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Gesture as Language

David Trotter, 30 January 1992

A Cultural History of Gestures: From Antiquity to the Present 
edited by Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg.
Polity, 220 pp., £35, December 1991, 0 7456 0786 1
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The New Oxford Book of 17th-Century Verse 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 830 pp., £25, November 1991, 0 19 214164 3
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... likely to be classified as a passive homosexual. Fritz Graf finds Quintilian in Rumpole of the Bailey mood, denouncing orators who gesticulate so wildly that it is scarcely safe to stand behind them. Robert Muchembled discovers almost the same degree of formality among Breton peasants as Maria Bogucka does among Polish courtiers and diplomats. I liked her ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... had in effect been sentenced to remain in prison until the morning of his death. Like Hill and his co-accused, I was released from my wrongful imprisonment by the Court of Appeal, mercifully after a much shorter time inside. I write, then, as a former prisoner, and I write as an Irishman, as someone who believes that the ramifications of the Guildford case say ...

A sewer runs through it

Alastair Logan, 4 November 1993

... judges, saw fit to ponder for one moment what effect that had on their chances of a fair trial. Anne Maguire and her family, including 13-year-old Patrick, entered the dock in the Old Bailey on trial for possession of explosives after the massive publicity that attended the Guildford bombings trial, which had finished not ...


Susan McKay: Jean McConville, 19 December 2013

... of it, their family believes they got married there in 1952, when Jean was 17. Their first child, Anne, was born in November that year. They lived for a time in army barracks in England but moved back to live with Jean’s mother in 1957. Helen says her granny ‘got it hard’ from her own family for taking Arthur in, his Catholicism trumping the fact that ...

Fielding in the dock

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1990

Henry Fielding: A Life 
by Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin.
Routledge, 738 pp., £29.50, October 1989, 0 415 01438 7
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New Essays 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin.
Virginia, 604 pp., $50, November 1989, 0 8139 1221 0
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The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding. The True Patriot, and Related Writings 
edited by W.B. Coley.
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An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings 
edited by Malvin Zirker.
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The Covent-Garden Journal and A Plan of the Universal Register Office 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Bertrand Goldgar.
Oxford, 446 pp., £50, December 1988, 0 19 818511 1
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Fielding and the Woman Question: The Novels of Henry Fielding and the Feminist Debate 1700-1750 
by Angela Smallwood.
Harvester, 230 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 7108 0639 6
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... ago. Martin Battestin has also combed the printed sources, including newspapers and the Old Bailey Sessions Papers, and his account of the cases Fielding was concerned with as a magistrate adds vividness to the latter part of the book. The standard of accuracy seems high, though there’s some shakiness about titles and modes of address (Lady Louisa ...


Alan Bennett: My 2006, 4 January 2007

... of parchment about five foot in length and written on both sides. To turn the page required the co-operation and forbearance of most of the other readers at the table, so it would sometimes look like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party struggling to put up wallpaper when all I was doing was trying to turn over. A side effect of reading these unwieldy documents was ...

Memoirs of a Pet Lamb

David Sylvester, 5 July 2001

... went into his spare-time occupations. Their nature was determined by the intersection of two co-ordinates: his obsession with Judaism and his love of talking; or, rather, his love of discourse. For it wasn’t just speech that delighted him: he loved words; this made him, for example, a manic punster. So the love of discourse encompassed writing too. I ...

Life Pushed Aside

Clair Wills: The Last Asylums, 18 November 2021

... He lists his profession as ‘sculptor’. I could discover, too, that he had married Mary Anne Beirne two years earlier, and that they now had a baby son, also called John. Mary Anne was the eldest daughter of the local butcher, who was the Beegans’ neighbour on Dunlo Hill. Beegan married up; the Beirne family ...

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