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18 August 1994
The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson. Vol. I: 1854-April 1874 
edited by Bradford Booth and Ernest Mehew.
Yale, 525 pp., £29.95, July 1994, 0 300 05183 2
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The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson. Vol. II: April 1874-July 1879 
edited by Bradford Booth and Ernest Mehew.
Yale, 352 pp., £29.95, July 1994, 0 300 06021 1
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... of letters in the Tusitala edition of 1924, since when innumerable further letters have turned up. Plenty of need, then, for a new edition, and the task was undertaken as far back as the Fifties by BradfordBooth. Indeed before his death in 1968 Booth had, with some assistance from Ernest Mehew, more or less completed it, but on what appeared to Mehew as faulty principles. Thus the present elaborate and ...
3 May 1984
The Letters of Anthony Trollope 
edited by John Hall.
Stanford, 1082 pp., $87.50, July 1983, 0 8047 1076 7
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Anthony Trollope: Dream and Art 
by Andrew Wright.
Macmillan, 173 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 34593 2
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... ago. The capable and indefatigable editor and annotator of these letters tells us that the collection includes twice as many as were printed, many only in summary, in the earlier edition by the late BradfordBooth. Many of the newly printed ones are substantial and, in their various fields of interest, important. There is much official correspondence on postal matters – it is gratifying to note the ...

In His Hot Head

Andrew O’Hagan: Robert Louis Stevenson

17 February 2005
Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography 
by Claire Harman.
HarperCollins, 503 pp., £25, February 2005, 0 00 711321 8
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... are always balanced with a good sense of what surrounded and provoked them. She makes far less imaginative use than she might have of Stevenson’s collected letters, edited with enormous love by BradfordBooth and Ernest Mehew and published by Yale in 1994, so that his relations with his friends, those long-suffering close-readers and near-lusters, never achieve anything of the density in her book ...

A Fue Respectable Friends

John Lloyd: British brass bands

5 April 2001
The British Brass Band: A Musical and Social History 
by Trevor Herbert.
Oxford, 381 pp., £48, June 2000, 0 19 816698 2
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... was the Cyfarthfa band, in the iron-smelting centre of Merthyr Tydfil. Robert Crawshay, the owner of the Cyfarthfa works, in effect created a private orchestra. He employed a family of musicians from Bradford, members of London theatre orchestras and strolling players; and, like some Renaissance prince or 17th-century cardinal, gave them light jobs in the factory as well as (so they say) fees for ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997

1 January 1998
... I look out again just before I go to bed and it’s still tearing through the clear sky with its 60-million-mile train. Maundy Thursday, Yorkshire. See on billboards in Leeds that HMQ has been in Bradford washing the feet of selected pensioners from the Bradford diocese, or rather paying in order not to. Interviewed, all the pensioners say they are overwhelmed at the honour done to the region; one ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel

22 June 1995
Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... that old Communist Party and Marxist fear of the lumpenproletariat – the supposedly animal-like lower depths; while the so-called ‘underclass’ has remarkable resemblances to those whom Charles Booth, in his multi-volume London Life and Labour, labelled as the ‘vicious’. Under any of these optics, the people become objects of disgust, at best yokels and buffoons, at worst hooligans and ...

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