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Big Fish

Frank Kermode, 9 September 1993

Tell Them I’m on my Way 
by Arnold Goodman.
Chapmans, 464 pp., £20, August 1993, 1 85592 636 9
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Not an Englishman: Conversations with Lord Goodman 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 237 pp., £17.99, August 1993, 1 85619 365 9
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... The portrait of Lord Goodman on the jacket of his memoirs is from a photograph; the one on David Selbourne’s book is from a portrait by Lucian Freud. In the first he looks severe but quizzical, a kind man but not a man to be put upon; in the second he looks quite desperately sad, as if he had done much to little or no avail, and might well have been put upon quite heavily ...

Taking the Blame

Jean McNicol: Jennie Lee, 7 May 1998

Jennie Lee: A Life 
by Patricia Hollis.
Oxford, 459 pp., £25, November 1997, 0 19 821580 0
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... remembered. She relied instead on political will, her influence with Wilson and on Lord Goodman, a lawyer and old friend who was quickly co-opted. His presence made her job much easier and a number of people thought that he ran things while the Minister swanned about going to openings, but they should at least give her some credit for choosing ...

This Trying Time

A.N. Wilson: John Sparrow, 1 October 1998

The Warden 
by John Lowe.
HarperCollins, 258 pp., £19.99, August 1998, 0 00 215392 0
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... dirty postcards in a drawer’. Then I remembered the line by which the same poet skewered Matthew Arnold: ‘And thrust his gift in prison till it died’. Sparrow was a man who appeared to have had every girt handed him by the gods: unshakeable homosexuality – no pram in the hall to make war on his early promise; brutal, but stunning handsomeness; an exact ...

Memories are made of this

Patricia Beer, 16 December 1993

Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? 
by Giles Gordon.
Chatto, 352 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 7011 6022 5
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Yesterday Came Suddenly 
by Francis King.
Constable, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1993, 9780094722200
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Excursions in the Real World 
by William Trevor.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 09 177086 6
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... as to detail; but his choice in this respect is often unsure. Having described, quite relevantly, Arnold Goodman as ‘physically a dauntingly large and hairy man’, he adds that there was a Goodman brother who ‘was smaller in stature’. Now I come to think of it, though, that might interest an alien. Francis ...

Keeping Left

Edmund Dell, 2 October 1980

The Castle Diaries 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 778 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77420 4
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... beds, he could not bring himself to do it himself. He brought in the magnificent, if always late, Arnold Goodman. Wilson won four elections in difficult times. His third and fourth governments were elected in unprecedently difficult times, but his Ministers felt themselves to be very experienced. Most of the leading people had served between 1964 and ...

Dingy Quadrilaterals

Ian Gilmour: The Profumo Case, 19 October 2006

Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir 
by David Profumo.
Murray, 291 pp., £20, September 2006, 0 7195 6608 8
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... unfortunate. The ‘industrious garbage collector’ immediately issued a writ, his solicitor Arnold Goodman maintaining that it would be difficult to conceive a graver libel against a Member of Parliament. Naturally we defended the action. Nearly two years later, when the exchange of documents took place the plaintiffs disclosed two documents, sent ...

Who is Lucian Freud?

Rosemary Hill: John Craxton goes to Crete, 21 October 2021

John Craxton: A Life of Gifts 
by Ian Collins.
Yale, 383 pp., £25, May, 978 0 300 25529 4
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... them. Freud, furious, claimed they were fake and had a cease and desist letter sent to Craxton by Arnold Goodman, the feared society lawyer. When Craxton exhibited one of his portraits of Freud with the Fine Art Society, Freud said it was not of him and had it withdrawn. He created an impression of Craxton as a chancer making dishonest use of an old and ...


John Bayley, 17 March 1988

End of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal 1979-1981 
by Philip Toynbee.
Bloomsbury, 422 pp., £25, February 1988, 0 7475 0132 7
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... to be a real novelist and a real poet, but in his ‘experimental’ novels – Tea with Mrs Goodman and The Garden to the Sea – and in the gargantuan poem Pantaloon which occupied him for so many years, the words seem always to be getting in the way, too keen to be doing their work, like dogs jumping up all over the reader and distracting him. No ...

Much like the 1950s

David Edgar: The Sixties, 7 June 2007

White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Little, Brown, 878 pp., £22.50, August 2006, 0 316 72452 1
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Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Abacus, 892 pp., £19.99, May 2006, 0 349 11530 3
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... down well, and John Arden’s Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance was a notorious box-office disaster. But Arnold Wesker’s Roots (which is cited as having disappointing ticket sales in its first run) did capacity business on its revival alongside the other two plays in the trilogy. And Look Back in Anger itself was an immediate television hit, a successful movie and ...

Good History

Christopher Hill, 5 March 1981

After the Reformation: Essays in Honour of J.H. Hexter 
edited by Barbara Malament.
Manchester, 363 pp., £17.95, December 1980, 0 7190 0805 0
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Puritans and Adventurers 
by T.H. Breen.
Oxford, 270 pp., £10, October 1980, 0 19 502728 0
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On History 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sarah Matthews.
Weidenfeld, 226 pp., £10.95, January 1981, 0 297 77880 3
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Sociology and History 
by Peter Burke.
Allen and Unwin, 116 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 19 502728 0
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... of his great work, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought. Revolutionary thinkers like Ponet, Goodman and Knox, he argues, owed more to Lutheran than to Calvinist ideas; and he traces justification of popular revolt to a group of Parisian nominalists of whom the most radical was Jacques Almain, the most significant John Mair (1467-1550) – a Scot who ...

Scoop after Scoop

Ian Jack: Chapman Pincher’s Scoops, 5 June 2014

Dangerous to Know: A Life 
by Chapman Pincher.
Biteback, 386 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 1 84954 651 5
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... to reveal quite so many things that the [British] government wanted kept secret,’ writes Michael Goodman of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. And yet Pincher believes he never threatened the security of the state – that would be the work of a traitor, which is the way he described Snowden in a recent television interview. But if he ...

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