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Praising God

David Underdown, 10 June 1993

Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 428 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 415 03282 2
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... which form the subject of this book. Rather than provide a narrative account of the fighting, Charles Carlton tries to convey the flavour of the wars as combatants and non-combatants experienced them. He follows current fashion by treating the fighting in England, Ireland and Scotland as part of a single struggle, and shows that in all three kingdoms ...

At the Carlton Club

Andrew O’Hagan: Maggie, Denis and Mandy, 2 January 2020

... Deedes, the illustrious former editor of the Telegraph, was celebrating his 90th birthday at the Carlton Club. I had got to know him a few years earlier, on a Unicef trip to Sudan, and we ended up spending time together, first in Kenya. He was ever the eager young journalist, showing up all chatty at the grass huts in Lokichogio and asking for the ...

Intellectual Liberation

Blair Worden, 21 January 1988

Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Secker, 317 pp., £17.50, November 1987, 0 436 42512 2
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Archbishop William Laud 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 272 pp., £25, December 1987, 0 7102 0463 9
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Clarendon and his Friends 
by Richard Ollard.
Hamish Hamilton, 367 pp., £15, September 1987, 0 241 12380 1
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by Nicholas Tyacke.
Oxford, 305 pp., £30, February 1987, 0 19 822939 9
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Criticism and Compliment: The Politics of Literature in the England of Charles
by Kevin Sharpe.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £27.50, December 1987, 0 521 34239 2
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... there is Laudianism, the new-fangled High Churchmanship which was awarded political ascendancy by Charles I. Then, opposed to it, there is the old-fashioned Calvinism of that doyen of Puritan scholars, the Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher. Although the first system was less dogmatic than the second, both of them closed their adherents’ minds. Between them ...

The Great Fear

William Lamont, 21 July 1983

Charles I and the Popish Plot 
by Caroline Hibbard.
North Carolina, 342 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 8078 1520 9
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Charles I: The Personal Monarch 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 426 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 9780710094858
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The Puritan Moment: The Coming of Revolution in an English County 
by William Hunt.
Harvard, 365 pp., £24, April 1983, 0 674 73903 5
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... these studies I changed my mind about ‘the Puritan Revolution’. In an important new book, Charles I and the Popish Plot, Caroline Hibbard has tackled the origins of the Civil War by documenting the Catholic intrigue at the Court of Charles I from the late 1630s to the outbreak of Civil War. Her findings complement ...

Populist Palatial

Rosemary Hill: The View from Piccadilly, 4 March 2021

London’s West End: Creating the Pleasure District, 1800-1914 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Oxford, 400 pp., £30, September 2020, 978 0 19 882341 4
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Survey of London: Volume 53, Oxford Street 
edited by Andrew Saint.
Paul Mellon Centre, 421 pp., £75, April 2020, 978 1 913107 08 6
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... from them. London’s wealthy had been moving west since the 17th century and McWilliam fixes on Charles II’s Restoration in 1660 as the moment when the economy took off again after the uncertainties and destruction caused by the Civil Wars. The plague saw only a temporary retreat, and the population of London quadrupled between 1550 and 1700. It was ...

Ghosts in the Palace

Tom Nairn, 24 April 1997

... melancholia and regret might indeed be more seemly for the old state-nation. Yet, as the famous Carlton TV programme on the Monarchy earlier this year showed, there is no chance of that: the wake naturally takes the form of a raucous, invigorating, escalating, would-be democratic row – itself entirely at odds with the spiritual ethos of yesteryear. The ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership, 20 October 2005

... a better choice this time’. In a long dissertation the Daily Telegraph, whose editor was then Charles Moore, told its readers that Duncan Smith saw things with ‘the eyes of a voter’ and had a better ‘estimation of the huge scale of the Tory task’ than Clarke did. Moreover, he had ‘a more thoughtful analysis of what has gone wrong’ and was ...


Stephen Sedley: Judges’ Lodgings, 11 November 1999

... came to Balliol as a Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand in 1928. He boxed, rowed and through the Carlton Club became a protégé of Nancy Astor. Their friendship continued, with some alarming contact with a blood-and-nation group called the English Mistery and the offer by an emissary of the Duke of Devonshire of the safe Tory seat of Eastbourne, until the ...

Humid Fidelity

Peter Bradshaw: The letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, 16 September 1999

Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill 
edited by Mary Soames.
Black Swan, 702 pp., £15, August 1999, 0 552 99750 1
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... an event about which his circle was nervous. ‘Moran’ is a reference to his personal physician, Charles Moran, and Soames primly advises us: ‘A “Moran” was the name given by WSC to a special stimulant pill prescribed by Lord Moran for him to take before a major speech.’ Special stimulant pill? Soames offers no clue as to its chemical ...

Homely Virtues

David Cannadine, 4 August 1983

London: The Unique City 
by Steen Eiler Rasmussen.
MIT, 468 pp., £7.30, May 1982, 0 262 68027 0
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Town Planning in London: The 18th and 19th Centuries 
by Donald Olsen.
Yale, 245 pp., £25, October 1982, 0 300 02914 4
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The English Terraced House 
by Stefan Muthesius.
Yale, 278 pp., £12.50, November 1982, 0 300 02871 7
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London as it might have been 
by Felix Barker and Ralph Hyde.
Murray, 223 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 7195 3857 2
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... reaching its apogee in those early 19th-century extravaganzas in Belgravia, Regent’s Park and Carlton House Terrace. It was also adopted by the highly emulative middle classes, who produced their own provincial versions in spas like Bath, Clifton, Cheltenham and Leamington, and in resorts like Brighton, Folkestone, Eastbourne and St Leonards. By the ...

Middle Way

Paul Addison, 6 December 1979

Consensus and Disunity: The Lloyd George Coalition Government 1918-1922 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 436 pp., £15
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... The proximate cause of the fall of the Coalition was the meeting of Conservative MPs at the Carlton Club. But the long-run explanation ran deeper. Like the monarchy in the days of Charles I, the regime foundered because the Court lost touch with the Country. The mechanics of this process are beautifully displayed, the ...

The Departed Spirit

Tom Nairn, 30 October 1997

... the same was true in England? The answer was not long coming: six months, if we reckon it between Carlton’s televised debate in February and another poll conducted in August, shortly before Diana’s death, which showed the first modest anti-royal majority among the English. In April the royal family had looked like mouldering waxworks: in midsummer it ...

Character Building

Peter Campbell, 9 June 1994

Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernity 
by Jerome McGann.
Princeton, 196 pp., £25, July 1993, 0 691 06985 9
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Letters from the People 
by Lee Friedlander.
Cape, 96 pp., £75, August 1993, 9780224032957
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Margins and Marginality 
by Evelyn Tribble.
Virginia, 194 pp., $35, December 1993, 0 8139 1472 8
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... but dumb books as clumsy in their way as the Rozetti stone’ in the punning words of Robert Carlton Brown, a maker of what on the evidence of McGann’s examples must be handmade books of exemplary jokiness). Unreadability, McGann says, can be a virtue. The poems of Emily Dickinson, unpublished in her lifetime, test editorial practice. McGann’s ...
... In the centre of the room there are two skeletons. Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant, faces the front. His skeleton, tainted brown because of the speed and secrecy of its preparation, is seven feet ten inches tall. So towering are the bones, and so impossibly hefty is their accompanying leather boot, that it’s easy to walk past without noticing the adjacent filigree form ...

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