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At the Wallace Collection

Inigo Thomas: East India Company Commissions, 9 December 2019

... artists; even their names very often went unrecorded. The patrons have clearer identities. One, Claude Martin, was a vinegar distiller’s son from Lyon, who joined the Compagnie des Indes only to desert the French for the British East India Company. He made a fortune – exactly how hasn’t been established – and built himself palaces, amassed a ...

C is for Colonies

Anthony Pagden: A New History of Empire, 11 May 2006

Edge of Empire: Conquest and Collecting in the East 1750-1850 
by Maya Jasanoff.
Fourth Estate, 405 pp., £25, August 2005, 0 00 718009 8
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... is by Zoffany, the society portraitist. Painted in 1786, it shows Polier at home with his friends Claude Martin, John Wombwell, the paymaster to the Company’s troops, and, in the background, with his head turned towards the viewer and painting another picture, Zoffany himself. Although Polier affects a long, drooping ‘Indian’ moustache and wears a ...

On the chance that a shepherd boy …

Edmund White: Gide in Love, 10 December 1998

Andre Gide: A Life in the Present 
by Alan Sheridan.
Hamish Hamilton, 708 pp., £25, October 1998, 0 241 12729 7
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Andre Gide ou la vocation du bonheur. Tome 1, 1869-1911 
by Claude Martin.
Fayard, 699 pp., frs 180, September 1998, 2 213 02309 3
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... friends the writer (and Protestant) Jean Schlumberger and the novelist and Nobel Prizewinner Roger Martin du Gard, both of whom were bisexual, though less conspicuously so. They accompanied him on his adventures or exchanged letters with him about his encounters with adolescents, and they almost never reproached him. More often, they encouraged him and took ...

The Impostor

Peter Burke, 19 April 1984

Le Retour de Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis, Jean-Claude Carrière and Daniel Vigne.
Robert Laffont, 269 pp.
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The Return of Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis.
Harvard, 162 pp., £12.75, October 1983, 0 674 76690 3
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... a term which is prominent on the title-page of the account of the case published in 1561. Martin Guerre was a peasant, of Basque origin but settled in the village of Artigat in the French South-West, between Toulouse and Foix. He married a local girl, Bertrande de Rols, when they were in their early teens; ten years later, he disappeared. Eight years ...

Gorgon in Furs

D.D. Guttenplan: Paula Fox, 12 December 2002

Borrowed Finery: A Memoir 
by Paula Fox.
Flamingo, 256 pp., £12, August 2002, 0 00 713724 9
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... on them saying ‘Coloured’ and ‘White’ – she soon falls in with the bohemian crowd around Claude de la Fontaine, the scion of an old Creole family. Tall, tanned and terrified, Claude caps every evening with a drink, ‘a libation to the god of nightmares . . . Not to stop him from having nightmares. He was asking ...

In Cardiff

John Barrell: Richard Wilson, 24 September 2014

... a large loan exhibition of the Welsh ‘father of English landscape’, Richard Wilson, curated by Martin Postle and Robin Simon. It is a magnificent show, the first on this scale for more than thirty years. It will be at Cardiff until 26 October, and it is accompanied by a sumptuous catalogue, the fullest, most faithfully reproduced collection of colour ...

Eating people

Claude Rawson, 24 January 1985

Cannibalism and the Common Law: The Story of the Tragic Last Voyage of the ‘Mignonette’ 
by A.W.B. Simpson.
Chicago, 353 pp., £21.25, July 1984, 0 226 75942 3
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... to have been committed, the fact is never, I believe, stated in so many words, whereas in Pincher Martin, where cannibal images abound, they are figurative of aggressive sexual or exploitative behaviour of a non-ingestive kind. Cannibal situations occur not infrequently in fictions of what might broadly be called the realist tradition, from Defoe ...

Fielding in the dock

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1990

Henry Fielding: A Life 
by Martin Battestin and Ruthe Battestin.
Routledge, 738 pp., £29.50, October 1989, 0 415 01438 7
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New Essays 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Martin Battestin.
Virginia, 604 pp., $50, November 1989, 0 8139 1221 0
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The Wesleyan Edition of the Works of Henry Fielding. The True Patriot, and Related Writings 
edited by W.B. Coley.
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An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings 
edited by Malvin Zirker.
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The Covent-Garden Journal and A Plan of the Universal Register Office 
by Henry Fielding, edited by Bertrand Goldgar.
Oxford, 446 pp., £50, December 1988, 0 19 818511 1
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Fielding and the Woman Question: The Novels of Henry Fielding and the Feminist Debate 1700-1750 
by Angela Smallwood.
Harvester, 230 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 7108 0639 6
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... in 1979. The two principal biographies, still widely used as works of reference, and which Martin Battestin’s long-awaited volume is designed to supersede, are those of Wilbur Cross (1918) and F. Homes Dudden (1952). Cross has usually been treated as the standard work, while Dudden’s book has had a bad press. In my undergraduate days I heard dons ...

Short Cuts

Jan-Werner Müller: Playing Democracy, 18 June 2014

... a whole more democratic, savvy political entrepreneurs like the Social Democratic Spitzenkandidat Martin Schulz wanted the Parliament to assert its power to decide the president of the Commission – not just to consent to the Council’s choice, as envisaged in the treaty. For a while, everyone went along with this useful fiction: even Angela ...

Hang Santa

Wendy Doniger, 16 December 1993

Unwrapping Christmas 
edited by Daniel Miller.
Oxford, 239 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 827903 5
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... The authors of this collection of essays are social anthropologists who follow the structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss, literally – an essay by him comes first, after Daniel Miller’s introduction – and, in varying degrees, intellectually. What they discover when they unwrap Christmas present – Christmas now, throughout the world – are the human structures of the cover-up, disguising, beneath a number of hilarious cultural transformations, a tragic opposition between the glittery surface and the dark heart of Christmas ...

Topography v. Landscape

John Barrell: Paul Sandby, 13 May 2010

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain 
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... he has never seen any Place that affords a Subject equal to the poorest imitations of Gaspar or Claude. Paul Sanby is the only Man of Genius, he believes, who has employ’d his Pencil that Way – Mr G hopes Lord Hardwicke will not mistake his meaning, but if his Lordship wishes to have any thing tolerable of the name of G. the Subject altogether as well ...

Fellow Genius

Claude Rawson, 5 January 1989

The Poems of John Oldham 
edited by Harold Brooks and Raman Selden.
Oxford, 592 pp., £60, February 1987, 0 19 812456 2
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... personhood. The whole joke is gathered up into a massive concluding spectacle, surreal in a John Martin way: Thus Lechery’s great Martyr, Revelling in Fire,    At every Pore dripping out Scalding Lust,    With all thy Strength collected in one Thrust, At gaping C– –t, thou didst give up thy mighty Ghost, And ’midst a Glorious heap of burning ...

Textual Harassment

Claude Rawson, 5 April 1984

The World, the Text and the Critic 
by Edward Said.
Faber, 327 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 571 13264 2
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The Deconstructive Turn: Essays in the Rhetoric of Philosophy 
by Christopher Norris.
Methuen, 201 pp., £4.95, December 1983, 0 416 36140 4
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The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. VIII: The Present 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 619 pp., £3.50, October 1983, 0 14 022271 5
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... into mere interpretative novelty’: it’s a relief to hear that somebody dislikes it. Actually, Martin Dodsworth dislikes it too. He contributes a primly disapproving piece on formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism to the latest volume of Boris Ford’s ‘Pelican Guide’. It’s one of three essays broadly surveying the ‘theory’ scene, the ...

Solus lodges at the Tate

Peter Campbell, 4 June 1987

J.M.W. Turner: ‘A Wonderful Range of Mind’ 
by John Gage.
Yale, 262 pp., £19.95, March 1987, 0 300 03779 1
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Turner in his Time 
by Andrew Wilton.
Thames and Hudson, 256 pp., £25, March 1987, 0 500 09178 1
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Turner in the South: Rome, Naples, Florence 
by Cecilia Powell.
Yale, 216 pp., £25, March 1987, 0 300 03870 4
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The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner 
by Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll.
Yale, 944 pp., £35, March 1987, 0 300 03361 3
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The Turner Collection in the Clore Gallery 
Tate Gallery, 128 pp., £9.95, April 1987, 0 946590 69 9Show More
Turner Watercolours 
by Andrew Wilton.
Tate Gallery, 148 pp., £17.95, April 1987, 0 946590 67 2
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... even a proto-Abstract Expressionist. The latter interpretation makes his emulation of Claude, or Rembrandt a temporary scaffolding rather than a dialogue. The former can show how hard it is to separate the ‘synthetic details’, the high operatic drama of legends, and the general theme of man and nature, from the ‘ocean of pictorial ...

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