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Lawful Charm

Donald Davie, 6 July 1995

Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, edited by Andrew Motion.
Penguin, 171 pp., £6.99, May 1994, 0 14 042379 6
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Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, read by Alan Chedzoy.
Canto, £6.99
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... and more authentic than Burns in English. One who made the comparison with Burns was Gerard Manley Hopkins, writing in 1879 to Robert Bridges. Of Barnes’s dialect poems Hopkins says: ‘A proof of their excellence is that you may translate them and they are nearly as good – I say nearly, because if the dialect plays any ...

McNed

Gillian Darley: Lutyens, 17 April 2003

The Architect and His Wife: A Life of Edwin Lutyens 
by Jane Ridley.
Chatto, 524 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7011 7201 0
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Edwin Lutyens, Country Houses: From the Archives of ‘Country Life’ 
by Gavin Stamp.
Aurum, 192 pp., £35, May 2001, 1 85410 763 1
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Lutyens Abroad 
edited by Andrew Hopkins and Gavin Stamp.
British School at Rome, 260 pp., £34.95, March 2002, 0 904152 37 5
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... Sir Edwin (Ned) Landseer Lutyens, architect of genius, was a master of the false trail and the misleading, if jocular, aside. Born and educated in London, he preferred to dwell on his formative years in rural Surrey. Although trained in the architectural office of Ernest George and Harold Peto, the older of whom was an able vernacular revivalist and the younger a skilled landscape architect, he portrayed himself as a self-taught artist who learned what he needed by haunting the yards of traditional craftsmen builders ...

Feel what it’s like

James Davidson: Pagans, Jews and Christians, 2 March 2000

A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire 
by Keith Hopkins.
Weidenfeld, 402 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 297 81982 8
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... World Full of Gods is a book full of Christians and strange mental slides. Its author, Keith Hopkins, is a professor of ancient history at Cambridge. This is his first book written for a general readership and even without its fantastic materials and important subject its authorship would be enough to recommend it; the general readership will be ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: At the Olympic Park, 9 February 2012

... the wind’s motion. The designer of the 6000-seat velodrome is Mike Taylor of the British firm Hopkins Architects. The wood-clad building cost £93 million and used 56 km of timber, which its 26 carpenters fastened down with 350,000 nails. It may well turn out to be the most loved of all the buildings associated with the Games. You can panic seeing all the ...

Who’s the real cunt?

Andrew O’Hagan: Dacre’s Paper, 1 June 2017

Mail Men: The Unauthorised Story of the ‘Daily Mail’, the Paper that Divided and Conquered Britain 
by Adrian Addison.
Atlantic, 407 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 78239 970 4
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... and detested them in a way that made the hatred seem deeply earned. The MailOnline columnist Katie Hopkins is a sloppy writer but a wild hater who has run up at least £474,000 in legal costs and damages over the last two years. Britain’s right-wing papers used to be funny. They had some amusing writers and they knew the value of a stunt. A quiet news day at ...

Elimination

Peter Barham: Henry Cotton, 18 August 2005

Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine 
by Andrew Scull.
Yale, 360 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 0 300 10729 3
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... ill and to modernise the discipline of psychiatry, just as surgery had been brought up to date. Andrew Scull’s splendid new book, entertaining and disturbing in equal measure, is an account of the career of Henry Aloysius Cotton, an ebullient, ambitious American psychiatrist who met this challenge. Scull, whose usual territory is British asylums of the ...

The Long War

Andrew Bacevich: Motives behind the Surge, 26 March 2009

The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq 
by Thomas E. Ricks.
Allen Lane, 394 pp., £25, February 2009, 978 1 84614 145 4
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... He was joined by academics with privileged access to policy circles, notably Eliot Cohen at Johns Hopkins; mid-grade military officers such as Peter Mansoor and Tom Greenwood, who were members of a ‘council of colonels’ convened to assess the war for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); a small group of retired generals and others led by Jack Keane, who, as ...

Millom

Alan Hollinghurst, 18 February 1982

Sea to the West 
by Norman Nicholson.
Faber, 64 pp., £3, June 1981, 0 571 11729 5
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Out for the Elements 
by Andrew Waterman.
Carcanet, 151 pp., £3.95, October 1981, 0 85635 377 9
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Between Here and Now 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £5.95, November 1981, 0 333 32186 3
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Poetry Introduction Five 
Faber, 121 pp., £5.25, January 1982, 0 571 11793 7Show More
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... the barley takes on an additional poignancy from the cacophony before it (by Dylan Thomas out of Hopkins) and chiming silliness after it, like Auden’s pastiche of Hopkins in The Orators. To say this is to register a failure of Nicholson’s regionality and shrewd ingenuousness, for nothing could be more remote from these ...

The Laying on of Hands

Alan Bennett, 7 June 2001

... to call the Eucharist ‘Mass’ and himself ‘Father’ troubled no one. His present parish, St Andrew Upchance on the borders of Shoreditch and the City, was also poor, but he had done a good deal to ‘turn it round’, an achievement that had not gone unnoticed in the diocese, where he was spoken of as a coming man. There were, it is true, some of his ...

Just a smack at Grigson

Denis Donoghue, 7 March 1985

Montaigne’s Tower, and Other Poems 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 72 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 436 18806 6
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Collected Poems: 1963-1980 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 557 3
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The Faber Book of Reflective Verse 
edited by Geoffrey Grigson.
Faber, 238 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 571 13299 5
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 279 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 558 1
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 9780850315592
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Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Salamander, 349 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 907540 59 7
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... the genuine’), Auden (‘the greatest of my contemporaries’), George Herbert, Vaughan, Crabbe, Hopkins, Whitman, Campion, Morris, Christina Rossetti, John Crowe Ransom, Wyndham Lewis, Louis MacNeice, Stevie Smith. I would think a life of diverse affections could be made upon such affiliations. But Grigson seems to need to be enraged or disgusted, too. Else ...

Diary

Andrew Saint: The Jubilee Line Extension, 20 January 2000

... deep in the earth. On the same lines, a Wellsian note of ominous descent is contrived by Michael Hopkins at Westminster, through the intermingling of escalators and trusses. Bermondsey and Southwark, smaller stations, play these games with more delicacy. At Southwark, on a tight site, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard have enriched the angular route that must be ...

Updike’s Innocence

Craig Raine, 25 January 1990

Just Looking: Essays on Art 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 210 pp., £19.95, November 1989, 0 233 98501 8
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... yet misleading. Lavishly illustrated, sometimes with pictures that aren’t actually discussed (by Hopkins, Poe and Oscar Wilde), apparently effortless, occasional, these pieces are freighted with the chronic preoccupations evident since the beginning of this intelligent writer’s long career. They are not the innocent reports they seem to be. Witness ...

Blue Suede Studies

Hugh Barnes, 19 December 1985

Elvis and Me 
by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and Sandra Harman.
Century, 320 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1131 2
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Are you lonesome tonight? 
by Alan Bleasdale.
Faber, 95 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 571 13732 6
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Elvis and Gladys 
by Elaine Dundy.
Weidenfeld, 353 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 9780297782100
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The Johnny Cash Discography 
by John Smith.
Greenwood, 203 pp., £29.95, May 1985, 0 313 24654 8
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Horse’s Neck 
by Pete Townshend.
Faber, 95 pp., £6.95, May 1985, 9780571138739
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Like Punk Never Happened 
by Dave Rimmer.
Faber, 191 pp., £4.95, October 1985, 0 571 13739 3
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Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans 
by Fred Vermorel and Judy Vermorel.
Comet, 253 pp., £4.95, August 1985, 0 86379 004 6
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The Beatles 
by Hunter Davies.
Cape, 498 pp., £12.95, December 1985, 0 224 02837 5
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... his only serious rival. The picture that emerges – and has emerged at every turn since Jerry Hopkins published the first, fawning biography – is of an awkward man lacking in direction. Elvis has suffered remorseless gossip, and triumphed over it to such an extent that he now seems more remote than ever. His ex-wife, whose timing is impeccable, has ...

Churchill’s Jackal

Kenneth O. Morgan, 24 January 1980

Brendan Bracken 
by Charles Edward Lysaght.
Allen Lane, 372 pp., £10, September 1980, 0 7139 0969 2
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... and of much valuable testimony from Bracken’s friends and acquaintances, it adds considerably to Andrew Boyle’s study, published in 1974. The research into Bracken’s career is comprehensive. His ancestry, his finances, his brooding, introverted personality, his sexual drive (or perhaps lack of it), his intense personal involvement with Churchill and ...

Godmother of the Salmon

John Bayley, 9 July 1992

‘Rain-Charm for the Duchy’ and other Laureate Poems 
by Ted Hughes.
Faber, 64 pp., £12.99, June 1992, 0 571 16605 9
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... infant prince’s brow metamorphosed into a devout drenching. In rather the same spirit, Father Hopkins wrote an epithalamion for a friend’s wedding which goes off into a vividly lyrical picture of boys bathing in a stream, and returns to remind us that water is ‘spousal love’. And to record the breaking of the great drought of 1984 made ‘a fitting ...

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