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25 June 1987
The Provisional IRA 
by Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie.
Heinemann, 374 pp., £12.95, June 1987, 0 434 07410 1
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Ten Men Dead 
by David Beresford.
Grafton, 432 pp., £3.50, May 1987, 0 586 06533 4
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... severely impaired by the work of informers. These had put entire areas out of operation. The Provos in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, for example, were cleaned up for three years or more after ChristopherBlack turned Queen’s evidence and 38 people were arrested. Almost all had their convictions quashed on appeal, but the case disposed of several leading Provos for a number of years. A number of ...

Evil Just Is

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The Italian Inquisition

13 May 2010
The Italian Inquisition 
by Christopher Black.
Yale, 330 pp., £35, November 2009, 978 0 300 11706 6
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... This is one of ChristopherBlack’s verdicts on the work of the Roman Inquisition: The human casualties among major thinkers were fewer than might have been expected; Bruno might have been saved, Galileo could have suffered worse ...

Two Poems

Christopher​ Reid

1 September 2005
... all these hicks? He strums his finger close to the very top. Then closer. Closer still. Then he has to stop, or enter the negative space of the minus numbers – and he’s not yet ready to play the Christopher Columbus of black-hole exploration. Top is fine, thanks. Divinely appointed to the highest ranks, however, and the Muse’s most trusted amanuensis, he knows to his personal cost that eminence is no ...

Charmaine: A Musical Moment

Christopher​ Salvesen

2 July 1981
... A cold ground-floor bedroom: on the linoleum A gramophone – a box set like a trap. Home from school I open it, wind it up, Lift the half-human shapely heavy arm; The steel needle rides the black vibrant disc, Bearing down, just not tearing, on the gloss. From the metallic hissing contact – music: Music uncontrollable, disproportionate, Too loud – too sweet as well, the song swells out On ...

Black​ Legends

David Blackbourn: Prussia

16 November 2006
Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947 
by Christopher​ Clark.
Allen Lane, 777 pp., £30, August 2006, 0 7139 9466 5
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... travel writings and novels would combine sharp criticisms of the Prussian present with a melancholy, elegiac fondness for the Prussian past. Pinning down what Fontane meant takes us to the heart of Christopher Clark’s lively and thoughtful book. His clear-eyed account hinges on the idea that the essence of the Prussian tradition was the absence of tradition. It is not hard to see how that quality might ...


Stephen Smith: A 17-year-old murder victim

5 February 1998
... naked and decapitated. It had been cut in two and left in a Puma sports bag in a rubbish bin at the rear of the New Central Hotel in Blackpool. The police identified the body as that of 17-year-old Christopher Hartley. A minute or two went by before you began to wonder how they’d managed it. Presumably from fingerprints: police sources indicated that Christopher had a criminal record, though they didn ...

At the Guggenheim

John-Paul Stonard: Christopher​ Wool

19 December 2013
... The American artist Christopher Wool’s large abstract paintings are often beautiful, but they are so emptied of content that it is at first hard to know what to make of them. For the first ten years or so after he came to ...

Something else

Jonathan Coe

5 December 1991
In Black​ and White 
by Christopher​ Stevenson.
New Caxton Press, 32 pp., £1.95
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The Tree of Life 
by Hugh Nissenson.
Carcanet, 159 pp., £6.95, September 1991, 0 85635 874 6
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by Carey Harrison.
Heinemann, 181 pp., £13.99, November 1991, 0 434 31368 8
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... a monumental tetralogy, puts pressure on the boundaries of the form by insisting that it absorb a near-infinity of characters, events and incidental detail. Less ambitious, but more subversive, Christopher Stevenson and Hugh Nissenson seek to dismantle the system from within by producing novels which look like something else altogether: a form of experimentation which often has rather puritanical ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher​ Turner: Richard Hollis

24 May 2018
... exhibitions of the work of Donald Judd, Patrick Heron, Richard Long and David Hockney. When Hockney drew a portrait of Glazebrook, he chose to represent him with Hollis’s 1970 catalogue in his lap. Christopher Wilson’s excellent Richard Hollis Designs for the Whitechapel, the final book from Hyphen Press, is not only a detailed analysis of the work of Hollis, with whom Wilson collaborated from 1999 to ...

An Englishman Abroad

August Kleinzahler: For Christopher​ Logue

1 November 2001
... For Christopher Logue The talk-radio host is trying to shake the wacko with only a minute left to get in the finance and boner-pill spots before signing off, the morning news team already at the door and dairy vans ...
30 October 1997
The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. Vol. XXV: January-December 1850 
edited by Clyde de L. Ryals and K.J. Fielding.
Duke, 364 pp., £52, September 1997, 0 8223 1986 1
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by Thomas Carlyle, edited by K.J. Fielding and Ian Campbell.
Oxford, 481 pp., £7.99, September 1997, 0 19 281748 5
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... evangelical address, delivered in the person of a pseudonymous ‘Dr Phelim McQuirk’ (Fraser’s readers were not deluded). The abolitionists, McQuirk declared, had made of the West Indies ‘a black Ireland’ – with a population which was ‘free’ in name but degraded and destitute in condition. Not that the negroes, any more than the Irish, resented their degradation, so long as they had ...


Christopher​ Reid

18 October 2001
... money;    bad Bishop Bloggs’s school;    the crossroads where the Billhook Martyrs were tortured and burned – until you reach the river Bleak.    Squeeze, if you can,    over the Black Bridge, then park and pay – assuming this isn’t the week of the Billycock Fair, or Boiled Egg Day,    when they elect the Town Fool.    From here, it’s a short step to the Bailiwick Hall ...

Two Poems

Nick Laird

10 May 2007
... Press The Leader, The Tillamook Headlight,The Penn and The Cleveland Plain Dealer,The Beacon, The Olcester Hudsonite,The Las Vegas Review and The Gleaner. 100% HUMAN HAIR declared a sign on Christopher. We saw a president declare a war in the TV store in Union Square. The Oregon Emerald, The Forty-Niner,The Panther and The Pine Bluff Commercial,The West Plains Daily Quill, The Kingman Miner,The ...


Patrick Parrinder

23 November 1989
Christopher​ Unborn 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Deutsch, 531 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 233 98016 4
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The Faber Book of Contemporary Latin American Short Stories 
edited by Nick Caistor.
Faber, 188 pp., £11.99, September 1989, 0 571 15359 3
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by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 543 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 9780233984957
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Oldest living Confederate widow tells all 
by Allan Gurganus.
Faber, 718 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571142019
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... Christopher, the new Columbus, is conceived on a beach at Acapulco at the beginning of 1992. Mexico’s overseas debt stands at $1492 billion, soon to rise to $1992 billion, and the Yucatan peninsula has been ...

Tears in the Café Select

Christopher​ Prendergast

9 March 1995
Paris Interzone: Richard Wright, Lolita, Boris Vian and Others on the Left Bank 1946-1960 
by James Campbell.
Secker, 305 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 436 20106 2
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Foreign Correspondent: Paris in the Sixties 
by Peter Lennon.
Picador, 220 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 0 330 31911 6
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The Good Ship Venus: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press 
by John de St Jorre.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 09 177874 3
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... he would have made of the bunch that in the Forties and Fifties preempted their posthumous just deserts. Who they were and what they did is very much Campbell’s concern, in particular the émigré black writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes. Racism is what drove them across the Atlantic. In explaining his decision to leave New York, Baldwin wrote of ‘a violent, anarchic ...

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