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Manchester’s Moment

Boyd Hilton, 20 August 1998

Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 
by Anthony Howe.
Oxford, 336 pp., £45, December 1997, 9780198201465
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The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 
by Martin Ceadel.
Oxford, 587 pp., £55, December 1996, 0 19 822674 8
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... Martin Ceadel’s begins in 1730 but is really about the first half of the 19th century, while Anthony Howe’s is really about the second half of that century although it continues until 1946. Ceadel’s is largely pioneering in its subject-matter, while Howe picks his way through a dense historiography. Both will ...

Dig, Hammer, Spin, Weave

Miles Taylor: Richard Cobden, Class Warrior, 12 March 2009

The Letters of Richard Cobden. Vol. I: 1815-47 
edited by Anthony Howe.
Oxford, 529 pp., £100, November 2007, 978 0 19 921195 1
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... and disarmament, cheap newspapers and the penny post. He is a worthy subject for canonisation. Anthony Howe’s comprehensive, erudite and superbly annotated edition of his correspondence will take its place alongside Gladstone’s diaries, the letters of Carlyle and Disraeli, and John Stuart Mill’s collected works as an indispensable resource for ...

Staggering on

Stephen Howe, 23 May 1996

The ‘New Statesman’: Portrait of a Political Weekly, 1913-31 
by Adrian Smith.
Cass, 340 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 7146 4645 8
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... by far the most popular whipping-boy, but with minority lobbies also fingering Richard Crossman, Anthony Howard and all the other post-Sixties editors. There is little disagreement, however, about when the glory days began. The New Statesman whose past is so ubiquitously pressed into service for rival versions of its future is the magazine whose identity was ...

Happy Knack

Ian Sansom: Betjeman, 20 February 2003

John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 736 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7195 5002 5
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... lovely daughters, Elspeth and Mary, ‘who were to marry, respectively, the politician Geoffrey Howe (now Lord Howe) and the architect James (later Sir James) Stirling’. Sometimes whole sentences seem designed merely to boast of good breeding: the good looks of the young Candida, Hillier announces, ‘rivalled those of ...

Fatalism, Extenuation and Despair

Peter Clarke: John Major, 5 March 1998

Major: A Political Life 
by Anthony Seldon.
Weidenfeld, 856 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 297 81607 1
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... of this is still fresh in our memories. Indeed, it was only six months after Major’s demise that Anthony Seldon published this substantial book, and looking at it now provokes mixed reactions. First to marvel that even the prodigiously industrious Dr Seldon – a busy headmaster whose name appeared on five dustjackets in the 1996 season – did it so ...

Thank you for your letter

Anthony Grafton: Latin, 1 November 2001

Latin, or the Empire of a Sign: From the 16th to the 20th Centuries 
by Françoise Waquet, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 346 pp., £20, July 2001, 1 85984 615 7
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... Every spring at my university’s Convocation, an undergraduate addresses the assembled students, parents and faculty in Latin. Parents receive a plain copy of the text, which few of them can read. Most of the students can’t read it either. But they receive a different, annotated version. Footnotes, always written in Latin – ‘hic ridete’; ‘hic plaudite’ – identify in-jokes and references to local and national events ...

Female Heads

John Bayley, 27 October 1988

Woman to Woman: Female Friendship in Victorian Fiction 
by Tess Cosslett.
Harvester, 211 pp., £29.95, July 1988, 0 7108 1015 6
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Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century 
by John Mullan.
Oxford, 261 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 19 812865 7
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The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney. Vol. I: 1768-1773 
edited by Lars Troide.
Oxford, 353 pp., £45, June 1988, 9780198125815
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... him’. Creating an imaginary fresco of King Candaules awaiting his wife on the nuptial couch, Anthony Powell observes that the expectant monarch has in him ‘something of all men’, his spouse absorbed in her own rituals ‘something of all women’. In the legend, Candaules dies for thinking his wife’s nakedness belongs exclusively to him, to show ...

Raven’s Odyssey

D.A.N. Jones, 19 July 1984

Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... of poems edited by a Conservative MP. My first surprise was to find James Prior and Geoffrey Howe coming up the stairs behind me. Then I found that all the poets had been given red roses to wear, to distinguish them from the politicians. This was hardly necessary, since most of the politicians looked like T.S. Eliot and most of the poets looked like ...

Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat

David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... swashbuckling capitalism; Keith Joseph, who represented high-minded anti-statism; Geoffrey Howe, who represented disciplined proto-monetarism. But she saw them all off easily. In this she was greatly helped by their obvious lack of leadership qualities. Du Cann was cavalier and untrustworthy; Joseph was flaky and depressive; ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Self-Exposure at the Football Terrace, 2 September 1982

... of himself sits oddly with a rather stiffly elevated prose style – a strange combination of Anthony Powell and the ‘aforesaid’ and ‘as has been noted’ of the legal brief – and if one were to be searching for a clue to the author’s true self-valuation, one might start by looking at his syntax rather than at any of his stated sins. A further ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady, 26 November 1987

Misrule 
by Tam Dalyell.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 241 12170 1
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One Man’s Judgement: An Autobiography 
by Lord Wheatley.
Butterworth, 230 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 406 10019 5
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Changing Battlefields: The Challenge to the Labour Party 
by John Silkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £13.95, September 1987, 9780241121719
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Heseltine: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... task force. Much of the anger in John Silkin’s posthumously published book is directed against Anthony Wedgwood Benn. Labour’s internal wars of the late Seventies are refought here, culminating in the 1981 election for the Party’s deputy leadership, in which Silkin stood as standard-bearer for the non-Bennite Left. Although he was eliminated in the ...

Diary

Tam Dalyell: Questions for Mrs Thatcher, 23 July 1987

... Russian invasion of Afghanistan, I was one of my party’s delegation to the United Nations. Sir Anthony Parsons, then Ambassador arranged a meeting for us with his Russian counterpart, Oleg Tryanovsky. Forcefully and politely, I voiced to him the conventional wisdom in Britain on the subject of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and asked him if it was all ...

Whitehall Farce

Paul Foot, 12 October 1989

The Intelligence Game: Illusions and Delusions of International Espionage 
by James Rusbridger.
Bodley Head, 320 pp., £12.95, August 1989, 0 370 31242 2
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The Truth about Hollis 
by W.J. West.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7156 2286 2
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... of which, to an average MI5 man or woman, can be anywhere to the left of, say, Sir Geoffrey Howe. Who controls these ‘controllers’? That question is answered very forcefully by Rusbridger. In 1963, Lord Denning wrote (apparently meaning it): ‘The Security Services (MI5) are, in the eye of the law, ordinary citizens with no powers greater than ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble, 3 December 2015

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... Union. It’s instructive to compare the account Moore gives of this fiasco to the one provided by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe in The Blunders of Our Governments, their litany of the cock-ups of the modern British state. Even in this exalted company – the Millennium Dome, the ERM disaster – the poll tax takes pride of place, ‘the blunder to end all ...

Nuclear Argument

Keith Kyle, 18 April 1985

Objections to Nuclear Defence: Philosophers on Deterrence 
edited by Nigel Blake and Kay Pole.
Routledge, 187 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 7102 0249 0
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Reagan and the World: Imperial Policy in the New Cold War 
by Jeff McMahan.
Pluto, 214 pp., £3.95, August 1984, 0 86104 602 1
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A future that will work 
by David Owen.
Viking, 192 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80564 5
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The Most Dangerous Decade: World Militarism and the New Non-Aligned Peace Movement 
by Ken Coates.
Spokesman, 211 pp., £15, July 1984, 9780851244051
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... often repetitive of each other and some seem to differ little from political polemics, but with Anthony Kenny, Michael Dummett, Roger Ruston and Bernard Williams among the contributors there is much that is worth considering. All four of these philosophers reject the notion that it is meaningful to have the bomb without having the hypothetical intention to ...

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