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The Fug o’Fame

David Goldie: Hugh MacDiarmid’s letters, 6 June 2002

New Selected Letters 
by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Dorian Grieve.
Carcanet, 572 pp., £39.95, August 2001, 1 85754 273 8
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... One day, in the early years of the 20th century, a poetically-minded young man from the Scottish borders called Christopher Murray Grieve walked to Ecclefechan, the birthplace of Thomas Carlyle. It wasn’t a long way, but his trek was a gesture of hero-worship to one of the greatest Scotsmen and largest egos of the previous century. He toured Carlyle’s house and, as some visitors did, tried on the great man’s hat ...


David Goldie: Morecambe and Wise, 15 April 1999

Morecambe and Wise 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 416 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 1 85702 735 3
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... Nearly 29 million people watched Morecambe and Wise’s Christmas Special in 1977 – over six and a half million more than had watched the Queen’s Speech earlier in the day. Graham McCann proposes that this popular endorsement of Morecambe and Wise as de facto national comics is also a vindication of what were then the public service ideals of the BBC ...

A to Z

Ian Hamilton: Schmidt’s List, 4 March 1999

Lives of the Poets 
by Michael Schmidt.
Weidenfeld, 960 pp., £22, October 1998, 0 297 84014 2
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A Critical Difference: T.S. Eliot and John Middleton Murry in English Literary Criticism, 1919-28 
by David Goldie.
Oxford, 232 pp., £35, October 1998, 0 19 812379 5
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... that. Or do I just want to believe it was that because I’ve been reading A Critical Difference, David Goldie’s engrossing study of a similar dispute – an early Twenties stand-off between T.S. Eliot and John Middleton Murry? This argument also centred on two magazines – indeed, three magazines – and it began gradually, with neither of the two ...

No Meat and Potatoes – Definitely No Chocolate

James Fletcher: Haydn studies, 8 February 2001

Haydn Studies 
edited by Dean Sutcliffe.
Cambridge, 343 pp., £47.50, October 1998, 0 521 58052 8
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... as a ‘humorous’ composer. In a piece on Morecambe and Wise in the LRB (15 April 1999, David Goldie quoted a story about André Previn appearing as a celebrity guest on the show. Beforehand Morecambe told Previn: ‘We must never think this is funny, on camera; never think it’s funny: we’re doing it for straight.’ Haydn would have ...

What do we mean by it?

J.G.A. Pocock, 7 January 1993

The Cambridge History of Political Thought: 1450-1700 
edited by J.H. Burns and Mark Goldie.
Cambridge, 798 pp., £60, August 1991, 0 521 24716 0
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... has already edited the Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought: c. 250-c. 1450 (1988), Dr Goldie is to join with Robert Wokler in editing the Cambridge History of 18th-Century Political Thought, and a volume on the 19th century is to follow. These furthermore are ‘Cambridge histories’ in the classic sense, laid down by Lord Acton a century ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Orders of Service, 18 April 2019

... worried that she had been bullied into it. The speakers at their memorial included Hugh Casson and David Astor. ‘Why haven’t you thrown them away?’ I asked my friend Catherine Freeman, the 87-year-old owner of the dusty folder I’ve been drawing from. ‘They will help me as I plan my own service,’ she said. I wondered if the challenge of throwing ...

Pocock’s Positions

Blair Worden, 4 November 1993

Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... Perhaps it will receive it in the forthcoming book for which his essay whets the appetite. Mark Goldie confronts the issue of Church-State relations head on. His subject is the place of Whig ideology, in the later 17th century and beyond, of anti-clericalism, and particularly of hostility to the clergy’s claim to have a role in politics. ‘English ...

Not No Longer but Not Yet

Jenny Turner: Mark Fisher’s Ghosts, 9 May 2019

k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher 
edited by Darren Ambrose.
Repeater, 817 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 1 912248 28 5
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... Militant Modernism by Owen Hatherley, One-Dimensional Woman by Nina Power and The Meaning of David Cameron by Richard Seymour, all of which grew from their authors’ blogposts. Such works amounted to ‘a kernel of a whole new left public’, according to another of Fisher’s friends, Jeremy Gilbert, professor of cultural studies at the University of ...

The Most Corrupt Idea of Modern Times

Tom Stevenson: Inspecting the Troops, 1 July 2021

The Changing of the Guard: The British Army since 9/11 
by Simon Akam.
Scribe, 704 pp., £25, March, 978 1 913348 48 9
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... by American generals who had directed major operations in Iraq. Both Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus considered themselves experts in counterinsurgency – the respectable term for trying to suppress domestic resistance to a military occupation. British soldiers were supposed to fall in line with American thinking and avoid making too many ...

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