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Versatile Monster

Marilyn Butler, 5 May 1988

In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity and 19th-century Writing 
by Chris Baldick.
Oxford, 207 pp., £22.50, December 1987, 0 19 811726 4
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... have spread a network of subversion across Europe. By likening Frankenstein to the Arctic explorer Walton, Mary Shelley further emphasises his alienation from the society even of his own class and family. If he is a dissident, he could be one of the presumptuous individuals Burke liked to thunder at. Perhaps because she meant to frustrate the highly ...

Voyagers

James Paradis, 18 June 1981

Sir Joseph Banks 
by Charles Lyte.
David and Charles, 248 pp., £10.50, October 1980, 0 7153 7884 8
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The Heyday of Natural History: 1820-1870 
by Lynn Barber.
Cape, 320 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780224014489
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A Vision of Eden 
by Marianne North.
Webb and Bower, 240 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 906671 18 3
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... of the professional scientist. In his Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830), Charles Babbage dismissed the amateur tradition of science as wholly inadequate to the serious advancement of scientific knowledge. As young men now applied themselves to the study of law, he argued, future scientists must devote themselves to the mastery of ...

Diary

Thomas Jones: The Last Days of eBay, 19 June 2008

... trail, and all three were eventually convicted of shill bidding. In 2006, one of them, Kenneth Walton, published an entertaining and half-apologetic account of his part in the scam, Fake: Forgery, Lies and eBay.4 As well as placing artificial bids for each other’s goods, Walton and his confederates hiked their ...

See the Sights!

Gillian Darley: Rediscovering Essex, 1 November 2007

The Buildings of England: Essex 
by James Bettley and Nikolaus Pevsner.
Yale, 939 pp., £29.95, May 2007, 978 0 300 11614 4
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... of Willingale was a quiet country parson in the 1780s. His forebear Sir John Bramston had been Charles I’s lord chief justice, and in 1635 he very prudently bought Skreens Park, a few miles west of Chelmsford. There he and his family remained, heads down, for the duration of the Civil War. Following a similar logic, a three-storey-deep indestructible ...

Top Grumpy’s Top Hate

Robert Irwin: Richard Aldington’s Gripes, 18 February 1999

Richard Aldington and Lawrence of Arabia: A Cautionary Tale 
by Fred Crawford.
Southern Illinois, 265 pp., £31.95, July 1998, 0 8093 2166 1
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Lawrence the Uncrowned King of Arabia 
by Michael Asher.
Viking, 419 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 670 87029 3
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... the Provençal poet, is pretty dull. The book which best deserves reprinting is The Strang Life of Charles Waterton (1782-1865), a biography of the recklessly eccentric naturalist and taxidermist, published in 1949. Here was a rumbustious, unaffected figure whom Aldington could admire without reservation. Squire Waterton had a perfect contempt for social ...

Unsluggardised

Charles Nicholl: ‘The Shakespeare Circle’, 19 May 2016

The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography 
edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells.
Cambridge, 358 pp., £18.99, October 2015, 978 1 107 69909 0
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... which was then great with child’ is one charge; that he had ‘outrageously beaten one Judith Walton & stamped upon her so that she was carried home in [a] chair’ is another; both women were probably prostitutes). His name would perhaps be forgotten today but for his collaboration with Shakespeare on Pericles (c.1607), to which (it is generally ...

Ancient Orthodoxies

C.K. Stead, 23 May 1991

Antidotes 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 64 pp., £6.95, March 1991, 0 85635 908 4
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Dog Fox Field 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 103 pp., £6.95, February 1991, 0 85635 950 5
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True Colours 
by Neil Powell.
Carcanet, 102 pp., £6.95, March 1991, 0 85635 910 6
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Eating strawberries in the Necropolis 
by Michael Hulse.
Harvill, 63 pp., £5.95, March 1991, 0 00 272076 0
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... true.’ But what was it? Did it belong to Sisson’s youthful, and persisting, admiration for Charles Maurras (once described by Eliot as ‘a Virgil who led some of us to the gates of the temple’)? One is grateful for a positive emotion: but we are not permitted to have its source or its larger context, and it lies there mysterious among the ...

Empathy

Robin Holloway: Donald Francis Tovey, 8 August 2002

The Classics of Music: Talks, Essays and Other Writings Previously Uncollected 
by Donald Francis Tovey, edited by Michael Tilmouth.
Oxford, 821 pp., £60, September 2001, 0 19 816214 6
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... and extending coverage of the great masters, alongside surprises – ‘Casta Diva’ from Norma, Walton’s Crown Imperial march, exquisitely appreciative introductions to Debussy’s L’Après-midi d’un faune and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder (the prose résumés of Rückert’s poems bring tears to the eyes); a few characteristic lost-cause dead ducks; a ...

Germs: A Memoir

Richard Wollheim, 15 April 2004

... that led my father to choose the suburbs of Surrey, but a more particular reason for the choice of Walton-on-Thames I discovered one Sunday on a walk with my father. As we passed a pair of crumbling lodge gates, and looked down a straight avenue of bedraggled trees, about a hundred yards long, which led to a copse, above which could be seen a small clock ...

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