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Provincialism

Denis Donoghue: Karlin’s collection of Victorian verse, 4 June 1998

The Penguin Book of Victorian Verse 
edited by Danny Karlin.
Allen Lane, 851 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780713990492
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... the 19th century as a whole. His major precursors are Quiller-Couch, Yeats, Auden, George MacBeth, Christopher Ricks and Ian Fletcher. I don’t intend a Shopper’s Guide, but I’ll start with two small complaints. Unlike Fletcher, Karlin doesn’t give explanatory notes, except for a few dialect words and phrases in foreign languages. Reading Davidson’s ...

Round the (Next) Bend

Simon Adams: Sir Walter Ralegh, 6 July 2000

The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 
edited by Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings.
Exeter, 403 pp., £45, July 1999, 0 85989 527 0
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... of them (the Earl of Leicester being Elizabeth’s age – born either in 1532 or 1533 – Sir Christopher Hatton born c.1540, Ralegh himself in 1554, and the Earl of Essex in 1565), but they fall neatly into an older and younger generation. The turning point was 1587, for in that year Ralegh and Essex obtained their chief court offices, Captain of the ...

Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... spies by a don, and it is by far the most sensible account so far written. It is the best because Christopher Andrew is a historian at Corpus Christi, Cambridge who has become the leading authority on the Intelligence services. Indeed, a book by him on the Intelligence community is coming out in the autumn. In his piece here he explains how the Cambridge ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... completely professional during the past three decades, tennis deserves a place of honour in what Christopher Lasch called the culture of narcissism. A sport of skilful, well-mannered ladies and gentlemen has metamorphosed into a brutal confrontation between unpleasant, physically overdeveloped and remorselessly single-minded hitters, which is controlled by ...

Speaking well

Christopher Ricks, 18 August 1983

Cyril Connolly: Journal and Memoir 
by David Pryce-Jones.
Collins, 304 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 333 32827 2
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J.B. Yeats: Letters to His Son W.B. Yeats and Others, 1869-1922 
edited with a memoir by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 296 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 436 59205 3
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... and distaste in the Journal suggest Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, which have been said by Rupert Brooke and C.S. Lewis to be about beetles. ‘It is always easier to obey if you dare not disobey. German women are to their lords like so many black beetles’: John Butler Yeats (father of the poet and of the painter Jack B. Yeats) was aware that people had a ...

Friend to Sir Philip Sidney

Blair Worden, 3 July 1986

The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 
edited by John Gouws.
Oxford, 279 pp., £40, March 1986, 0 19 812746 4
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... substantial of the two treatises edited by John Gouws as The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke – the other being A Letter to an Honourable Lady, where the lifelong bachelor Greville offered a mistreated wife (now unidentifiable, and perhaps imaginary) the questionable benefit of his advice and consolation. Sidney and Greville had been born in the ...

Playing Fields, Flanders Fields

Paul Delany, 21 January 1982

War Diary 1913-1917: Chronicle of Youth 
by Vera Brittain, edited by Alan Bishop.
Gollancz, 382 pp., £8.50, September 1981, 0 575 02888 2
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The English Poets of the First World War 
by John Lehmann.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 0 500 01256 3
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Voices from the Great War 
by Peter Vansittart.
Cape, 303 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 224 01915 5
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The Little Field-Marshal: Sir John French 
by Richard Holmes.
Cape, 427 pp., £12.50, November 1981, 0 224 01575 3
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... year: but this very arbitrariness could be made to seem providential. The opening line of Rupert Brooke’s War Sonnets proclaimed an Infantry subaltern’s credo: ‘Now God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour.’ The public school ideal, heightened and purified by the war, forms the passionate core of Vera Brittain’s newly-published diary. Her ...

A.E. Housman and Biography

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 22 November 1979

A.E. Housman 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Routledge, 304 pp., £9.75
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... through the English post a Tauchnitz volume he had lent him. ‘Even in the Cambridge of Forster, Brooke and Keynes,’ writes Mr Graves, Housman ‘felt imprisoned’: but he accumulated a large collection of curiosa, as has been known since part of his library was sold in Oxford. Mr Graves reveals that a document in Housman’s writing found among his ...

The Whole Bustle

Siobhan Kilfeather, 9 January 1992

The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing 
edited by Seamus Deane.
Field Day Publications/Faber, 4044 pp., £150, November 1991, 0 946755 20 5
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... Anglo-Irish writers, whose ability to use the English language brilliantly masks an unease’ (Christopher Murray). On the one hand, there is something narrow about the requirement to produce unease as a passport to national identity and, on the other, it seems a poor reading of Incognita and the plays to represent them as serene and secure. The final ...

In a Dry Place

Nicolas Tredell, 11 October 1990

On the Look-Out: A Partial Autobiography 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 85635 758 8
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In Two Minds: Guesses at Other Writers 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 296 pp., £18.95, September 1990, 0 85635 877 0
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... march of events’ is the same technique that is used in Sisson’s remarkable novel, Christopher Homm. Part Two does move forward, but, like a novel, uses the third person, and dialogue, to evoke the Indian experiences of a BOR – a British Other Rank – called Pearce. Poems written at the time of Sisson’s passage to India are interleaved ...

Reading as a woman

Christopher Norris, 4 April 1985

Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 407 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 9780704328471
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Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction 
by K.K. Ruthven.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £16.50, December 1984, 0 521 26454 5
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Women: The Longest Revolution 
by Juliet Mitchell.
Virago, 334 pp., £5.95, April 1984, 0 86068 399 0
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Hélène Cixous: Writing the Feminine 
by Verena Andermatt Conley.
Nebraska, 181 pp., £20.35, March 1985, 0 8032 1424 3
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Women who do and women who don’t 
by Robyn Rowland.
Routledge, 242 pp., £5.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0296 2
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The Sexual Politics of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 
by Joel Schwartz.
Chicago, 196 pp., £14.45, June 1984, 0 226 74223 7
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... woman’ is not just a matter of imagining what it feels like to be George Eliot or to be Dorothea Brooke or to be a present-day female reader of Eliot’s fiction. Such efforts of imaginary identification are merely a reverse acting-out of the standard sexual stereotypes. Rather, it requires a deconstructive reading of the male-engendered myths and stratagems ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... Ireland Secretary after a mass break-out of Republican prisoners from the Maze prison, and Peter Brooke failed in a more recent attempt to leave the same office after he had sung a song on a television chat show in the Republic of Ireland, hours after seven people had been killed in a particularly bad atrocity in the Province. While ministers have been quick ...

All change. This train is cancelled

Iain Sinclair: The Dome, 13 May 1999

... original sketch of the Greenwich Dome’ are twinned with ‘a sketch design for a dome by Sir Christopher Wren’. The puny scale of St Paul’s Cathedral is set against the enclosed acres of the tent on Bugsby’s Marshes. ‘This awesome structure dwarfs the famous domes of history.’ But, walking around nautical Greenwich, the first thing the visitor ...

Doctor in the Dock

Stephen Sedley, 20 October 1994

Medical Negligence 
edited by Michael Powers and Nigel Harris.
Butterworth, 1188 pp., £155, July 1994, 0 406 00452 8
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... Ernest Shepard’s portly practitioner is unlikely to have sought the informed consent of either Christopher Robin or his parents before he gave him what goes for a cold in the nose and some more for a cold in the head. Nor, probably, would he have done so before performing a tonsillectomy (which may be why a whole generation has been pointlessly deprived of ...

For ever Walsall

Angus Calder, 21 March 1985

Rural Life in England in the First World War 
by Pamela Horn.
Gill and Macmillan, 300 pp., £25, November 1984, 0 312 69604 3
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Britain in Our Century: Images and Controversies 
by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 9780500250914
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Labour and Society in Britain: 1918-1979 
by James Cronin.
Batsford, 248 pp., £8.95, August 1984, 0 7134 4395 2
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Women in England 1870-1950: Sexual Divisions and Social Change 
by Jane Lewis.
Wheatsheaf, 240 pp., £16.95, November 1984, 0 7108 0186 6
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... obsessed with its own version of English continuity. As Cairns Craig has argued in Cencrastus, Christopher Hill and E.P. Thompson see class struggle as fundamental to English history, but conceive that history to be ‘shaped as an autonomous inner trajectory defined by the conflicts and the accommodations between classes which do not need to be understood ...

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