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Norman Bread

Christopher Holdsworth, 16 October 1980

The Norman Conquest of the North 
by William Kapelle.
Croom Helm, 329 pp., £14.95, March 1980, 0 7099 0040 6
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Consul of God 
by Jeffrey Richards.
Routledge, 309 pp., £9.75, March 1980, 0 7100 0346 3
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Martin of Tours 
by Christopher Donaldson.
Routledge, 171 pp., £8.95, March 1980, 0 7100 0422 2
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Mistra 
by Steven Runciman.
Thames and Hudson, 160 pp., £9.50, March 1980, 0 500 25071 5
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... and yet they have features which make consideration of them together worthwhile. The earliest is Christopher Donaldson’s Martin of Tours, which concerns the life of a soldier who around the middle of the fourth century left his career in middle life to become a hermit and ultimately bishop of a see in north France. Consul of God by ...

Uncrownable King and Queen

Christopher Sykes, 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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... preference in his love affairs for married women: it was part of his search for a mother. Frances Donaldson made the same point in her masterly biography. Late in the day, he found a mother figure in Mrs Simpson, shortly before his accession. The authors dispose of the ridiculous myth, still propagated by ignorant publicists, that the King was prevented by ...

My Dagger into Yow

Ian Donaldson: Sidney’s Letters, 25 April 2013

The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney 
edited by Roger Kuin.
Oxford, 1381 pp., £250, July 2012, 978 0 19 955822 3
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... watched his finances dwindle alarmingly, and wrote repeatedly to the queen’s trusted adviser Sir Christopher Hatton to complain of ‘this comber of debtes’ from which he needed urgently to be extricated. His commission to serve under Leicester in the Low Countries, when it finally arrived in 1586, came as an excitement and a relief. Sidney’s letters ...

Mastering the Art of Understating Your Wealth

Thomas Keymer: The Tonsons, 5 May 2016

The Literary Correspondences of the Tonsons 
edited by Stephen Bernard.
Oxford, 386 pp., £95, March 2015, 978 0 19 870085 2
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... were book-trade entrepreneurs whose huge poetry anthologies cashed in on the landmark case of Donaldson v. Becket, which more or less destroyed copyright law; there were the pioneering academics of Enlightenment Scotland, among them Adam Smith, who made ‘rhetoric and belles lettres’ a university discipline and exported it to North America. As good a ...

Sinking Giggling into the Sea

Jonathan Coe: Giggling along with Boris, 18 July 2013

The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson 
edited by Harry Mount.
Bloomsbury, 149 pp., £9.99, June 2013, 978 1 4081 8352 6
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... show opened with a huge nuclear explosion, following which, in the words of the producer William Donaldson, the audience was treated to a whole evening’s worth of ‘terrible gloomy stuff – the punchline of every sketch was people dying.’ Nonetheless, it was undoubtedly a strong influence on Peter Cook (one of the original cast members) and the other ...

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