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Plantsmen

David Allen

20 December 1984
The John Tradescants: Gardeners to the Rose and Lily Queen 
by Prudence Leith-Ross.
Owen, 320 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 7206 0612 8
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Sydney Parkinson: Artist of Cook’s ‘Endeavour’ Voyage 
edited by D.J. Carr.
Croom Helm, 300 pp., £29.95, March 1984, 9780709907947
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... Gardeners and, even less, flower painters are not usually thought of as leading adventurous lives. Their pursuits above all others are suggestive of peacefulness, of contented days quietly tucked away in hothouses and arbours, with no greater dangers to contend with than pricks from rose-bushes or stings from wasps. Yet it has never been like that entirely. Someone had to seek out that great variety ...

A Toast at the Trocadero

Terry Eagleton: D.J.​ Taylor

18 February 2016
The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England since 1918 
by D.J.​ Taylor.
Chatto, 501 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 7011 8613 5
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... is Taylor’s unflagging interest in literary figures nobody else has heard of. He has read books with titles like How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup, a novel of 1975 by one J.L. Carr, as well as G.H. Goodchild’s handy wartime guide, Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps. There seems not to have been a dreadful piece of fiction published in 20th-century England that he hasn’t ...

Flying the flag

Patrick Parrinder

18 November 1993
The Modern British Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 512 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 436 20132 1
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After the War: The Novel and English Society since 1945 
by D.J.​ Taylor.
Chatto, 310 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 9780701137694
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... commonplace’, which he thinks we would need to lose our preconceptions in order to appreciate. But the Orwellian echo is too grandiose for the occasion, and as for the pastoral novelists – J.L. Carr and the late Don Bannister – one must hope that they are not unceremoniously ditched in Taylor’s next volume. Is modern fiction inadequate because the modern world is too complex for the novelist ...

Phut-Phut

James Wood: The ‘TLS’

27 June 2002
Critical Times: The History of the ‘Times Literary Supplement’ 
by Derwent May.
HarperCollins, 606 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 00 711449 4
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... 061 copies, its highest ever. In this postwar environment, the TLS began to present a new kind of writing, one of stiffened scholarship and greater rigour. This was the era of Pevsner, Namier, E.H. Carr, D.W. Brogan, A.J.P. Taylor, Anthony Blunt and Noel Annan, all regular reviewers for the TLS (though the old, cosy TLS reappeared in 1946 when Russell’s History of Western Philosophy was sent to J ...

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