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21 August 1980
... with acknowledgments to ArthurGold and Robert Fizdale, authors of ‘Misia’ ‘I’ve left that great page blank,’ said Mallarmé When asked why he’d not written of his boat. There are such things as mean too much to say. You ...
4 September 1980
by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale.
Macmillan, 337 pp., £10, June 1980, 0 333 28165 9
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... of high society. Instead, she was, for her time, the incarnation of that special energy released when talent and privilege meet. This book has several faults but at least one great merit: ArthurGold and Robert Fizdale have seen that Misia’s personality, even if it can never quite be captured, remains highly interesting for the light it casts on how talent can cohabit with gracious living and ...
5 January 2017
... the path leading down and away, through a huddle of thorns, to a windless sky, far from the church gate, forgotten in folk song and fable, where nothing seems once and for all but the proximate gold of the final extinction: a slow burn of gristle and bone, like the slaughterhouse fire, that once, on the road to perdition, he traded for home ...

The Invasion

Simon Armitage

23 July 2009
... translated from ‘The Alliterative Morte Arthure’ King Arthur was on his mighty boat with many men, enclosed in a cabin among copious equipment. And while resting on a richly arrayed bed he was soothed to sleep by the swaying of the sea. And he dreamed of a ...


Thomas Jones: Death in Florence

21 June 2012
... The story, as my grandmother always told it, was that her grandfather was pushed to his death down a liftshaft in Florence for the sake of his gold watch. It never occurred to me to wonder whether or not this was true. The events it related were too remote – a great-great-grandfather a hyphen too far. My grandmother’s grandfather was pushed ...

Unction and Slaughter

Simon Walker: Edward IV

10 July 2003
Arthurian Myths and Alchemy: The Kingship of Edward IV 
by Jonathan Hughes.
Sutton, 354 pp., £30, October 2002, 0 7509 1994 9
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... introspection, a search for the historical origins of the nation’s present plight. The verse chronicler John Hardyng revived the ‘matter of Britain’, pointedly recounting the betrayal of Arthur by his peers and bemoaning the failures of order and justice that marked the reign of Cadwallader. Elaborate genealogical rolls were produced in commercial quantities, tracing the threatened dynasty ...

Under the Soles of His Feet

Stephen Alford: Henry’s Wars

4 April 2019
The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 297 pp., £35, January 2018, 978 0 19 880286 0
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...  in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans’. The English weren’t great theoreticians of war, though translations of Caesar and Machiavelli were printed in Elizabeth I’s reign. ArthurGolding, the translator of Gallic War (1565), made a robust statement of the English crown’s rightful claim to the kingdom of France, the central assumption underlying Henry’s campaigns; while ...


Colin Burrow: Walter Ralegh

8 March 2012
Sir Walter Ralegh in Life and Legend 
by Mark Nicholls and Penry Williams.
Continuum, 378 pp., £25, February 2012, 978 1 4411 1209 5
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The Favourite: Sir Walter Ralegh in Elizabeth I’s Court 
by Mathew Lyons.
Constable, 354 pp., £14.99, March 2011, 978 1 84529 679 7
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... and whom Elizabeth trusted more than any other woman. He was also related on his mother’s side to sailors and adventurers. Sir Humphrey Gilbert was his half-brother, and more distantly related were Arthur Gorges, a goodish poet who could also captain a ship, and Ferdinando Gorges, a confirmed sailor and adventurer. After a standard-issue early career at Oxford, then the Inns of Court, Ralegh began to ...
21 August 1980
On the Edge of Paradise 
by David Newsome.
Murray, 405 pp., £17.50, June 1980, 0 7195 3690 1
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... Dining at Hatchett’s restaurant in September 1903, Arthur Benson observed his image reflected endlessly and from a variety of angles in mirrors around the room. He was to fill 180 volumes with almost five million words in an attempt to scrutinise and ...

Owning Art

Arthur​ C. Danto

7 March 1996
Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in 17th-Century Europe 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 264 pp., £35, September 1995, 0 300 06437 3
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Art & Money 
by Marc Shell.
Chicago, 230 pp., £27.95, June 1995, 0 226 75213 5
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... ‘which seem today to enjoy about the same esteem as secondhand clothing’ – outclassed paintings in the category of pictorial arts: a set of tapestries after Raphael’s designs (woven in gold and silver, to be sure) was valued at nearly triple the price of the artist’s painting, The Holy Family, though Raphael’s were among the most highly sought-after paintings in the time ...

Short Cuts

Helen Thompson: West Ham Disunited

25 April 2018
... an Olympic stadium that a football club could inherit when the games were over. In 2013 the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham, under the majority ownership of David Gold and David Sullivan, two businessmen who had made their money from pornography, agreed that the club would acquire a 99-year lease on the Olympic stadium. By then, West Ham had gone too far to retreat ...

Oh, you clever people!

Tom Crewe: The Unrelenting Bensons

19 April 2017
A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion and the Bensons in Victorian Britain 
by Simon Goldhill.
Chicago, 337 pp., £24.50, October 2016, 978 0 226 39378 0
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... Arthur Benson​ never stopped dreaming about his father. Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, dropped dead saying the Confession in 1896 – he sank onto his prayer cushion and didn’t get up ...

At Tate Britain

Nicholas Penny: Pre-Raphaelite works on paper

3 May 2017
... on paper or vellum, than when painting on canvas, and yet his work derives much of its strength from monumental aspirations. The present exhibition includes the preparatory study in ‘gouache, gold paint and ink on paper’ for murals showing the story of Perseus, intended for the home of the young Arthur Balfour. Here we also see how the reluctant action of his figures can be accompanied by ...

On the Titanic

Rosemary Hill: ‘Ocean Liners’ at the V&A

24 May 2018
... as a fashion for fitness and outdoor living, saw the situation reverse to the point where avant-garde houses were made to look like ships, with rails, portholes and decks or ‘sleeping porches’. Arthur Bliss’s house Pen Pits, built in 1935 well inland in Somerset, featured exterior ladders from roof to sun deck. Meanwhile in real ships the deck became as much a social space as the interior ...

Fleeing the Mother Tongue

Jeremy Harding: Rimbaud

9 October 2003
Rimbaud Complete 
edited by Wyatt Mason.
Scribner, 656 pp., £20, November 2003, 0 7432 3950 4
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Collected Poems 
by Arthur​ Rimbaud, edited by Martin Sorrell.
Oxford, 337 pp., £8.99, June 2001, 0 19 283344 8
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L'Art de Rimbaud 
by Michel Murat.
Corti, 492 pp., €23, October 2002, 2 7143 0796 5
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Arthur​ Rimbaud 
by Jean-Jacques Lefrère.
Fayard, 1242 pp., €44.50, May 2001, 2 213 60691 9
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Arthur​ Rimbaud: Presence of an Enigma 
by Jean-Luc Steinmetz, edited by Jon Graham.
Welcome Rain, 464 pp., $20, May 2002, 1 56649 251 3
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by Graham Robb.
Picador, 552 pp., £8.99, September 2001, 0 330 48803 1
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... Arthur Rimbaud, the boy who gave it all up for something different, is a legend, both as a poet and a renouncer of poetry. He had finished with literature before the age of 21. By the time his work began to ...

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