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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 ...

Britain’s Thermonuclear Bluff

Norman Dombey and Eric Grove

22 October 1992
... forthcoming obituary, in the Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society, of Sir William 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 ...

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 ...

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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... mark on the public life of 19th-century Britain: second and favourite son of Dr Arnold of Rugby, brother 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 ...

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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... all other patients put together. There was a need to reduce the amount of money spent on the mentally 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 ...

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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... on the unions. She was never popular among those who worked under her. ‘Redundancy,’ she told 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 ...
16 October 1997
Keats 
by Andrew​ Motion.
Faber, 612 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780571172276
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... In the sixties, 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 ...

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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... around. On 12 May, having been described as violent and threatening on several occasions, he was 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 ...

Short Cuts

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Remembering Paul Foot

19 August 2004
... the Marlboro cowboys dying of lung cancer. Marvellous, glorious, terrific, delightful: Paul enjoyed 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 ...

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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... privacy is even now being fiercely defended by Stephen Spender against the intrusive Hugh David. 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 ...

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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... house continues to be willing to do the job, having presumably discovered that there are enough 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 ...

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 ...
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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... would he go to the disfiguring bother of writing, publishing and reprinting his ugly references to Ezra Pound (‘the pathos of the loony, traitorous, filthslinging poet in his cage at Pisa or in his ward in the Washington asylum’), to ‘restricted and jejune Eliot’ – Over the Missouri, over the Seine,   Over the Thames, and over the Severn, The soul of white Tom   Shall float to Heaven ...

I want my wings

Andrew​ O’Hagan: The Last Tycoons

3 March 2016
West of Eden: An American Place 
by Jean Stein.
Cape, 334 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 0 224 10246 9
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... whose mother had been Miss Cleveland 1912. Jane, like many Hollywood girls, was plainer than her mother, and with her ruddy cheeks and her unpredictability she ended up in the psychiatric ward at UCLA. Jane wasn’t a star, but her craziness activated a fear in many of those who knew her, a fear of being suffocated by a stronger, commanding parent. The artist Ed Moses was hired to take her ...

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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... of course, the Irish cease to be the Indians and become the cowboys.’ What Thomson misses when 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 ...

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