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Joining up

Angus Calder

3 April 1986
Soldier, Soldier 
by Tony Parker.
Heinemann, 244 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 434 57770 7
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Echoes of the Great War: The Diary of the Reverend Andrew Clark​ 1914-1919 
edited by James Munson.
Oxford, 304 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 19 212984 8
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The Unknown Army: Mutinies in the British Army in World War One 
by Gloden Dallas and Douglas Gill.
Verso, 178 pp., £18.50, July 1985, 0 86091 106 3
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Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle 
by John Keegan and Richard Holmes.
Hamish Hamilton, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 241 11583 3
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... of course, ‘contributed’ in this way during two world wars. The memory of the first remains especially mournful. The cost in one small Essex village is detailed in the diaries of the Reverend AndrewClark, rector of Great Leighs. Clark was an obsessive scholar in the great tradition of mildly eccentric Anglican parsons. The son of a Scottish farm labourer who found his way via Dollar Academy to ...
7 January 1988
A Class Society at War: England 1914-18 
by Bernard Waites.
Berg, 303 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 907582 65 6
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Working for Victory? Images of Women in the First World War 
by Diana Condell and Jean Liddiard.
Routledge, 201 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7102 0974 6
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The Countryside at War 1914-18 
by Caroline Dakers.
Constable, 238 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 468060 4
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When Jim Crow met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War Two Britain 
by Graham Smith.
Tauris, 265 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 9781850430391
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... far-from-neglected war poets: nevertheless, the author has dug up some curious new material. Not surprisingly, she has been drawn to the recently published memoirs of the Essex clergyman, the Rev. AndrewClark, and quotes extensively from that admirable record (Echoes of the Great War). One chapter deals with the unhappy French countryside, which for four years was methodically (and, from the South ...

Short Cuts

Andrew​ O’Hagan: Ulysses v. O.J. Simpson

27 July 2016
... Dublin Press, £32), but let’s first pay a visit to The People v. O.J. Simpson, a show that reminded me – as if I needed reminding – that real life is the poor, lost cousin of pretence. Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the Simpson case, is a shy person in life, studious, you might say. She did, it’s true, make some mistakes in presenting the case. But the main issue seems to be her hair ...

Suffocation

Alex Clark: Andrew​ Miller

18 October 2001
Oxygen 
by Andrew​ Miller.
Sceptre, 323 pp., £14.99, September 2001, 0 340 72825 6
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... Flamboyant historical staging characterised Andrew Miller’s first two novels, Ingenious Pain and Casanova: his third makes use of a very different kind of theatricality. Here, in two discrete, barely overlapping stories – one of a dying woman ...

Sea Creatures

Peter Campbell

23 July 1987
Sidney Nolan: Such is life 
by Brian Adams.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.95, June 1987, 0 09 168430 7
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Andrew​ Wyeth: The Helga Pictures 
by John Wilmerding.
Viking, 208 pp., £25, September 1987, 9780670817665
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Faces 1966-1984 
by David Hockney and Marco Livingstone.
Thames and Hudson, 96 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 500 27464 9
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... intolerable, and Nolan went north to another exotic landscape, Queensland. On his return he looked up John Reed’s sister, Cynthia. He married her in 1948. His reputation began to flourish. Kenneth Clark was struck by one of his paintings in a group exhibition and suggested he would do well in England. It was good advice, and Nolan became an established artist in Europe. His working life became a ...

Abolish everything!

Andrew​ Hussey: Situationist International

2 September 1999
The Situationist City 
by Simon Sadler.
MIT, 248 pp., £24.95, March 1998, 0 262 19392 2
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... moved the observer to ‘salutary states of awe, melancholy, joy or terror’. Sadler’s elegant, accurate and well documented account of Situationist practice has an important precedent in T.J. Clark’s The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers. Clark, briefly a member of the English section of the Situationist International in the late Sixties, argues in strict ...

Keep slogging

Andrew​ Bacevich: The Trouble with Generals

21 July 2005
Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-18 
edited by Gary Sheffield and John Bourne.
Weidenfeld, 550 pp., £25, March 2005, 0 297 84702 3
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... and more like the MacArthur of November 1950 who, believing his own press clippings, had foolishly promised to have the troops home from Korea by Christmas. As Nato’s supreme commander, Wesley Clark faced an altogether different adversary: Slobodan Milosevic, the president of what remained of Yugoslavia. Although by 1999 Clark’s nemesis posed no real threat to his neighbours, he remained ...

Short Cuts

Andrew​ O’Hagan: Myths of Marilyn

8 July 2004
... James Dougherty, Arthur Miller), her half-sister (Berniece Miracle), her stalkers (Robert Slatzer, James Haspiel), her saviours (Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett), her driver of one summer (Colin Clark), her coroner (Thomas Noguchi), to say nothing of half a dozen big novelists and enough conspiracy hacks to fill a jumbo jet. In some cases (usually academic) the more books written about a subject ...

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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... main theme the writer’s struggle with political and financial pressures, and as its principal exemplum the troubled career of the poet laureate, Dryden. In The Enemy’s Country, based on the 1986 Clark Lectures, Hill considers a number of 17th-century writers, including Dryden, Donne, Henry Wotton, Izaac Walton and Hobbes, together with Ezra Pound. The essays focus with characteristic acuity on ...

It’s raining, so I’ll take an umbrella

Andy Clark: The Birth of the Computer

1 December 2005
Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker 
edited by Christof Teuscher.
Springer, 542 pp., £46, February 2004, 3 540 20020 7
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... world: the process of breaking a problem up into parts, applying rules, inscribing the results onto a static external medium (paper), and repeating the procedure again and again. It is not (and, as Andrew Wells’s revealing essay in this collection shows, it does not seem likely that Turing ever intended it to be) a perspicuous image of the operation of the brain itself. On the one hand, then, we ...

Most Sincerely, Folks

Michael Wood: Andrew​ O’Hagan

5 June 2003
Personality 
by Andrew​ O’Hagan.
Faber, 328 pp., £16.99, May 2003, 0 571 19501 6
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... About a third of the way through his first book, The Missing, Andrew O’Hagan pauses over a perception he thinks his readers may find ‘a bit surprising’. It’s an intricate moment, since he thinks we are going to be surprised at the surprise he is describing. He ...

World’s End

John Sutherland

1 October 1987
The Day of Creation 
by J.G. Ballard.
Gollancz, 254 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 575 04152 8
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The Playmaker 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 310 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 340 34154 8
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In the Skin of a Lion 
by Michael Ondaatje.
Secker, 244 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 436 34009 7
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The House of Hospitalities 
by Emma Tennant.
Viking, 184 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 670 81501 2
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... period after landing until the arrival of the Sirius with supplies from the Cape in May 1789. The narrative is loose-jointed and not always easily followed, but it mainly centres on Lieutenant Ralph Clark, the playmaker or producer, otherwise a junior marine officer. Apparently a historical personage, Clark comes from Devon and has indentured himself to an agent to raise cash for the support of his ...

The Nominee

Andrew​ O’Hagan: With the Democrats

19 August 2004
... premeditated. People came to the 2004 Democratic Convention not quite knowing John Kerry, and not quite liking him either. Heavily supported by Edward Kennedy (and by Bill Clinton since the Wesley Clark machine puffed its last), Kerry is famous for having none of Kennedy’s backslapping, song-singing, law-making brio, and very little of Clinton’s natural empathy and charisma. People noticed Kerry ...

Reading the Signs

Peter Campbell: London Lettering

12 December 2002
... Council. Their architect was W.E. Riley. The lettering is part of a very good piece of integrated Arts and Crafts design. In Riding House Street, north of Oxford Street, a building by H. Fuller Clark of 1908 announces in gold and green mosaic, over a couple of floors, that it was the premises of Boulting & Son, Sanitary and Hot Water Engineers. Another of Clark’s schemes, the ground floor of ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew​ Marvell

25 November 1999
World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew​ Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew​ Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... quilted cento that is Moby-Dick, there is a passage which might be interpreted as Melville’s response to James Barry’s 1776 engraving The Phoenix or the Resurrection of Freedom. In the engraving Andrew Marvell is depicted with Milton, Locke and Algernon Sidney among the mourners at the bier of Britain’s traditional liberties. Across a pond the mourners can see a Neoclassical rotunda with an eagle ...

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