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Heart-Stopping

Ian Hamilton, 25 January 1996

Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary McAllister Story 
by Gary McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... For years – since boyhood, really – I’ve seen myself as an above-average soccer bore. At my peak, I would happily hold forth for hours about the rugged terrace-time I’d served, at Feethams, White Hart Lane, the Manor Ground. And when it came to the archival stuff, if you could spare the time, well, so could I. ‘Name three of the Spurs’ double side’s reserves,’ I’d say, or: ‘How many of the 1964 West Ham cupwinning team had names beginning with a B?’ Or it would be: ‘Pick an XI in which every position is taken by a Gary ...

Britain’s Thermonuclear Bluff

Norman Dombey and Eric Grove, 22 October 1992

... Cook, scientific director of the Grapple test series; some recent disclosures on the part of John Ward, who was employed at the British nuclear weapons laboratory at Aldermaston for six months during 1955; and a group of declassified US documents obtained by Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defence Council in Washington. It may well be that there are ...

Misguided Tom

Eric Stokes, 5 March 1981

Letters of Thomas Arnold the Younger 1850-1900 
edited by James Bertram.
Auckland/Oxford, 276 pp., £15, August 1980, 0 19 647980 0
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... of Matthew and William Delafield Arnold, brother-in-law of W.E. Forster, father of Mrs Humphry Ward, grandfather of Julian and Aldous Huxley and of Mrs G.M. Trevelyan. His knockabout career helped enlarge his connections. At Oxford he stood on even closer terms of friendship with Clough than did his brother Matthew, despite all the effusive lamentation of ...

Diary

Elisa Segrave: Revved Up on Solpadeine, 22 July 1993

... Saturday. I’m in a ward in the Charing Cross Hospital with Bertha, another woman with breast cancer. All the lymph glands under my right arm have been removed. Bertha, who’s 60 and lives near Heathrow Airport, is talking to a woman with hennaed hair who was bitten by her own corgi, or her daughter’s corgi, I’m not sure which ...

Short Cuts

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Remembering Paul Foot, 19 August 2004

... the books he wrote about. And when he didn’t like them he enjoyed that too. In 1996 he reviewed Andrew Neil’s memoir of his life and times as ‘a front-line journalist’ (‘front-line journalists usually have a high opinion of themselves but Neil’s self-regard is loud, unique, indestructible’): Add to these anecdotes and quotations Neil’s ...

Inspiration, Accident, Genius

Helen Vendler, 16 October 1997

Keats 
by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 612 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780571172276
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... three scholarly biographies of Keats appeared within a short time: W.J. Bate’s and Aileen Ward’s in 1963, Robert Gittings’s in 1968. Each is still very useful; all were admirable, if in different ways. W.J. Bate, who had been interested in Keats ever since he wrote his undergraduate thesis on the poet in 1939, paid special attention to Keats’s ...

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 ...

You Have A Mother Don’t You?

Andrew O’Hagan: Cowboy Simplicities, 11 September 2003

Searching for John Ford: A Life 
by Joseph McBride.
Faber, 838 pp., £25, May 2003, 0 571 20075 3
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... he looks at Ford is the elegiac element in his westerns, the way his static camera summons what Andrew Sarris has called ‘his feelings of loss and displacement already fantasised through the genre’. The Old West is a vista of mourning, yet the films are about the funny and mysterious and sometimes savage ways that people survive there and go on to make ...

Be mean and nasty

Jenny Diski: Shirley Porter’s Story, 25 May 2006

Nothing like a Dame: The Scandals of Shirley Porter 
by Andrew Hosken.
Granta, 372 pp., £20, March 2006, 1 86207 809 2
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... the council officers when she took over as leader in 1983, ‘is an unpleasant fact of life.’ Andrew Hosken, a Radio 4 reporter who investigated the Porter scandals for the Today programme, suggests that the daughter of a multi-millionaire knew less than nothing about redundancy, but perhaps that’s not entirely right. Being rich has never precluded ...

After-Lives

John Sutherland, 5 November 1992

Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography 
by Ian Hamilton.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £18.99, October 1992, 0 09 174263 3
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Testamentary Acts: Browning, Tennyson, James, Hardy 
by Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 273 pp., £27.50, June 1992, 0 19 811276 9
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The Last Laugh 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 131 pp., £10.99, December 1991, 0 7011 4583 8
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Trollope 
by Victoria Glendinning.
Hutchinson, 551 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 09 173896 2
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... There has recently been the quarrel between Nabokov’s biographers – the publishing rascal Andrew Field and friend of the family, Brian Boyd. Should Diane Middlebrook have had access to Anne Sexton’s psychiatric records? Did Lawrence Durrell commit incest with his daughter, and if he did should the public know about it? The reluctance of his estate ...

Hard Labour

Frank Kermode: Marvell beneath the Notes, 23 October 2003

The Poems of Andrew Marvell 
edited by Nigel Smith.
Longman, 468 pp., £50, January 2003, 0 582 07770 2
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... readers out there who want the kind of help and instruction these editions offer. The addition of Andrew Marvell to the list is a tacit claim for his major status. T.S. Eliot, in one of his less impressive lectures, brooded over the difference between major and minor, deciding that minor poets are the ones we read only in anthologies. There are difficult ...

Diary

Patrick Cockburn: The 1956 Polio Epidemic, 7 May 2020

... stop the sheets weighing on my legs. Apart from the medical staff, nobody was allowed to enter the ward and I didn’t see my parents until a nurse came to my bed one day and pointed towards an oval window in the door. On the other side my parents were smiling and waving frantically. I wasn’t entirely separated from my family: my brother ...

Fear among the Teacups

Dinah Birch: Ellen Wood, 8 February 2001

East Lynne 
by Ellen Wood, edited by Andrew Maunder.
Broadview, 779 pp., £7.95, October 2000, 1 55111 234 5
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... Andrew Maunder’s introduction to his new edition of Ellen Wood’s chronicle of scandalous goings-on among the Victorian middle classes claims that East Lynne may be ‘one of the most famous unread works in the English language’. Very possibly. Yet it was spectacularly successful in its day, and its popularity has turned out to be more durable than that of most publishing sensations ...

Dogface

Ian Hamilton, 28 September 1989

Wartime: Understanding and Behaviour in the Second World War 
by Paul Fussell.
Oxford, 330 pp., £15, September 1989, 0 19 503797 9
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War like a Wasp: The Lost Decade of the Forties 
by Andrew Sinclair.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £17.95, October 1989, 0 241 12531 6
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... wanted to do for months. I cried, noisily and publicly, and for hours. I was the scandal of the ward.’ For the next fifteen years (indeed until he had passed the Army recall age), Fussell was afflicted by war nightmares. Like Siegfried Sassoon’s, his dreams were ‘less of terror than of obligation’ – ‘uniquely’, says Fussell, ‘the dreams of a ...

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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... discharged. The consultant psychiatrist at Dulwich North, Dr Davies, told the Inquiry that the ‘ward was old and Dickensian and that violence was commonplace’. Its unsuitability, he added, meant that patients were discharged earlier than they should have been. According to the Audit Commission, an area with a large number of homeless people can have ...

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