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The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters, 21 March 2013

The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... two or three times to Birmingham & to the North Foreland’, his physician and friend Henry Bence Jones banned him from further sea voyages in February 1864. Only a few months later, Bence Jones provoked the greatest crisis of Faraday’s final decade. When the fourth Duke of Northumberland, then president of the RI, fell ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... Monday 21: Invitation card from Tony Rudolf – ‘Art 91’ Fair, Islington, 23 January. Audrey Jones at Menard Press stand. Went into Cowes after lunch to have new Dior spectacles frame stiffened by optician. Finished letter to Tony Rudolf, sending him translation of L’Adieu from the Jabès obituary piece in Le Monde. TV Gulf coverage expressive of ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: ‘Hollywood Costume’, 20 December 2012

... galleries of ghosts. ‘I don’t dress movie stars. I dress actors who are playing characters,’ Ann Roth declares. She has worked closely with Meryl Streep, and adds that, together, ‘we wait for the third person to arrive.’ Streep, we know, is one of the screen’s most skilled chameleons, and the show makes its case for the importance of the look, with ...

Were you a tome?

Matthew Bevis: Edward Lear, 14 December 2017

Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense 
by Jenny Uglow.
Faber, 608 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 571 26954 9
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... father defaulted on the stock exchange and his mother left Lear to the care of his eldest sister, Ann. His sense of rejection began early, and he dated the start of his prolonged periods of depression (‘the morbids’) to the age of six. Then, just before his tenth birthday, his cousin Frederick Harding ‘did me the greatest evil done to me in life ...

The Planet That Wasn’t There

Thomas Jones: Phantom Planets, 19 January 2017

The Hunt for Vulcan: How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet and Deciphered the Universe 
by Thomas Levenson.
Head of Zeus, 229 pp., £7.99, August 2016, 978 1 78497 398 8
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... of Rawlins, fifty miles north of the Colorado state line. James Craig Watson, the director of the Ann Arbor Observatory, and Simon Newcomb, from the Naval Observatory in Washington, were among those hoping to catch a first definitive glimpse of Vulcan, though others had other purposes: Thomas Edison wanted to test one of his inventions, an infrared measuring ...

Tit for Tat

Margaret Anne Doody, 21 December 1989

Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology 
edited by Roger Lonsdale.
Oxford, 555 pp., £20, September 1989, 0 19 811769 8
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... and unpublic. But a great many women of the 18th century, including some like Mary Collier and Ann Yearsley who were poor, were heard of many miles from home. Roger Lonsdale gives us a collection of 95 poets (including a fair sprinkling of the inevitable ‘Anonymous’). With each new writer he offers densely packed informative headnotes. The biographies ...


Margaret Anne Doody, 5 August 1993

The Culture of Sensibility: Sex and Society in 18th-century Britain 
by G.J. Barker-Benfield.
Chicago, 520 pp., £39.95, October 1992, 0 226 03713 4
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Eighteenth-Century Sensibility and the Novel: The Senses in Social Context 
by Ann Jessie van Sant.
Cambridge, 143 pp., £27.95, January 1993, 0 521 40226 3
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Drunks, Whores and Idle Apprentices: Criminal Biographies of the 18th Century 
by Philip Rawlings.
Routledge, 222 pp., £40, October 1992, 0 415 05056 1
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Mother Clap’s Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830 
by Rictor Norton.
Gay Men’s Press, 302 pp., £12.95, September 1992, 0 85449 188 0
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... Enlightenment. The huge project was not without its price. The best of these new studies, Ann Jessie Van Sant’s Eighteenth-Century Sensibility and the Novel: The Senses in Social Context, acutely defines the cost of the concepts of sensibility and the sentimental. Van Sant attends to the importance of watching, of observing, in various formulations ...

Why edit socially?

Marilyn Butler, 20 October 1994

Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works, Vol. VII 
edited by Byron.
Oxford, 445 pp., £52.50, March 1993, 0 19 812328 0
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The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 832 pp., £25, April 1993, 0 19 214158 9
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... Maria; Hemans, Felicia Dorothea; Lamb, Lady Caroline; Lee, Harriet; Lee, Sophia; Radcliffe, Ann: Sévigné, Marie de; Seward, Anna; Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft; Staël-Holstein, Anne Louise Germaine, Baronne de Worldly, informed and informal, the index is a fitting finale to an edition which extends the range of information scholarly editions usually ...

Good Activist, Bad Activist

Adam Mars-Jones: ACT UP grows up, 29 July 2021

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-93 
by Sarah Schulman.
Farrar, Straus, 736 pp., £30.99, June, 978 0 374 18513 8
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... now that a stigmatising illness had emerged. Certainly that’s the way one ACT UP member, Ann Northrop, saw it: ‘Gay white men thought they had privilege in this country and were shocked to find they didn’t, and that people in power were prepared to let them die. And when they figured that out, they got very angry about it – a lot of ...

The Court

Richard Eyre, 23 September 1993

The Long Distance Runner 
by Tony Richardson.
Faber, 277 pp., £17.50, September 1993, 0 571 16852 3
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... Trilogy (which Devine never much cared for); of Pinter’s The Room and The Dumb Waiter, Ann Jellicoe’s The Knack, Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan; and Beckett’s Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape and Happy Days. For much of this time Richardson was directing films of Look Back in Anger (1959), The Entertainer (1960), Sanctuary (1961 – unreleasable ...

Untouched by Eliot

Denis Donoghue: Jon Stallworthy, 4 March 1999

Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems 
by Jon Stallworthy.
Carcanet, 247 pp., £14.95, September 1998, 1 85754 163 4
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... 1935. (Rounding the Horn ends with his family tree, starting with ‘John Stallworthy d. 1744 and Ann d. 1771’ and running to ‘Jon b. 1935 and Jill b. 1938’ and the new generation, ‘Jonathan, Pippa and Nicolas’.) His father was a surgeon who settled down to a practice in Oxford. His mother was a housewife with a gift for music and a good ear for ...

Mr Toad

John Bayley, 20 October 1994

Evelyn Waugh 
by Selina Hastings.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 600 pp., £20, October 1994, 1 85619 223 7
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... When Put out More Flags was published in March 1942, Alan Pryce-Jones reviewed it in the New Statesman, praising the writer’s ‘dead-accurate’ social sense and his vituperative use of ‘the unpopular weapons of economy and proportion’, and yet concluding that the book and its author were ‘fundamentally without humour ...


Pat Rogers, 7 August 1986

Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... It would be rash to expect all these to qualify for Spender’s epithet ‘good’. But if Ann Emelinda Skinn and M. Peddle (two of Dale’s hundred best tunes) deserve a place in the record, it is not obvious why such names as Francis Coventry, Thomas Holcroft or Robert Paltock should be left out. (Not to mention James Boswell, author of Dorando.) The ...

Think Tiny

Mark Ford: Nancification, 17 July 2008

The Nancy Book 
by Joe Brainard.
Siglio, 144 pp., $39.50, April 2008, 978 0 9799562 0 1
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... leaders of the country’s emerging counter-culture, including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, LeRoi Jones and Robert Creeley. It also ran a selection of the early work of a maverick graduate student in English at the University of Tulsa, Ted Berrigan. Berrigan was soon accompanying Brainard and his fellow editors, the poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup, on their ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... the succession, names in the frame include Alan Beith, Vince Cable, Frank Field, Alan Haselhurst, Ann Widdecombe, George Young and, most remarkable of all, John Bercow, who many on our side favour as a way of getting back at the Tories. I should also report that one other wildly improbable name has been mentioned: moi. ‘Mr Speaker Mullin,’ Nick Robinson ...

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