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Watermonster Blues

William Wootten: Edwin Morgan

18 November 2004
Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity 
by Colin Nicholson.
Manchester, 216 pp., £40, October 2002, 0 7190 6360 4
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Beowulf 
translated by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 118 pp., £6.95, November 2002, 1 85754 588 5
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Cathures 
by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 128 pp., £6.95, November 2002, 1 85754 617 2
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... remarkably little anxiety in the younger poets, such as Robert Crawford, Liz Lochead, W.N. Herbert, Kathleen Jamie and Jackie Kay, who have learned from him. In Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity, ColinNicholson tries to account for his many-sided subject by examining him facet by facet, but the result is rather less than the sum of its (sometimes valuable) parts. Nicholson gives a sense of the ...

Adjusting the Mechanism

Colin​ Burrow: Robert Graves

11 October 2018
Robert Graves: From a Great War Poet to ‘Goodbye to All That’, 1895-1929 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 461 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 4729 2914 3
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The Reader over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose 
by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge.
Seven Stories, 613 pp., £30, September 2017, 978 1 60980 733 7
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... a letter of condolence to his parents and his death was announced in the Times (the paper was decent enough to print a correction without charge). In 1918, returned from the dead, he married Nancy Nicholson (daughter of William Nicholson the painter, sister to Ben Nicholson and herself a skilful illustrator and designer), with whom he had three children by 1922, although it was never quite clear how ...

Diary

Christopher Nicholson: Rare Birds

22 November 2018
... may just have been based on Walton. The most plausible model for Day’s master, the fictional Earl of Wessex – a title now held by Prince Edward, who is supposed to have chosen it after watching Colin Firth play a character called Lord Wessex in the film Shakespeare in Love – is the Earl of Ilchester. Whenever Hardy first heard of the courser, the critical fact is that in his library he had a ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín: Rupert Everett

6 September 2007
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... unpleasantness, but the night it went wrong it was done for pettier motives. Nona Summers, a society hostess, was that evening minding her own business in her own nice home in the company of Jack Nicholson and three hundred others. She had, understandably, drawn the line at Rupert and Min, who seem to have been upset by this. Rupert’s idea of a Water Board worker was a man with an Irish accent. He ...
24 November 1988
The Grass Arena 
by John Healy.
Faber, 194 pp., £9.95, October 1988, 0 571 15170 1
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... of images once launched seems predestined: savage childhood, petty crime, the Army, booze and vagrancy, a willed renunciation, rebirth into chess, guru-chasing and, inevitably, the in-tray of Colin MacCabe at the British Film Institute. Now the book (or, more accurately, John Healy himself) is everywhere; the knock-on effect, the metropolitan whispers that can rush the latest hot item from the ...

Where will we live?

James Meek: The Housing Disaster

9 January 2014
... was designed as an attack on the dominance of the big seven private housebuilding companies – in descending order of size, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes, Persimmon, Bellway, Redrow, Bovis and Crest Nicholson – who between them have almost 40 per cent of the market in new homes. But the most striking thing in the document is a chart displaying the history of Britain, in housebuilding and house prices ...

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