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6 February 1986
Literature and Popular Culture in 18th-Century England 
by Pat Rogers.
Harvester, 215 pp., £22.50, April 1985, 0 7108 0981 6
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Eighteenth-Century Encounters: Studies in Literature and Society in the Age of Walpole 
by Pat Rogers.
Harvester, 173 pp., £22.50, April 1985, 0 7108 0986 7
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Order from Confusion Sprung: Studies in 18th-Century Literature from Swift to Cowper 
by Claude Rawson.
Allen and Unwin, 431 pp., £30, August 1985, 0 04 800019 1
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Jonathan Swift 
edited by Angus Ross and David Woolley.
Oxford, 722 pp., £6.95, June 1984, 0 19 281337 4
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... have a way of sending you off somewhere else to get the information. Comparison with Pat Rogers’s essay on ‘Upon the Horrid Plot’ shows that he explains all the proverbs in the poem, while Ross and Woolley keep telling you that a particular phrase is indeed proverbial and that you can find out what it means by consulting the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs ...

Human Wishes

Irvin Ehrenpreis

20 December 1984
Samuel Johnson 
by Walter Jackson Bate.
Hogarth, 646 pp., £6.95, July 1984, 0 7012 0562 8
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A Preliminary Handlist of Copies of Books Associated with Dr Samuel Johnson 
by J.D. Fleeman.
Oxford Bibliographical Society, 101 pp., £5, March 1984, 0 901420 41 7
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Samuel Johnson 1709-84: A Bicentenary Exhibition 
edited by K.K. Yung.
Arts Council/Herbert Press, 144 pp., £9.95, July 1984, 9780906969458
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Samuel Johnson 
by Donald Greene.
Oxford, 872 pp., £15, June 1984, 9780192541796
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... Johnson during the bicentennial year is certainly Donald Greene’s volume for the new Oxford Authors. Together with the splendid book in the same series devoted to Swift (edited by David Woolley and AngusRoss), this work floats easily above all rivals. The choice of contents is fresh and ingenious, showing off aspects of Johnson which critics commonly underestimate. The poetry includes bilingual ...

Flytings

Arnold Rattenbury: Hamish Henderson

23 January 2003
Collected Poems and Songs 
by Hamish Henderson, edited by Raymond Ross.
Curly Snake, 163 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 1 902141 01 6
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... Song, Folk and Literature’, collected as Alias MacAlias (1992), a selected letters, The Armstrong Nose (1996) – both edited by Alec Finlay – and Collected Poems and Songs, edited by Raymond Ross. All three books reveal Henderson, by then in his seventies and eighties, as he chose to be revealed. His only other publications had been fifty years earlier: Ballads of World War Two, collected and ...
10 September 1992
The Children of Men 
by P.D. James.
Faber, 239 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 571 16741 1
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A Philosophical Investigation 
by Philip Kerr.
Chatto, 336 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 7011 4553 6
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Spoilt 
by Georgina Hammick.
Chatto, 212 pp., £13.99, August 1992, 0 7011 4133 6
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The Death of the Author 
by Gilbert Adair.
Heinemann, 135 pp., £13.99, August 1992, 0 434 00623 8
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Jerusalem Commands 
by Michael Moorcock.
Cape, 577 pp., £15.99, July 1992, 0 224 03074 4
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... the year for computer buffs, amateur philosophers and would-be time-travellers. Back to the 20th century and middle-aged, middle-class anxieties with the nine stories in Georgina Hammick’s Spoilt. Angus Wilson’s name has been mentioned in comparison, but these pieces have none of the acidity and satiric hardness of Wilson’s early short stories. Their sheen, style and deliberate under-statement ...

Third World

Frank Kermode

2 March 1989
... less interested in flightiness than in the bureaucracy, so much more amenable to research: the giddier flights, of which she might have discovered something by interviewing, say, Donald Carne-Ross, are largely ignored. P.H. Newby, under whose patient aegis many splendid irregularities were committed, appears here, as no doubt he preferred, in the guise of a quietly embattled bureaucrat, with ...
7 November 1985
Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady 
by Samuel Richardson, edited with an introduction by Angus Ross.
Viking, 1533 pp., £19.95, August 1985, 0 670 80829 6
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Memoire of Frances, Lady Douglas 
by Lady Louisa Stuart, edited by Jill Rubenstein.
Scottish Academic Press, 106 pp., £9.50, August 1985, 0 7073 0358 3
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... One of these books is very long and the other is very short. Each in its own way is a wonderful piece of work. They stand at opposite ends of the century that runs from the 1740s to the 1840s, but they may be thought to bear each other out, in ways which affect an understanding of the family life of that time, and of its incorporation in the literature of Romanticism – that part of it, in particular ...

Diary

David Craig: Scotland Changes Again

20 December 1990
... cancer. Blink: November 1989: the boat from Lerwick is sliding into harbour past the Girdle Ness lighthouse, bringing us to Aberdeen after long stravaigs from Vatersay north to Lewis, through Easter Ross to Caithness, Rousay in Orkney, Yell and Unst in Shetland, searching for people whose forebears were evicted one hundred and fifty years ago. On the hill slope to southward I look out as usual for ...

Home’s for suicides

Lucie Elven: Alfred Hayes’s Hollywood

18 July 2019
The Girl on the Via Flaminia 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 151 pp., £7.99, August 2018, 978 0 241 34232 9
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My Face for the World to See 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 119 pp., £7.99, May 2018, 978 0 241 34230 5
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In Love 
by Alfred Hayes.
Penguin, 120 pp., £7.99, January 2018, 978 0 241 30713 7
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... a part in Hayes’s disappearance from public view; certainly his dislike of self-promotion didn’t help. But in the 1950s his unsentimental prose was widely admired – especially in Britain. Angus Wilson, Julian Maclaren-Ross and Francis Wyndham all praised him, as did Elizabeth Bowen, who described In Love as a ‘little masterpiece’. One by one his books fell out of print, until the ...

Enemies of Promise

Angus​ Calder

2 March 1989
Breach of Promise: Labour in Power 1964-1970 
by Clive Ponting.
Hamish Hamilton, 433 pp., £15.95, February 1989, 0 241 12683 5
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James Maxton 
by Gordon Brown.
Fontana, 336 pp., £4.95, February 1988, 0 00 637255 4
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Forward! Labour Politics in Scotland 1888-1988 
edited by Ian Donnachie, Christopher Harvie and Ian Wood.
Polygon, 184 pp., £19.50, January 1989, 0 7486 6001 1
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... the number of seats which Scotland has delivered to the Party over the years. It is true that John Wheatley, of Housing Act fame, was the only creative minister of the 1923-4 Government. But Willie Ross, Wilson’s Scottish Secretary, hardly gets a mention in Ponting’s book. His most important Labour forerunner in the Scottish Office, Tom Johnston, who held the post during the Second World War ...

After the Referendum

LRB Contributors

8 October 2014
... to be carefully considered and not just a Tory ramp. In the absence of a reform of voting procedures, the present constitutional structure of the United Kingdom is probably the one that works best. Ross McKibbin The​ early Scottish referendum results didn’t look good for the would-be dividers of the kingdom. My pro-independence Orcadian friend, down in London for a wine fair, went to bed before ...

When the Costume Comes Off

Adam Mars-Jones: Philip Hensher

14 April 2011
King of the Badgers 
by Philip Hensher.
Fourth Estate, 436 pp., £18.99, March 2011, 978 0 00 730133 1
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... Toomey. Terrence Rattigan was surprised to find during war service that he was brave in an ordinary way. Out of this realisation came his interest in such non-cowardly homosexuals as T.E. Lawrence (Ross) and Alexander the Great (Adventure Story). But perhaps the question to be asked is: why should a heterosexual writer adopt a gay point of view? What’s the benefit, not to the person, but to the ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture

8 November 2012
... me. ‘He ended up as a valet; he was a gentleman’s gentleman between infrequent acting jobs – and he once told me the beach at Brighton, this would be in the 1950s, was covered with copies of Angus Wilson’s Hemlock and After.’ Wilson’s novel, pretty much forgotten now, tells the story of a writer called Bernard Sands who is married but homosexual and ends up living next door to a woman ...

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