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Local Heroes

John Horgan, 7 February 1985

Elections, Politics and Society in Ireland 1832-1885 
by Theodore Hoppen.
Oxford, 569 pp., £29.50, October 1984, 0 19 822630 6
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Ireland and the English Crisis 
by Tom Paulin.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 906427 63 0
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The Great Dan: A Biography of Daniel O’Connell 
by Charles ChenevixTrench.
Cape, 345 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 224 02176 1
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... were only dimly apprehended and were largely discounted. This was notably true of O’Connell, and Chenevix Trench’s book puts it bluntly enough: ‘The north was terra incognita to [O’Connell]: he hardly ever set foot there, and on one spectacularly unsuccessful visit narrowly escaped ambush by booking coach-horses for one day and arriving, under a ...

The King and I

Alan Bennett, 30 January 1992

... historical characters got a tick if they were on the side of liberty (Cromwell, Chatham), a cross (Charles I, James II) if they held up the march of progress. Because he went in for active royalty and made some attempt to govern on his own account rather than leaving it to the Whig aristocracy, George III had been written up as a villain and a clumsy ...

At which Englishman’s speech does English terminate?

Henry Hitchings: The ‘OED’, 7 March 2013

Words of the World: A Global History of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ 
by Sarah Ogilvie.
Cambridge, 241 pp., £17.99, November 2012, 978 1 107 60569 5
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... to the left of the headword. Murray’s successors William Craigie and Charles Onions tussled over whether to maintain this practice. Proofs of the Supplement dated 11 September 1929 retain Murray’s so-called tramlines; in the next proofs, dated 2 July 1930, they are gone. Between these dates, Onions joined the BBC Advisory Committee on Spoken English, where he became acutely aware of the prejudices that led some people to stigmatise new or imported terms; tramlines, he felt, didn’t help ...

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