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Homage to Satyajit Ray

Salman Rushdie, 8 March 1990

Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye 
by Andrew Robinson.
Deutsch, 412 pp., £17.95, November 1989, 0 233 98473 9
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... not distributed outside Bengal. His international success brought predictable sniping at home. Andrew Robinson records, in Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye, a paradigmatic expression of this resentment, which also brings the vulgar, energetic (and, it must be said, sneakily appealing) Bombay cinema into direct conflict with the ...

Rongorongo

John Sturrock: The Rosetta Stone, 19 September 2002

Keys of Egypt 
by Lesley Atkins and Roy Atkins.
HarperCollins, 335 pp., £7.99, September 2001, 0 00 653145 8
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The Rosetta Stone: The Story of the Decoding of Hieroglyphics 
by Robert Solé and Dominique Valbelle, translated by Steven Rendall.
Profile, 184 pp., £7.99, August 2002, 1 86197 344 6
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Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts 
by Andrew Robinson.
McGraw Hill, 352 pp., £25.99, June 2002, 0 07 135743 2
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The Man who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris 
by Andrew Robinson.
Thames and Hudson, 168 pp., £12.95, April 2002, 0 500 51077 6
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... do better to read the summary expertly given in The Rosetta Stone, or, best of all, in Andrew Robinson’s lucid and well illustrated chapter on hieroglyphics in Lost Languages (whose many line drawings are at once valuable and deceptive, since they make the signs displayed look a great deal easier to identify than they are in the worn ...

But Stoney was Bold

Deborah Friedell: How Not to Marry if You’re a Millionaire, 26 February 2009

Wedlock 
by Wendy Moore.
Weidenfeld, 359 pp., £18.99, January 2009, 978 0 297 85331 2
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... to George Gray or Grey, a Scotsman recently returned from India. Enter the Irish adventurer Andrew Robinson Stoney, a former soldier and ‘villain to the backbone’, by his friends’ accounts. After reading in the Newcastle Chronicle that the earl of Strathmore was dead he headed to London, found lodgings near the countess’s mansion on ...

Homage to the Provinces

Michael Wood, 28 May 1992

Barcelona 
by Robert Hughes.
Harvill, 575 pp., £20, May 1992, 0 00 272078 7
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Barcelonas 
by Manuel Vazquez Montalban, translated by Andrew Robinson.
Verso, 210 pp., £17.95, May 1992, 0 86091 353 8
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Cities of Spain 
by David Gilmour.
Murray, 214 pp., £17.95, March 1992, 0 7195 4833 0
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Red City, Blue Period: Social Movements in Picasso’s Barcelona 
by Temma Kaplan.
California, 266 pp., $30, April 1992, 0 520 07507 2
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... The funicular railway takes you to the top of the mountain with the strange name: a nonsense word, a child’s burble, Tibidabo. You see the city of Barcelona spread out beneath you; beyond it the Mediterranean. Très beau panorama, the Michelin guide says, as well it may, since the name is not the nonsense word it looks but the Devil’s Latin, part of the sentence in which he offered to Christ the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them: Haec omnia tibi dabo si cadens adoraveris me, ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me ...

Putting Religion in Its Place

Colm Tóibín: Marilynne Robinson, 23 October 2014

Lila 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Virago, 261 pp., £16.99, October 2014, 978 1 84408 880 5
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... for their art in Eliot declaring ‘I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion’ and Marilynne Robinson ‘I am a mainline Protestant, a.k.a. a liberal Protestant’? In When I Was a Child I Read Books, her most recent collection of essays, Robinson wrote: ‘Relevance was precisely not an issue for me. I looked to ...

Who Cares?

Jean McNicol, 9 February 1995

The Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Christopher Clunis 
by Jean Ritchie, Donald Dick and Richard Lingham.
HMSO, 146 pp., £9.50, February 1994, 0 11 701798 1
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Creating Community Care: Report of the Mental Health Foundation into Community Care for People with Severe Mental Illness 
by William Utting.
Mental Health Foundation, 76 pp., £9.50, September 1994, 0 901944 17 3
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Finding a Place: A Review of Mental Health Services for Adults 
HMSO, 94 pp., £11, November 1994, 0 11 886143 3Show More
The Falling Shadow: One Patient’s Mental Health Care. Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Events Leading up to and Surrounding the Fatal Incident at the Edith Morgan Centre, Torbay, on 1 September 1993 
by Louis Blom-Cooper, Helen Hally and Elaine Murphy.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £12.99, January 1995, 0 7156 2662 0
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... or of others – a measure motivated at least in part by cases such as Clunis’s and that of Andrew Robinson, a schizophrenic who murdered Georgina Robinson, an occupational therapist in the unit where he was an inmate. The Falling Shadow, the report of the official inquiry into her murder, contends that ...

The Things We Throw Away

Andrew O’Hagan: The Garbage of England, 24 May 2007

... of dealing with Britain’s rubbish. ‘Everything is checked,’ she says. Her colleague Peter Robinson chips in. ‘The whole area of waste handling and management is so much more technically sound in the UK than it ever was before.’ He smiles. ‘This country’s history of landfill has actually been quite safe; it has served us well.’ On the walls ...

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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... translated out of dialect into Standard English with very little loss? Obviously it wasn’t up to Andrew Motion to make the experiment: reprinting the dialect poems, he had to reproduce the diacritical marks and phonetic spellings that Barnes insisted on in his lifetime. Yet these certainly impede the patient reader, and it’s still open to question whether ...

That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment, 5 April 2007

The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... For Sher, the Scottish printers and booksellers of the second half of the century, such as Andrew Millar, William Strahan, Thomas Cadell (father and son) and George Robinson in London, and Alexander Kincaid, John Balfour, John Bell and William Creech in Edinburgh, were not ‘mechanicks’ as Strahan once ...

Two Ships

Andrew O’Hagan, 6 March 1997

... There he found Scotland Yard’s descriptions of Crippen and le Neve. He then arranged for ‘Mr Robinson and son’ to take meals with him at the top table. He thought the boy Robinson ate things a little delicately. The Montrose dining-room was considered a pleasant place to be, but the two passengers who’d caught the ...

Ruling Imbecilities

Andrew Roberts, 7 November 1991

The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture and Other Circumstances of Language 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 153 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 19 811216 5
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... Eric Griffiths. In an essay included in Geoffrey Hill: Essays on his Work (1985, edited by Peter Robinson), Griffiths expressed reservations about Hill’s ‘unsteady reliance on religious metaphors’ in his critical writings. In Hill’s essay ‘Poetry as “Menace” and “Atonement” ’ in particular, the idea that poetic language may escape from ...

Fugitive Crusoe

Tom Paulin: Daniel Defoe, 19 July 2001

Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions 
by Maximilian Novak.
Oxford, 756 pp., £30, April 2001, 0 19 812686 7
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Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe 
edited by W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank.
Pickering & Chatto, £595, December 2000, 1 85196 465 7
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... essay on a new biography of Daniel Defoe in the Edinburgh Review, where he remarked that in Robinson Crusoe Defoe abandoned the political and religious subjects he addressed in his pamphlets, and confined himself to ‘unsophisticated views of nature and the human heart’. Hazlitt’s misreading is not uncommon. The novel is seen as the archetypal ...

Sweet Sin

J.P. Stern, 5 August 1982

Marbot 
by Wolfgang Hildesheimer.
Suhrkamp, 326 pp., May 1981, 3 518 03205 4
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... Southern Germany, Bavaria, Cornwall, and in Urbino (where presumably he first came upon traces of AndrewMarbot’s life); now he seems to have settled in Poschiavo in the Swiss Grisons. Rumour has it that he is a generous host with a fair Knowledge of the local vineyards. Travel, especially of the involuntary sort, does not always broaden the ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 22 October 2015

... was elected, he spoke at a mental health trust fun day in his constituency instead of going on the Andrew Marr Show. Later that day he was filmed as he hurried along the pavement outside Westminster in silence, refusing to answer reporters’ questions: it ‘looked like a perp walk’, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian. ‘He isn’t playing the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Politicians v. the press, 22 July 2004

... As if his status made it more rather than less acceptable for him to borrow money from Geoffrey Robinson without declaring it, or to put in a word at the Home Office to help Srichand Hinduja get a passport. Readers might be forgiven at times for thinking that a more accurate title for the book would have been ‘How the Media Are Being Unfair to Our ...

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