of Treason 
by Andrew Boyle.
Hutchinson, 504 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 9780091393403
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... of reconciliation with his friends. Newspapers are ‘they’ and we, after all, are ‘we’. As Andrew Boyle relates, it turned out that a great many old acquaintances of Burgess and Maclean were much more horrified – felt, indeed, much more betrayed – by the fact that the late Goronwy Rees gave a version of their flight to the People than by the ...

His Little Game

Andrew Boyle

27 July 1989
The Blake Escape: How we freed George Blake – and why 
by Michael Randle and Pat Pottle.
Harrap, 298 pp., £12.95, April 1989, 0 245 54781 9
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... Blake’s father was Albert Behar, whose Sephardic Jewish family cut him off with less than the proverbial shilling because of his marriage to a Dutch Christian woman called Catherine Beijdedvellen. Behar Senior then became a British citizen, having served in the French Foreign Legion and the British Army. On his death in 1936 – a bad period not only in England but throughout Europe – he left a widow and the young George in somewhat reduced circumstances ...

Official Secrecy

Andrew Boyle

18 September 1980
The Frontiers of Secrecy 
by David Leigh.
Junction, 291 pp., £9.95, August 1980, 0 86245 002 0
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... up a colleague, who was still in office at that time, and said: ‘What should we do? That fellow Boyle has just been to see me, and he’s found out nearly everything.’ No attempts were made subsequently to investigate several other gentlemen, most of them ex-members of MI6, who had greatly assisted me in my inquiries. For it was an open secret, part of ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Susan Boyle

14 May 2009
... vivid cases, in the hands of amateurs, but amateurs now with access to a universal audience. Susan Boyle, a 48-year-old spinster from West Lothian, appeared a few weeks ago on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. ‘I’ve always wanted to perform in front of a large audience,’ she said to the presenters. The programme nets an audience of 11.9 million ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Kitsch and Kilts in Celtic Park

20 August 2014
... of a whole nation to cram onto an LED screen the length of Sauchiehall Street, plus they had Susan Boyle, the underdogs’ underdog, who is required by popular edict to sing with the winds of destiny blowing about her skirts. I think the wind machine at Parkhead might have been too strong, though, even for Scotland, clearly blowing the singer’s memory off ...
1 August 1985
Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... Secret Service: Sir Francis Walsingham ran it for Elizabeth I.) Today the hounds are in pursuit of Andrew Gow, the Classical scholar and art collector who was Blunt’s mentor at Trinity. Gow, who had taught at Eton, devoted part of his life to editing Nicander, a didactic Greek poet who wrote poems on snake-bites, poisons and their remedies – there is ...

Gaol Fever

David Saunders-Wilson

24 July 1986
Prisons and the Process of Justice 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Oxford, 217 pp., £5.95, June 1986, 0 19 281932 1
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Growing out of Crime: Society and Young People in Trouble 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Penguin, 189 pp., £3.95, January 1986, 0 14 022383 5
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... now he’s thinking of taking acting lessons. Perhaps he had been inspired by the careers of Jimmy Boyle, John McVicar, ‘Dirty Den’ of EastEnders, and Paul Barber, one of the ‘Brothers McGregor’ who also spent some time inside, and who recently claimed in the Sun: ‘Jailed turned me into a ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1999

20 January 2000
... men who were Apostles, which of them were homosexuals and so on, Cornish dodgily assuming, as did Andrew Boyle and John Costello before him, that homosexuality is itself a bond and that if two men can be shown to be homosexual the likelihood is that they’re sleeping together. So we trail down that road looking for cliques and coteries with even ...

Out of His Furrow

William Poole: Milton

8 February 2007
Delirious Milton: The Fate of the Poet in Modernity 
by Gordon Teskey.
Harvard, 214 pp., £21.95, March 2006, 0 674 01069 8
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... not the exclusive preserve of radicals. The aristocratic evangelist and natural philosopher Robert Boyle tried to defend the scriptures by paradoxically confessing their historicity: ‘All the Parts of Scripture are useful in Some Ages, and some in All.’ Slightly later, John Locke pointed out that the letters of St Paul represent only one side of a ...

Triples

Michael Neve

8 November 1990
The Double in 19th-Century Fiction 
by John Herdman.
Macmillan, 174 pp., £35, August 1990, 9780333490242
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Romanticism and the Sciences 
edited by Andrew Cunningham and Nicholas Jardine.
Cambridge, 345 pp., £40, June 1990, 0 521 35602 4
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Schizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion? 
by Mary Boyle.
Routledge, 248 pp., £35, September 1990, 0 415 04096 5
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... precisely in their having expunged ‘Romantic’ ideas from their psychology. Part of Mary Boyle’s study of schizophrenia consists in examining quite why the category is used in the way it is: as a taxonomic catch-all that cannot hold, in any useful scientific sense, the varieties of behaviour it is asked to hold at the moment. If the Romantic legacy ...
21 August 1997
... to be clear about just what is supposed to be constructed. For an extreme example take the book by Andrew Pickering called Constructing Quarks. Pickering does not mean that quarks, as ‘objects’, are socially constructed, but that the idea of the quark was constructed, along with the relevant theories, scientific institutions and apparatus for detecting ...

Tuesday Girl

Colin Burrow: Seraphick Love

6 March 2003
Transformations of Love: The Friendship of John Evelyn and Margaret Godolphin 
by Frances Harris.
Oxford, 330 pp., £25, January 2003, 0 19 925257 2
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... one of Evelyn’s friends for most of his life. He also enjoyed what was called, after Robert Boyle had popularised the term, ‘seraphick love’ with Anne Russell (whom he dubbed ‘Platona’) and Elizabeth Carey (who became his ‘Electra’). It is exceptionally hard to describe what Evelyn felt for these women: probably it is best to say that the ...

I have written as I rode

Adam Smyth: ‘Brief Lives’

7 October 2015
‘Brief Lives’ with ‘An Apparatus for the Lives of Our English Mathematical Writers’ 
by John Aubrey, edited by Kate Bennett.
Oxford, 1968 pp., £250, March 2015, 978 0 19 968953 8
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John Aubrey: My Own Life 
by Ruth Scurr.
Chatto, 518 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 0 7011 7907 6
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... a Crowd of ill Directions’) but also the latest scientific advances: alongside Newton, Hooke, Boyle, he attended Royal Society meetings where he stammered when he talked in public. ‘Blood has been moved between two dogs for the first time. Before the Society, Mr King and Mr Thomas Coxe successfully performed the experiment on a small bulldog and a ...

What are we telling the nation?

David Edgar: Thoughts about the BBC

7 July 2005
Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC 
by Georgina Born.
Vintage, 352 pp., £10.99, August 2005, 0 09 942893 8
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Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World 
BBC, 135 pp.Show More
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... there was an increasing homogeneity of casting (the ‘anything with Tara Fitzgerald’ syndrome). Andrew Davies withdrew his adaptation of Angela Lambert’s A Rather English Marriage from the BBC when Alan Yentob insisted that an aristocratic ex-Battle of Britain pilot be played by David Jason; ITV loved it, but made similar demands. Eventually, back at the ...

‘Where’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’

Michael Dobson: 17th-century literary culture

11 September 2008
Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 
by John Kerrigan.
Oxford, 599 pp., March 2008, 978 0 19 818384 6
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... foray out of town – critics have tended to make it only as far as George Herbert’s Bemerton or Andrew Marvell’s Hull in any case – this study largely avoids the English capital, or at least as far as is compatible with still discussing Cymbeline and some minor bits of Milton. For the most part it shifts its formidably knowledgable attention to other ...

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