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Embarrassment and Loss

Marghanita Laski, 19 February 1981

A Way to Die 
by Rosemary Zorza.
Deutsch, 254 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 233 97355 9
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Letter to a Younger Son 
by Christopher Leach.
Dent, 155 pp., £5.95, January 1981, 0 460 04496 6
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by Colin Murray Parkes.
Pelican, 267 pp., £1.50, June 1980, 0 14 021833 5
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... writers, both in agony turn to their pens. We readers can see that both books are what Colin Murray Parkes in Bereavement calls ‘grief-work’, a part of the way in which people struggle to make a life after crushing grief, and, for a writer, not an uncommon way. John Evelyn did the same thing when his daughter, Margaret Godolphin, died in ...

Like Cutting a Cow

Adam Kuper: Ritual killings in southern Africa, 6 July 2006

Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis 
by Colin Murray and Peter Sanders.
Edinburgh, 493 pp., £50, May 2006, 0 7486 2284 5
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... a superb account of witch-hunts in the area, while taking a more sceptical view of witchcraft. Now Colin Murray, an anthropologist, and Peter Sanders, a historian, provide a study of an earlier panic about medicine murders in the small British colony of Basutoland (now Lesotho) in the late 1940s. They have tracked down all the available records of ...

On Les Murray

Colin Burrow: Les Murray, 27 July 2017

... Bunyah is​ a valley about 300 km north of Sydney in which the Australian poet Les Murray grew up, and to which he returned in 1985 as ‘my refuge and my homeplace’. Over-educated readers might imagine from its title that On Bunyah (Carcanet, £14.99) is a set of philosophical meditations which belongs on the shelves next to, say, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty ...

Divorce me

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 17 December 1981

Love, Sex, Marriage and Divorce 
by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.
Cape, 384 pp., £8.50, November 1981, 0 224 01602 4
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... say to his mother when he thought his father was about to drown. Marghanita Laski, discussing Colin Murray Parkes’s Bereavement in this paper, commented on ‘his perverse avoidance of marital desertion as the obvious analogue to bereavement by death’, and added that in the first case the pain is ‘made worse by the knowledge that all the misery ...


John Sutherland, 8 June 1995

Empire of Words: The Reign of the ‘OED’ 
by John Willinsky.
Princeton, 258 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 691 03719 1
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... Philological Society, based at the University of London, the amazing sticktoitiveness of James Murray, editor and mastermind of the project from 1879 to his death in 1915, and the (initially) nervous patron, OUP, who inherited the project 22 year after its launch. Willinsky tells much the same story as that given by Elisabeth ...

Leave them weeping

Colin Grant: Frederick Douglass, 1 August 2019

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom 
by David Blight.
Simon and Schuster, 892 pp., £30, November 2018, 978 1 4165 9031 6
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... and within two years he’d hatched another plan. In Baltimore he’d fallen in love with Anna Murray, a free black woman. She provided funds, documents that enabled him to travel (‘free papers’ lent by a retired black sailor) and naval costume – and Douglass took a series of trains north. On 4 September 1838 he arrived in New York: ‘I was a ...

The Powyses

D.A.N. Jones, 7 August 1980

After My Fashion 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 286 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 330 26049 9
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Weymouth Sands 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 567 pp., £2.95, June 1980, 0 330 26050 2
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Recollections of the Powys Brothers 
edited by Belinda Humfrey.
Peter Owen, 288 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 7206 0547 4
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John Cowper Powys and David Jones: A Comparative Study 
by Jeremy Hooker.
Enitharmon, 54 pp., £3.75, April 1979, 0 901111 85 6
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The Hollowed-Out Elder Stalk 
by Roland Mathias.
Enitharmon, 158 pp., £4.85, May 1979, 0 901111 87 2
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John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest 
by Morine Krissdottir.
Macdonald, 218 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 354 04492 3
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... his meed of lectures, tutorials and research students. Nevertheless, the book-addicted young, the Colin Wilsons of our time, find John Cowper instantly available in the heart of London, at the Village Bookshop, hard by Piccadilly Circus, that alternative campus. There is here a bust of John Cowper, with large pictures of his photogenic face. There is a wall ...

Being there

Ian Hamilton, 7 October 1993

Up at Oxford 
by Ved Mehta.
Murray, 432 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 0 7195 5287 7
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... public schools and Mehta tells us why – which seems a bit much in a book published by John Murray. Christopher Hill – he of the little-finger handshake – is asked to explain the attractions of Marxism in the light of the Hungarian Revolution. Lord Oxmanton’s mother is asked to explain the rules and rituals of pheasant-shoots. Useful stuff if you ...

Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport, 16 December 2004

Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... the possibility of D’Oliveira being chosen for the tour. Oborne has somehow prevailed on Bruce Murray of Wits University, who has spent years going through the archives to piece together what really happened, to make his research available to him – a remarkable act of generosity, for this should really have been ...
... Cox, a former editor and chief executive of Independent Television News, and Dame Rosemary Murray, a former Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and a director of the Midland Bank. The two nominated by the staff are Lord Windlesham, a former Tory Minister and once managing director of Associated Television (ATV), now chairman of the Parole ...

Brown v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections, 26 April 2007

... Bute was decried as the new Highland adventurer. It did not help that another Scot, William Murray, Lord Mansfield, who was dogged by the smear that he was intent on importing Scots Romanist principles into the English common law, had become lord chief justice in 1756. Might Bute and his Scotch cronies find no better use for Magna Carta, English ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2005, 5 January 2006

... to be brought down for the funeral and then presumably taken back to Wales to be buried beside Colin, her late husband, at their Welsh farmhouse. This, I gather, is pretty remote and the track to it hardly hearse-friendly so the grave when she eventually achieves it likely to be something of a relief. The church is interesting, though only the shell is the ...
by Jerry Hopkins.
Elm Tree, 275 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11548 5
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Alias David Bowie 
by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman.
Hodder, 511 pp., £16.95, September 1986, 0 340 36806 3
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... 1968 to 1975, and with them is a rock-orientated book called Bowie by Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray (Eel Pie, 1980), which is really a more useful guide to Bowie’s products than the books under review. It discusses all his records with musical details and sharp comments. It is also good visually and Bowie’s success is largely visual. It shows the ...

Cropping the bluebells

Angus Calder, 22 January 1987

A Century of the Scottish People: 1830-1950 
by T.C. Smout.
Collins, 318 pp., £15, May 1986, 9780002175241
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Living in Atholl: A Social History of the Estates 1685-1785 
by Leah Leneman.
Edinburgh, 244 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 85224 507 6
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... title without referring once to the D.C. Thomson press or to Harry Lauder. Inspired by Tom Nairn, Murray Grigor and Colin Macarthur, much interesting acerbic comment has latterly been passed on the semiotic nexus of Kailyardism, Brigadoon-ery, Sunday Post-ness and Tartanry where tourists and also many Scots have perceived ...


James MacGibbon: Fashionable Radicals, 22 January 1987

... volumes of Greek myths and Noel Annan’s Leslie Stephen, as well as novels by Thomas Hinde and Colin MacInnes. There was also the peculiar satisfaction of publishing books right outside one’s ken. When we took on Great Horses of the Year, my ignorance of the turf was such that when one of my salesmen suggested that the bookmaker William Hill might send ...

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