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19 January 1989
Seasons of the Seal 
by Fred Bruemmer and Brian Davies.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0214 5
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Whale Nation 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 191 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 224 02555 4
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Falling for a dolphin 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 47 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 224 02659 3
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Prisoners of the Seas 
by K.A. Gourlay.
Zed, 256 pp., £25.95, November 1988, 0 86232 686 9
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Progress for a Small Planet 
by Barbara Ward.
Earthscan, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1988, 1 85383 028 3
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Future Earth: Exploring the Frontiers of Space 
edited by Nigel Calder and John Newell.
Christopher Helm, 255 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780747004202
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Sizewell B: An Anatomy of the Enquiry 
by Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue.
Macmillan, 474 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 333 38944 1
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Early Green Politics 
by Peter Gould.
Harvester, 225 pp., £29.95, June 1988, 0 7108 1192 6
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Dreamers of the Absolute 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Radius, 312 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 09 173240 9
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The Coming of the Greens 
by Jonathon Porritt and David Winner.
Fontana, 287 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 00 637244 9
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Ecology and Socialism 
by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 122 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 09 182247 5
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... have brought adventitious purchasers for the first three of these books. Fred Bruemmer’s remarkable photographs follow the lives and the 4000-mile migrations of seals southwards from Greenland, and BrianDavies, founder twenty years ago of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, tells of his success in 1983 in persuading the EEC Governments to ban the import of baby seal products. By 1987 he had ...
6 April 1995
The Davies​ Report: The ‘Great Battle’ in Swansea 
by Michael Davies.
Thoemmes, 139 pp., £3.99, October 1994, 1 85506 366 2
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... students, and by some of their colleagues, including Colwyn Williamson, who had been lecturing in philosophy in Swansea since 1967, and Michael Cohen, a former Tory voter described by Sir Michael Davies as a ‘careful and reasonable sort of person’. In early 1990, all four lecturers, Hunt, Maclean, Williamson and Cohen, formally complained to the Academic Secretary of the University, Mr Jeffrey ...

Dependencies

Elizabeth Young

25 February 1993
The Case of Anna Kavan 
by David Callard.
Peter Owen, 240 pp., £16.95, January 1993, 0 7206 0867 8
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... never comfortable with Kavan,’ Michael Sheldon wrote in Friends of Promise, his book about Connolly. He was presumably referring to her heroin addiction. Friends and mentors over the years – Rhys Davies. Peter Owen, Brian Aldiss – have made considerable efforts to dispel such feelings of uncase by stressing how smart and cheerful she, was how little her drug addiction appeared to affect her. Such ...

Little More than an Extension of France

Hugo Young: The British Isles

6 January 2000
The Isles: A History 
by Norman Davies.
Macmillan, 1222 pp., £30, November 1999, 9780333763704
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... followed, in another two hundred, by settlement in two distinct zones, one mainly Celtic – behind those mountains, and on the Green Isle to the west – the other exclusively Germanic. Thus, Norman Davies writes, ‘the conditions had been created where England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales could begin the initial and most tentative phase of their crystallisation.’ The Isles’ deep history ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Ageing Crims

3 June 2015
... apologies that I see my grandfather’s history of larceny in the story of the Hatton Garden heist. We learn that three of the men who were arrested at gunpoint in Kent the other day are pensioners. Brian Reader is 76 and the owner of a second-hand car dealership called Pentire Cars. He is also the owner of the kind of moustache you used to see on ‘Wanted’ posters. While the nation hates ...

Sisterhoods

Brian​ Harrison

6 December 1984
Significant Sisters: The Grassroots of Active Feminism 1839-1939 
by Margaret Forster.
Secker, 353 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 436 16113 3
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Stepping Stones to Women’s Liberty: Feminist Ideas in the Women’s Movement 1900-1918 
by Les Garner.
Gower, 142 pp., £15, July 1984, 0 435 32357 1
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Women First: The Female Tradition in English Physical Education 1880-1980 
by Sheila Fletcher.
Athlone, 194 pp., £18, July 1984, 0 485 11248 5
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A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working-Class Women 1890-1940 
by Elizabeth Roberts.
Blackwell, 246 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 631 13572 3
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... dimensions between 1839 and 1939. She outlines and evaluates the contribution of Caroline Norton to law reform, Elizabeth Blackwell to the medical profession, Florence Nightingale to nursing, Emily Davies to education, Josephine Butler to the attack on the double standard of morality, Margaret Sanger to birth control, and Emma Goldman to causes that anticipate the feminism of the 1970s. Forster offers ...
4 April 1985
The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the ‘Belgrano’ Affair 
by Clive Ponting.
Sphere, 214 pp., £2.50, March 1985, 0 7221 6944 2
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... Contrary to the impression formed in some quarters, I do not know Clive Ponting well. Apart from a three-hour meeting in the presence of Brian Raymond, his remarkably gifted and industrious solicitor, in the early autumn of last year, I have never had a proper conversation with him. And that meeting related to the issue of whether I should ...

Medes and Persians

Paul Foot: The Government’s Favourite Accountants

2 November 2000
... and asked about the role played by the family of Mr Newton’s Junior Health Minister, Edwina Currie. At the time of the Wessex computer scandal, he said, Mrs Currie’s husband Ray and his brother Brian were senior executives at Arthur Andersen. Mrs Currie was incensed by this reference, and complained of misuse of Parliamentary privilege. When I asked her whether the Secretary of State had given a ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley

11 July 2002
Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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TheCat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... in Gaza. It was a difficult novel to write (difficult, too, to read) and was preceded by a long period of nervous breakdown and excitement. The main strand of the narrative follows the short life of Brian Foxe, manifestly drawn from Trev, even down to the stammer. His mother, Mrs Foxe, is just as clearly drawn from Mrs Ward. She is addicted to Mrs Ward’s favourite epithet, ‘splendid’, and, like ...
28 October 1999
Living on Thin Air: The New Economy 
by Charles Leadbeater.
Viking, 244 pp., £17.99, July 1999, 0 670 87669 0
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... page lead in the Financial Times; the glory and the marketing budget. ‘It is only by treating people like Drayson and Bellhouse as heroes for creating wealth from knowledge’ – Paul Drayson and Brian Bellhouse are both medical inventors – ‘that Britain will develop a fully fledged entrepreneurial culture,’ Leadbeater puffs, as if Thatcherism had never happened, and Britain was not a country ...

In Bloody Orkney

Robert Crawford: George Mackay Brown

22 February 2007
George Mackay Brown: The Life 
by Maggie Fergusson.
Murray, 363 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 7195 5659 7
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The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown 
edited by Brian​ Murray.
Murray, 547 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7195 6884 6
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... from which they can draw (and sometimes leech) the resources they need for their work. Following the awkwardly constructed and uninvitingly written ‘literary biography’ of Brown by Rowena and Brian Murray, published in 2004, this new account is clear and stylish. Fergusson’s most arresting new material concerns his dealings with women, about which she is remarkably non-judgmental. At times ...
22 February 1990
Against the Tide: Diaries 1973-1976 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 512 pp., £20, October 1989, 0 09 173775 3
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... of power and establish a new social contract.’ None of the guests, it seems, could manage a reply. Industrialists, bankers, rich Tories of every description felt that the day of doom was nigh. John Davies, Secretary of State for Industry in the Tory Government and a former Director-General of the CBI, called his children round the hearth to tell them this was the last Christmas of its kind they would ...

Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Sonnet

Barbara Everett: The Sonnets

8 May 2008
... by ‘A Lover’s Complaint’, and few go along with the new movement of Sonnets studies. And during the last few years this readerly hesitation has been supplemented by the able scholarship of Brian Vickers, first in the pages of the TLS and then in a book published last year.† Vickers has a double aim: to argue that ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ is simply too bad to be Shakespearean but ...

Not My Fault

John Lanchester: New Labour’s Terrible Memoirs

17 July 2008
Speaking for Myself: The Autobiography 
by Cherie Blair.
Little, Brown, 421 pp., £18.99, May 2008, 978 1 4087 0098 3
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Prezza, My Story: Pulling No Punches 
by John Prescott, with Hunter Davies.
Headline, 405 pp., £18.99, May 2008, 978 0 7553 1775 2
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A Question of Honour: Inside New Labour and the True Story of the Cash for Peerages Scandal 
by Michael Levy.
Simon and Schuster, 310 pp., £18.99, May 2008, 978 1 84737 315 1
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... after reading 400-odd pages of her memoir, that I still haven’t heard her real voice. A pity, since she seems not to have had a ghost, unlike John Prescott, who was ventriloquised by Hunter Davies; Michael Levy credits a journalist friend, Ned Temko, for his ‘invaluable help, talent and patience’. You certainly don’t hear the Cherie described by Michael Levy, ‘every bit the get-ahead ...
4 November 1982
Powers of the Press: The World’s Great Newspapers 
by Martin Walker.
Quartet, 401 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 7043 2271 4
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Goodbye Gutenberg: The Newspaper Revolution of the 1980s 
by Anthony Smith.
Oxford, 367 pp., £3.95, January 1982, 9780198272434
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New Technology and Industrial Relations in Fleet Street 
by Roderick Martin.
Oxford, 367 pp., £17.50, October 1981, 9780198272434
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News Ltd: Why you can’t read all about it 
by Brian​ Whitaker.
Minority Press Group, 176 pp., £3.25, June 1981, 0 906890 04 7
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... revenue, the expansion of regional and local newspapers and the growth of electronic data transmission for the provision of up-to-date news and information.’ Some of these problems are discussed by Brian Whitaker in News Ltd: Why you can’t read all about it. While it is mainly an account of the attempt of the Liverpool Free Press to provide a radical local newspaper (which richly deserved to ...

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