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7 February 1980
The Windsor Story 
by J. Bryan and Charles Murphy.
Granada, 602 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 246 11323 5
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... The Windsor Story, as ‘the greatest love story of the 20th century’ is here conveniently known, is essentially familiar. Whether it is seen as the tale of the fatuous young charmer and the intriguing, ambitious witch, or, as they themselves chose to present it, as the pathetic picture of two orphans of the storm, victimised by the hound Baldwin, the main facts on which it is based are widely known and the subject of little dispute ...

Squidging about

Caroline Murphy: Camilla and the sex-motherers

22 January 2004
Camilla: An Intimate Portrait 
by Rebecca Tyrrel.
Short Books, 244 pp., £14.99, October 2003, 1 904095 53 4
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... the curious to Rebecca Tyrrel’s book. Born on 17 July 1947 (she is 16 months older than Prince Charles), Camilla is the daughter of an army major, Bruce Shand, and a society hostess, the Honourable Rosalind Shand (née Cubitt). Her paternal grandfather, P. Morton Shand, was an ‘insatiable Lothario’, who married four times. At the time of his third ...
13 June 1991
The Unbreakable Thread: Non-Racialism in South Africa 
by Julie Frederikse.
Indiana, 304 pp., $39.95, November 1990, 0 253 32473 4
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A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society 
by David Horowitz.
California, 293 pp., $24.95, March 1991, 0 520 07342 8
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Koexistenz im Krieg: Staatszerfall und Entstehung einer Nation im Libanon 
by Theodor Hanf.
Nomos Verlag, 806 pp., September 1990, 3 7890 1972 0
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... A Different Kind of War (1986), a revealing account of government propaganda. Donald Horowitz, the Charles Murphy Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University, and Theo Hanf, the director of the Freiburg Bergstraesser Institut, are among the world’s leading comparative analysts of ethnic conflict. Horowitz in particular skilfully integrates ...

Via ‘Bret’ via Bret

J. Robert Lennon: Bret Easton Ellis

24 June 2010
Imperial Bedrooms 
by Bret Easton Ellis.
Picador, 178 pp., £16.99, July 2010, 978 0 330 44976 2
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... most accomplished work. And then, in 1991, there was American Psycho. I’m having drinks with Charles Murphy at Rusty’s to fortify myself before making an appearance at Evelyn’s Christmas party. I’m wearing a four-button double-breasted wool and silk suit, a cotton shirt with button-down collar by Valentino Couture, a patterned silk tie by ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe

27 September 2012
All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... of three now almost forgotten lesbian women: the American heiress and intellectual polymath Esther Murphy (1897-1962); Mercedes de Acosta (1893-1968), the Cuban-American Hollywood screenwriter, memoirist and seductress extraordinaire (Garbo and Dietrich and Isadora Duncan were among her conquests); and the brittle yet pioneering British fashion editor and ...
18 July 1996
The Fourth Estate 
by Jeffrey Archer.
HarperCollins, 550 pp., £16.99, May 1996, 0 00 225318 6
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Tickle the Public: One Hundred Years of the Popular Press 
by Matthew Engel.
Gollancz, 352 pp., £20, April 1996, 9780575061439
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Newspaper Power: The New National Press in Britain 
by Jeremy Tunstall.
Oxford, 441 pp., £35, March 1996, 0 19 871133 6
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... Dan Quayle, blamed that eruption of violence on the eponymous heroine of the television sitcom Murphy Brown, who was ‘mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another “lifestyle choice” ’. In the next episode of the show, Candice Bergen, playing the fictional ...
28 September 1989
Manila Envelope 
by James Fenton.
28 Kayumanggi St, West Triangle Homes, Quezon City, Phillipines, 48 pp., £12, May 1989, 971 86 4701 5
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New Selected Poems 
by Richard Murphy.
Faber, 190 pp., £10.99, May 1989, 0 571 15482 4
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The Mirror Wall 
by Richard Murphy.
Bloodaxe, 61 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 9781852240929
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Selected Poems 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 96 pp., £5.95, May 1989, 0 85635 741 3
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The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness 
by Selima Hill.
Chatto, 47 pp., £5.95, May 1989, 0 7011 3455 0
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... me? The fields are mined and the night is long; Stick with me when the shooting starts. Richard Murphy is not a reckless poet. Those who rate him surely rate him much too highly. Ted Hughes compliments him with the anti-reckless word ‘classical’ and with ‘the gift of epic objectivity’, and Seamus Heaney praises his ‘poised and appeased ...

Saint John Henry

Richard Altick

5 August 1982
John Henry Newman: His Life and Work 
by Brian Martin.
Chatto, 160 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 7011 2588 8
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Protestant versus Catholic in Mid-Victorian England 
by Walter Arnstein.
Missouri, 271 pp., £14, June 1982, 9780826203540
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... keep religious issues aflame in Parliament and press. The tireless efforts of the anti-Catholic MP Charles Newdegate to suppress nunneries through legal action are less well remembered today than the rabble-rousing exertions of a mid-Victorian Ian Paisley, an Irishman bearing the exquisitely un-Protestant name of ...

The Devil upon Two Sticks

Charles Nicholl: Samuel Foote

23 May 2013
Mr Foote’s Other Leg: Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian London 
by Ian Kelly.
Picador, 462 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 330 51783 6
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... case. Foote’s theatrical career began under the tutelage of the veteran Irish actor and director Charles Macklin. Somewhat improbably, his first outing, in early 1744, was in the role of Othello. This was received well enough but his more notable success, first in London and then in Dublin, was as Lord Foppington in Vanbrugh’s The Relapse. Other repertory ...

Melancholy Actions

Charles Glass: Scuttling the French Fleet

17 December 2009
England’s Last War against France: Fighting Vichy 1940-42 
by Colin Smith.
Weidenfeld, 490 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 0 297 85218 6
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... to capitulate to the invader. Few of the soldiers and almost none of the sailors recognised Charles de Gaulle, an armoured corps colonel temporarily elevated to brigadier general, as their leader. To them, de Gaulle seemed more of a traitor to his fellow officers for siding with Britain than Maréchal Pétain for seeking accommodation with ...

The Hemingway Crush

Theo Tait: Kevin Powers

3 January 2013
The Yellow Birds 
by Kevin Powers.
Sceptre, 230 pp., £14.99, September 2012, 978 1 4447 5612 8
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... for a vet’s war novel seems, if not unpatriotic, then at least peevish and small-minded,’ Ron Charles wrote in his Washington Post review, before gently hinting at the truth: that this is an interesting novel, and in many ways a good one, which is blighted by some very obvious weaknesses. The title comes from a ‘Traditional US Army Marching ...
7 March 1996
Garbage 
by A.R. Ammons.
Norton, 121 pp., £7.50, February 1995, 0 393 31203 8
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Tape for the Turn of the Year 
by A.R. Ammons.
Norton, 205 pp., £8.95, February 1995, 0 393 31204 6
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Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow 
by August Kleinzahler.
Faber, 93 pp., £6.99, April 1995, 0 571 17431 0
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The Unemployed Fortune-Teller: Essays and Memoirs 
by Charles Simic.
Michigan, 127 pp., £30, January 1996, 0 472 06569 6
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Frightening Toys 
by Charles Simic.
Faber, 101 pp., £6.99, April 1995, 0 571 17399 3
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The Ghost of Eden 
by Chase Twichell.
Faber, 78 pp., £6.99, April 1995, 0 571 17434 5
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...  ...

Four Funerals and a Wedding

Andrew O’Hagan: If something happens to me…

5 May 2005
... against the rain, and Rome seemed a place not of eternities but of passing trade. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor entered the restaurant in his civilian uniform of open-necked shirt and windcheater, smiling to the waiters and taking his usual table. I didn’t approach him, but took time to notice the high-spiritedness of his friends, happy to be in the ...

Malice

John Mullan: Fanny Burney

23 August 2001
Fanny Burney: A Biography 
by Claire Harman.
Flamingo, 464 pp., £8.99, October 2001, 0 00 655036 3
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Fanny Burney: Her Life 
by Kate Chisholm.
Vintage, 347 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 09 959021 2
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Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III 
by Hester Davenport.
Sutton, 224 pp., £25, June 2000, 0 7509 1881 0
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... Linnen – argenterie Goods – MSS!!! All!’ When she reached Brussels, she wrote to her brother Charles: ‘Unless some speedy happy turn takes place, in public affairs here, we have lost all we possessed in France.’ There was, from her point of view, a happy turn: the Battle of Waterloo. As before in her life, she was about to become a witness to ...

The Playboy of West 29th Street

Colm Tóibín: Yeats’s Father in Exile

25 January 2018
... Butler Yeats, which had been transcribed, then typed, then donated to the library by William M. Murphy, John Butler Yeats’s biographer. And now I looked up from the Yeats letters to find a man looking at me. It struck me immediately who he was. He was William M. Murphy himself, the author of Prodigal Father, the ...

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