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Incriminating English

Randolph Quirk, 24 September 1992

Language, Self and Society: A Social History of Language 
edited by Peter Burke and Roy Porter.
Polity, 358 pp., £45, December 1991, 0 7456 0765 9
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Images of English: A Cultural History of the Language 
by Richard Bailey.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £16.95, March 1992, 0 521 41572 1
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The Oxford Companion to the English Language 
edited by Tom McArthur and Feri McArthur.
Oxford, 1184 pp., £25, September 1992, 9780192141835
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The History of the English Language: A Source Book 
by David Burnley.
Longman, 373 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 582 02522 2
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The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. I: Beginnings to 1066 
edited by Richard Hogg and Norman Blake.
Cambridge, 609 pp., £60, August 1992, 9780521264747
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... culture. A still more obvious place to look for solid fare is the source book assembled by David Burnley in The History of the English Language. This is, in effect, an anthology of English written between the ninth century and the early 20th. The passages are well chosen both as representative samples of their time and as having inherent ...

People Like You

David Edgar: In Burnley, 23 September 2021

On Burnley Road: Class, Race and Politics in a Northern English Town 
by Mike Makin-Waite.
Lawrence and Wishart, 274 pp., £17, May, 978 1 913546 02 1
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... Mike Makin-Waite​ , a militant anti-fascist, was working for the borough council in Burnley when, after riots in the town in 2001, it became a stronghold of the British National Party. On Burnley Road explores the complexities of these events, not least as a way of explaining the fall of the ‘Red Wall’ nearly twenty years later ...

Short Cuts

Helen Thompson: West Ham Disunited, 26 April 2018

... the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham, under the majority ownership of David Gold and David Sullivan, two businessmen who had made their money from pornography, agreed that the club would acquire a 99-year lease on the Olympic stadium. By then, West Ham had gone too far to retreat – not least in ...


Rose George: In Dewsbury, 17 November 2005

... Griffin spoke in the autumn at a meeting in Heckmondwike, which boasts the boastful BNP councillor David Exley, he called North Kirklees (Dewsbury’s administrative district) ‘the jewel in the BNP crown’. A local reporter tells me there were 7000 votes cast for the BNP in the local elections, and 5066 this year in the general election. He says they’re ...

Strangeways Here We Come

Dave Haslam: Ecstasy, 23 January 2003

The Promised Land: Travels in Search of the Perfect E 
by Decca Aitkenhead.
Fourth Estate, 206 pp., £12.99, January 2002, 1 84115 337 0
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... Stoke, Blackburn, Ayr. One of the most enthusiastic crowds on the club circuit was at Angels, in Burnley. Rave culture took hold in places like this, towns bitten hard by recession and lacking cultural and social opportunities. Ecstasy can create in a club the sense of community often lacking in such towns, what Simon Reynolds has called ‘collective ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016, 5 January 2017

... 11 January. It’s not to disparage David Bowie, but if even a fraction of the tributes being paid to him and his influence were true we would never have had a Conservative government or indeed any government at all. Hearing the news on the Today programme this morning R. nearly cries. I met Bowie only once, at John Schlesinger’s sometime in the 1980s, and remember him as a slight, almost colourless figure, who was somehow Scots ...

Olivier Rex

Ronald Bryden, 1 September 1988

by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 504 pp., £16, May 1988, 0 297 79089 7
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... Nicholses. Holden is sometimes forgetful, evacuating the wartime Old Vic in one chapter to Burnley, in the next to Barnsley, and poor at sums. He gives the age of Olivier, born in 1907, as 39 when he achieved his triumph as Richard III in 1944. Tarquin Olivier, born in 1936, is credited with a visit at the age of seven to Notley Abbey, bought by his ...

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