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Peter opened Paul the door

Leofranc Holford-Strevens: The Case for Case

9 July 2009
The Oxford Handbook of Case 
edited by Andrej Malchukov and Andrew Spencer.
Oxford, 928 pp., £85, November 2008, 978 0 19 920647 6
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... someone’ and ‘this other someone’ that provoke the Spartan response to a lengthy speech: ‘Forgotten the beginning, don’t understand the end.’ In Part II, on the morphology of case, AndrewSpencer considers (among other things) Australian languages in which cases not only correspond to verb-categories such as tense or the syntactical status of the clause, but are themselves given the ...

Angels and Dirt

Robert Dingley

20 November 1980
Stanley Spencer​ RA 
by Richard Carline, Andrew​ Causey and Keith Bell.
Royal Academy/Weidenfeld, 239 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 297 77831 5
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... One can find,’ wrote Stanley Spencer, ‘interesting and very nice things in dustbins and incinerators.’ Ferreting about among rubbish heaps struck him as ‘a distinctly entertaining and elevating pastime’ and the beads, scraps of ...
1 October 1998
... Here comes Stanley Spencer with his pram – his bowl-cut – and his crazy-uncle specs – so this must be your childhood Ruby – must be Cookham – must be 19 – 19-what – is nothing black and white – what sort of ...

Suppose the Archduke had ducked

Andrew​ Berry: Game theory and human evolution

7 September 2000
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny 
by Robert Wright.
Little, Brown, 435 pp., £22.50, March 2000, 0 316 64485 4
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... Interviewed by the BBC 25 years after Herbert Spencer’s death, Beatrice Webb, who had known him well, referred to him as Darwin’s John the Baptist. Spencer would have relished the description, which is in many ways appropriate: he coined the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ and was responsible for popularising the term ‘evolution’. Indeed, his ...
30 November 1995
Homosexuality: A History 
by Colin Spencer.
Fourth Estate, 448 pp., £20, September 1995, 1 85702 143 6
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Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality 
by Andrew​ Sullivan.
Picador, 224 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 0 330 34453 6
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Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography 
by David Halperin.
Oxford, 246 pp., £14.99, September 1995, 0 19 509371 2
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... of the range of contemporary gay thinking in Britain and America, and also manifest a clear hierarchy of intellectual ambition. Here are Gay Studies Advanced, Intermediate and also Rudimentary. Colin Spencer’s Homosexuality: A History is the work of a hobbyist, who offers what is essentially a scrap-book of the various ways that homosexuality has been inflected in different periods and cultures ...

Squidging about

Caroline Murphy: Camilla and the sex-motherers

22 January 2004
Camilla: An Intimate Portrait 
by Rebecca Tyrrel.
Short Books, 244 pp., £14.99, October 2003, 1 904095 53 4
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... unlike her sister, Annabel – was very much the sort ‘to throw her knickers on the table’. In 1966, when she was 19, the knicker-throwing debutante met a 27-year-old lieutenant in the Guards, Andrew Parker Bowles. He was handsome, and his parents were ‘excellent in-law material’. His father, Derek, a steward at Newbury racecourse, was a great friend of the Queen Mother’s, while his mother ...
19 August 1993
The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... one level, the thinking behind them was clear enough. However bad the recession, British publishers believe firmly and mistakenly that books about the monarchy always sell. The exceptional success of Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story suggested that sycophantic royal biographies were out, and savage royal exposés were in. Hence the commissioning of a spate of Mortonesque knife-jobs. It was also ...

Not bothered

E.S. Turner

29 August 1991
The Bachelor Duke: William Spencer​ Cavendish, Sixth Duke of Devonshire, 1790-1858 
by James Lees-Milne.
Murray, 234 pp., £19.95, March 1991, 0 7195 4920 5
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... William Spencer Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, was born ‘in a somewhat furtive manner for a baby of his exalted rank’. In 1790 his father, the fifth Duke, and his mother, the giddy Duchess Georgiana, had ...
23 May 1996
After Tylor: British Social Anthropology 1888-1951 
by George Stocking.
Athlone, 570 pp., £50, January 1996, 0 485 30072 9
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... and perhaps most withering of all, to many of the younger generation, Post-Modern critiques have made historical inquiry seem peripheral and even irrelevant. Why bother finding out exactly what Spencer and Gillen thought about exogamy among the Aborigines a hundred years ago? Who now cares about Malinowski, R-B, or E-P? The result of all this is that in recent years a number of anthropology ...

Lotharios

Steve Jones

10 September 1992
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee: How our animal heritage affects the way we live 
by Jared Diamond.
Vintage, 360 pp., £6.99, August 1992, 0 09 991380 1
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... understands baboons will do more towards metaphysics than Locke.’ Darwin, at least, had the excuse of being nearly right nearly all the time. Most of his successors have no such defence. Herbert Spencer – who coined the phrase ‘the survival of the fittest’ – was in favour of arranging society on Darwinian lines. Not surprisingly, his ideas were popular with Andrew Carnegie and his fellow ...

Tunnel Vision

Jenny Diski: Princess Diana

2 August 2007
The Diana Chronicles 
by Tina Brown.
Century, 481 pp., £18.99, June 2007, 978 1 84605 286 6
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Diana 
by Sarah Bradford.
Penguin, 443 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 14 027671 8
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... Ten years on, with so many more screens and pages clogged with celebrity, and the broadsheets gone overtly tabloid, it isn’t entirely obvious what fascinated people so about Diana Windsor, née Spencer, the uneducated, O-level-free daughter of an ancient house, former nanny, Sloane, clothes-horse, playgirl, campaigner, therapist addict. Take the bright lights away and you have a regular messy ...

Prada Queen

Elaine Showalter: Shopping

10 August 2000
Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End 
by Erika Diane Rappaport.
Princeton, 323 pp., £21.95, January 2000, 0 691 04477 5
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... a series of retail-tourist guidebooks. In a recent poll taken in London, more than a quarter of respondents said that shopping was what they liked best about the city. In her fashion guidebook, Mimi Spencer exhorts her readers to ‘shop for England … just for the sheer entertainment value of it all’. Suzy Gershman, the American author of Born to Shop: Great Britain, is ‘so enamoured’ of the ...

Ecoluxury

John Gray

20 April 1995
The Fading of the Greens: The Decline of Environmental Politics in the West 
by Anna Bramwell.
Yale, 224 pp., £18.95, September 1994, 0 300 06040 8
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The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature’s Debt to Society 
by Andrew​ Ross.
Verso, 308 pp., £18.95, October 1994, 0 86091 429 1
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Green Delusions: An Environmentalist Critique of Radical Environmentalism 
by Martin Lewis.
Duke, 288 pp., $12.95, February 1994, 0 8223 1474 6
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... of a paradox, in that the preferred mode of explanation for American neo-liberalism has always previously been economic. It is to the surprising, and perhaps ominous, recrudescence of biologism that Andrew Ross devotes some of the most interesting chapters of The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life. Ross makes some shrewd and witty criticisms of recent exclusions by natural scientists into sociobiology ...
22 May 1986
The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew​ Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... Andrew Motion’s book is intended to portray a family’s rich self-destructiveness. He begins with Larkin’s famous quatrain: Man hands on misery to man.   It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as ...

Wide-Angled

Linda Colley: Global History

26 September 2013
The French Revolution in Global Perspective 
edited by Suzanne Desan, Lynn Hunt and William Max Nelson.
Cornell, 240 pp., £16.50, April 2013, 978 0 8014 7868 0
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... What is history for? What do we want it to do? In 1731, an obscure Kentish schoolmaster named Richard Spencer offered some answers. Properly to ascertain his position in geographical space, he reasoned, required not a single map, but access to a global atlas, one that would allow him to ‘see what London ...

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