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Seven Centuries Too Late

Barbara Newman: Popes in Hell, 15 July 2021

Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy 
by Guy Raffa.
Harvard, 370 pp., £28.95, May 2020, 978 0 674 98083 9
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Poetry in Dialogue in the Duecento and Dante 
by David Bowe.
Oxford, 225 pp., £60, November 2020, 978 0 19 884957 5
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Dante’s Christian Ethics: Purgatory and Its Moral Contexts 
by George Corbett.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £75, March 2020, 978 1 108 48941 6
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Why Dante Matters: An Intelligent Person’s Guide 
by John Took.
Bloomsbury, 207 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 1 4729 5103 8
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Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio: Literature, Doctrine, Reality 
by Zygmunt Barański.
Legenda, 658 pp., £75, February 2020, 978 1 78188 879 7
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... farcical, as the loss and recovery of his bones intertwines with the tempestuous fate of Italy. David Bowe reads Dante in dialogue with other lyricists of the duecento, while George Corbett examines his ethics and politics, appraising his magisterial synthesis of Aristotelian and Christian thought. John Took asks ‘why Dante matters’ and responds by ...

Lunchtime No News

Paul Foot, 27 June 1991

Kill the messenger 
by Bernard Ingham.
HarperCollins, 408 pp., £17.50, May 1991, 0 00 215944 9
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... Leon Brittan, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, allowed his head of information, Collette Bowe, to read out to the Press Association a letter from the Solicitor-General to the selfsame Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Heseltine). Neither the Solicitor-General nor Heseltine knew of the leak. The letter, like the document about the Cruise ...


Tam Dalyell: Yesterday’s News, 18 September 1986

... interview in Phillip Whitehead’s programme, All the Prime Minister’s Men, with the truculent David Hart, broadcast on 17 July. Who was David Hart, you ask? David Hart was Mrs Thatcher’s key personal adviser during the miners’ strike whose activities so enraged Ned Smith, the ...


Tam Dalyell: Nuclear Power after Chernobyl, 5 June 1986

... that such facilities should be mothballed overnight. I have been reading Magnus Linklater and David Leigh’s book on the Westland affair.* One crucial passage, a quotation from an unnamed source, comes at the top of page 143: The Prime Minister knew about the leak. She was pleased it had been done. There was a meeting between Brittan and her after the ...

The World’s Most Important Spectator

David Bromwich: Obama’s World, 3 July 2014

... Executive action was once again Obama’s preference in arranging the return on 31 May of Bowe Bergdahl, the American prisoner in Afghanistan, in exchange for five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo. On 2 June, the Environmental Protection Agency, with Obama’s explicit backing, announced rigorous new carbon limits calculated to shorten the life of ...

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