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At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Peter Campbell: Saul Steinberg’s Playful Modernism, 1 January 2009

... Illuminations catalogue was reproduced in these pages, the exhibition had just opened in the Morgan Library in New York. Most of the items were (or were very like) drawings made for print. The framed originals would not, I thought, add much to the intense pleasure to be had from the reproductions. Now that the exhibition has come to London – it can be ...

One word says to its mate

Claire Harman: W.S. Graham, 4 October 2001

The Nightfisherman: Selected Letters of W.S. Graham 
edited by Michael Snow and Margaret Snow.
Carcanet, 401 pp., £12.95, November 1999, 1 85754 445 5
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... each new position gained. ‘What do I write to say? I don’t know,’ he complained to Edwin Morgan in an undated letter (probably from the early 1950s). ‘The kind of poem I want to write is very far away from even TNF’ – ‘The Nightfishing’ – ‘I know more about poetry than I’ve ever done before. Maybe that is what is wrong but I don’t ...

The Amazing Mrs Charke

David Nokes, 1 June 1989

The Well-Known Troublemaker: A Life of Charlotte Charke 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 231 pp., £19.95, November 1988, 0 571 14743 7
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The Ladies: Female Patronage of Restoration Drama 
by David Roberts.
Oxford, 188 pp., £22.50, February 1989, 0 19 811743 4
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The Complete Lover: Eros, Nature and Artifice in the 18th-Century French Novel 
by Angelica Goodden.
Oxford, 329 pp., £32.50, January 1989, 0 19 815820 3
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... In her ingenious ‘autobiography’ of Delariviere Manley, A Woman of No Character (1987), Fidelis Morgan contrived an effect of literary trompe l’oeil. Artfully interweaving extracts from Manley’s ‘secret histories’, The Adventures of Rivella (1714) and The New Atalantis (1709), with passages of factual commentary, she offered a counterfeit self-portrait of a woman whose true identity might best be represented as a series of fictional impostures ...

Boomster and the Quack

Stefan Collini: How to Get on in the Literary World, 2 November 2006

Writers, Readers and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918 
by Philip Waller.
Oxford, 1181 pp., £85, April 2006, 0 19 820677 1
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... Grub Street Cleopatra on her barge. As a junior member of the Cabinet with intellectual leanings, Charles Masterman had been charged with doing something that would produce effective propaganda for the Allied cause, especially in the neutral United States. He responded by convening in Whitehall a gathering of ‘eminent authors’, attended by William ...

At the British Library

Peter Campbell: Mapping London, 25 January 2007

... in about 1688 that shows some new building, but nothing on anything like the scale of what, had Charles I survived or Charles II been in funds, would have lorded it over a long Thames frontage. Fires in 1691 and 1698 finally put an end to Whitehall Palace. Court offices were relocated in the undamaged tennis ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Magdalen College Portraits, 3 May 1984

... list is far from remote. Indeed it is regrettably relevant. It is Political Violence in Ireland by Charles Townshend. I have been singing Townshend’s praises for years past. I think he is the outstanding authority on a subject of vital importance. His new book presents the essential theme in Irish history ever since the European Revolutions of 1848. The ...

What a carry-on

Seamus Perry: W.S. Graham, 18 July 2019

W.S. Graham: New Selected Poems 
edited by Matthew Francis.
Faber, 144 pp., £12.99, September 2018, 978 0 571 34844 2
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W.S. Graham 
edited by Michael Hofmann.
NYRB, 152 pp., £9.99, October 2018, 978 1 68137 276 1
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... irony which makes a joke of the self-pity at the same time – as when he characterises himself to Charles Monteith, his worldly editor at Faber and Faber, as a ‘simple ploughboy from the north’, which he certainly wasn’t. In his bouncy Memoirs of the Forties (1965), Julian Maclaren-Ross offers a memorable portrait of Graham brooding over his pint, a man ...


Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... to see home as a ‘provincial’ bore, there have been poets around for some time, such as Edwin Morgan and Roy Fisher, who give the lie to that. Home is no longer ‘so sad’. At home few people speak Proper English all the time. Home-based poetry may be in dialect, which is present in nearly all the writers considered here: but it may also fuel itself ...


Claude Rawson, 1 October 1981

The Sinking of the Titanic 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Carcanet, 98 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 85635 372 8
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Paul Celan: Poems 
translated by Michael Hamburger.
Carcanet, 307 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 0 85635 313 2
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Talk about the Last Poet 
by Charles Johnston.
Bodley Head, 78 pp., £4.50, July 1981, 0 370 30434 9
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... move (‘firmness and urbanity’). From Ragtime we learn that the ship’s principal owner, J.P. Morgan, was portrayed by cartoonists with cigar and top-hat (‘incarnation of power’). The poem introduces an ironic variation. A garrulous Russian exile of 1912 uttering revolutionary cant aboard the Titanic in an exquisite haze of Partagas, and quarrelsome ...

Hatpin through the Brain

Jonathan Meades: Closing Time for the Firm, 9 June 2022

The Palace Papers 
by Tina Brown.
Century, 571 pp., £20, April, 978 1 5291 2470 5
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... stand. Their nation, of whose actuality they seem to possess only the frailest knowledge: Prince Charles, already well into middle age, was surprised to learn from a bibliomane that Charing Cross Road had once been the centre of the London book trade. He is constantly bemused by farmers using pesticides.What they do feel they know is that their subjects ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... focused on thirty individual cases, including those involving three cabinet ministers, Blunkett, Charles Clarke and John Prescott. Edis told the court that while their papers were busy hacking to find evidence of other people’s affairs – in January 2003 the Sun ran a story calling Andy Gilchrist, then leading the Fire Brigade Union in a series of strikes ...

Scribblers and Assassins

Charles Nicholl: The Crimes of Thomas Drury, 31 October 2002

... he pursued a cat-and-mouse game of rapprochement with conspiratorial Catholic exiles like Thomas Morgan, Charles Paget and Charles Arundel. In the view of Sir Francis Walsingham, Stafford’s relations with the enemy went far beyond the requirements of secret diplomacy, and ...

Poets and Pretenders

John Sutherland, 2 April 1987

The Great Pretender 
by James Atlas.
Viking, 239 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 9780670814619
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The Position of the Body 
by Richard Stern.
Northwestern, 207 pp., $21.95, November 1986, 0 8101 0730 9
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The Setting Sun and the Rolling World 
by Charles Mungoshi.
Heinemann, 202 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 434 48166 1
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Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 162 Years after his Lordship’s Death 
by Amanda Prantera.
Cape, 174 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 9780224024235
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... years at Harvard, in which he becomes an unvalued disciple of his creative writing teacher, Morgan Ames, and his short stint at Balliol as a Rhodes scholar in which he does nothing but sink pints of bitter and have an unsatisfactory relationship with a girl called Eleanor – there is some enjoyable Anglophobia in this second half of the novel. At least ...

Paul de Man’s Abyss

Frank Kermode, 16 March 1989

Wartime Journalism, 1939-1943 
by Paul de Man and Werner Hamacher, edited by Neil Hertz and Thomas Keenan.
Nebraska, 399 pp., £28, October 1988, 9780803216846
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Critical Writings 1953-1978 
by Paul de Man, edited by Lindsay Waters.
Minnesota, 228 pp., $39.50, April 1989, 0 8166 1695 7
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Paul de Man: Deconstruction and the Critique of Aesthetic Ideology 
by Christopher Norris.
Routledge, 218 pp., £25, October 1988, 0 415 90079 4
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Reading de Man Reading 
edited by Lindsay Waters and Wlad Godzich.
Minnesota, 312 pp., $39.50, April 1989, 0 8166 1660 4
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... Waters and Jacques Derrida. Some of de Man’s judgments are routine – he thought very highly of Charles Morgan, for instance, as the French did in those days. He speaks well of Valéry, and that does remind us of the links between his later thought and his early interest in Symbolism. But his views on history, if he remembered them later, must have ...

70 Centimetres and Rising

John Whitfield: Plate tectonics, 3 February 2005

The Earth: An Intimate History 
by Richard Fortey.
Harper Perennial, 501 pp., £9.99, March 2005, 0 00 655137 8
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... plates, which could slide over and alongside one another, as well as diverging. In 1967, Jason Morgan and Dan McKenzie independently worked out how these plates could move about the Earth, driven by Holmes’s mantle convection. Finally, in 1968, Xavier Le Pichon used this work, along with catalogues of the sites of earthquakes, to build a global map of ...

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