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Were I a cloud

Patricia Beer

28 January 1993
Robert Bridges: A Biography 
by Catherine Phillips.
Oxford, 363 pp., £25, August 1992, 0 19 212251 7
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... of Edmund Gosse and, of course, the two recent books on Gerard Manley Hopkins, one by Robert Martin and one by Norman White, but there has been nothing comprehensive. There is now. In Robert Bridges CatherinePhillips tells us everything we could reasonably wish to know about his life. About his poetry there is more still to be said, but one of the merits of this book is that the writer clearly points the ...

I have not lived up to it

Helen Vendler: Melancholy Hopkins

2 April 2014
The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins Vols I-II: Correspondence 
edited by R.K.R. Thorton and Catherine Phillips.
Oxford, 1184 pp., £175, March 2013, 978 0 19 965370 6
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...  dangerous; / does set danc- / ing blood’. Hopkins’s youthful practice of drawing (Ruskinian in its careful rendering of differentiating details) helped him to note a host of individual qualities and aspects even in a single creature. When his heart is ‘stirred’ by the non-‘dangerous’ beauty of the kestrel’s flight (in ‘The Windhover’) and he wishes to grasp it as a whole, he must ...

Odd Union

David Cannadine

20 October 1994
Mrs Jordan’s Profession: The Story of a Great Actress and a Future King 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 415 pp., £18, October 1994, 0 670 84159 5
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... shock and to anger. Like her near contemporaries Sarah Siddons and Elizabeth Farren, Dora Jordan was born (in 1761) in humble circumstances, but with strong theatrical connections. Her parents, Grace Phillips and Francis Bland, were unmarried and her mother was herself an actress. When Dora was 13, her father disappeared, and not long after, she made her first appearance on the stage in Dublin. She was ...

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Nicholas Penny: The Art World

14 December 2017
The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... Al Taubman and Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis. De Pury was private curator to Baron ‘Heini’ – Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza – then chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, then established Phillips de Pury, which he hoped would ‘turn the auction house duoply that was Sotheby’s and Christie’s into a triumvirate that included myself’. ‘Courting Medicis is now what I do,’ he writes ...

Simply Doing It

Thomas Laqueur

22 February 1996
The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain 1650-1950 
by Roy Porter and Lesley Hall.
Yale, 414 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 300 06221 4
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... the problem of population as articulated by Malthus. They suggest that the Essay on Population cast a pall on the 18th-century advice to be fruitful and multiply, but that doesn’t go far enough. As Catherine Gallagher has argued, the Essay completely reverses the relationship between the healthy individual body and the body social. Rather than being mutually supportive they are suddenly at odds: the ...

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