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Ian Buruma, 13 May 1993

GowerThe Autobiography 
by David Gower and Martin Johnson.
Collins Willow, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 00 218413 3
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... David Gower was this year’s most popular victim, the English underdog, the handsome knight sacrificed by knaves. But good news is at hand: the hero has announced a brilliant season full of runs. In the tradition of General MacArthur, David Gower has announced his return ...

In for the Kill

Inigo Thomas: Photographing Cricket, 17 August 2017

... he once said. ‘But it exists. It is just about the only photograph I have seen of Schindler.’ David Bailey, or Antonioni’s Blow-Up, was one model to follow, but Eagar went to Vietnam. When he returned he got a job at Which? magazine, where he says he ‘tested’ red wine. But photography was always the aim. In 1969 he photographed the images on his ...


Mike Selvey: Dumping Gower, 24 September 1992

... see, of our plans for the evening and the rest of the season. And of the impending publication of David Gower’s autobiography.* This had been ghosted by Martin Johnson, a man who, since he began following Leicestershire for the Leicester Mercury back in 1973, two years before Gower’s first-class career began ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bookshops, 14 December 2000

... wrote in the Guardian that he was ‘surprised to wander into the philosophy section’ of their Gower Street store: not very surprising behaviour for a philosopher, you might think, except that he discovered ‘someone’ had ‘divided the whole of post-medieval Western philosophy into two classes, continental and Anglo-American’, a distinction Bernard ...

Dunbar’s Disappearance

Sally Mapstone: William Dunbar, 24 May 2001

The Poems of William Dunbar 
edited by Priscilla Bawcutt.
Association for Scottish Literary Studies, £70, May 1999, 0 948877 38 3
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... writers had pride of place. In ‘The Goldyn Targe’ Dunbar goes on to praise Chaucer, and then Gower and Lydgate, who were also English, for their triumphant positions in the rhetorical tradition ‘in Britane’, in which he is also seeking to situate himself. For his poetic purposes the ‘isle’ of Scotland and England can be conceived of as a ...

Rotten, Wicked, Tyrannical

Bernard Porter: The Meek Assassin, 5 July 2012

Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die: The Assassination of a British Prime Minister 
by Andro Linklater.
Bloomsbury, 296 pp., £18.99, May 2012, 978 1 4088 2840 3
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... more mysterious. They have been the subject of two previous books, by Mollie Gillen (1972) and David Hanrahan (2008), both called The Assassination of the Prime Minister. Linklater doesn’t add much information or evidence about the event itself, but he puts it in context, and provides fascinating if overblown speculations about the supposed ...

Toss the monkey wrench

August Kleinzahler: Lee Harwood’s risky poems, 19 May 2005

Collected Poems 
by Lee Harwood.
Shearsman, 522 pp., £17.95, May 2004, 9780907562405
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... from Bunting, Montgomery published four collections by Roy Fisher, one by Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Jones’s The Tribune’s Visitation, an early collection by Christopher Middleton, and three by Lee Harwood. The publishing provenance of an outsider poet like Harwood can tell you a lot about his work: Fulcrum, Oasis Books, Pig Press, Galloping ...

Messages from the Mafia

Federico Varese: Berlusconi’s underworld connections, 6 January 2005

Berlusconi’s Shadow: Crime, Justice and the Pursuit of Power 
by David Lane.
Allen Lane, 336 pp., £18.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9787 7
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Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony 
by Paul Ginsborg.
Verso, 189 pp., £16, June 2004, 1 84467 000 7
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... cultures – because it both ‘assimilates and homogenises’. Two foreign observers of Italy, David Lane, the Economist correspondent in Rome, and Paul Ginsborg, who teaches at Florence University, are now also arguing that fascism has returned to the country. Lane begins his book on the beaches of Lazio in January/February 1944: ‘That winter was among ...

Literature and the Left

Marilyn Butler, 18 August 1983

English Literature in History: 1730-80: An Equal, Wide Survey 
edited by Raymond Williams, by John Barrell.
Hutchinson, 228 pp., £13.50, March 1983, 0 09 149820 1
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English Literature in History: 1350-1400: Medieval Readers and Writers 
edited by Raymond Williams, by Janet Coleman.
Hutchinson, 337 pp., £12, July 1981, 0 09 144100 5
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English Literature in History: 1780-1830: Pastoral and Politics 
edited by Raymond Williams, by Roger Sales.
Hutchinson, 247 pp., £13.50, March 1983, 0 09 149830 9
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The Cambridge Guide to English Literature 
by Michael Stapleton.
Cambridge/Newnes Books, 992 pp., £15, April 1983, 9780521256476
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... a context from her description of a mass of topical writing, prose as well as verse. But it is Gower among named writers who here arrives centre-stage, not because he has a distinctive voice (the literary critic’s usual criterion of merit), but because he is typical. Especially in the Vox Clamantis, Gower identifies ...


Frank Kermode: Being a critic, 27 May 1999

... at UCL have often gone to people with a foot in the literary world outside the academy. David Masson, who succeeded Arthur Hugh Clough at UCL, wrote an immense Life of Milton, ran his department with great success, and in his spare time edited Macmillan’s Magazine. His successor Henry Morley was, as Sutherland says, ‘a heroic populariser’, a ...

Coalition Monsters

Colin Kidd, 6 March 2014

In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... fringe. Michael Heseltine entered politics as an unsuccessful National Liberal candidate in Gower at the general election of 1959, and Sir John Nott, Thatcher’s secretary of defence during the Falklands crisis, started his career in the Commons as National Liberal MP for St Ives. Only in 1968 were the National Liberals formally wound up and absorbed ...

No Shortage of Cousins

David Trotter: Bowenology, 12 August 2021

Selected Stories 
by Elizabeth Bowen, edited by Tessa Hadley.
Vintage, 320 pp., £14.99, April, 978 1 78487 715 6
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The Hotel 
by Elizabeth Bowen.
Anchor, 256 pp., $16, August 2020, 978 0 593 08065 8
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Friends and Relations 
by Elizabeth Bowen.
Anchor, 224 pp., $16, August 2020, 978 0 593 08067 2
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... pro-British, anti-English (sometimes), pro-Welsh (the Bowens had migrated to Ireland from the Gower peninsula). The completion of Bowen’s Court coincided with the compiling of secret reports on Irish political opinion on behalf of the Ministry of Information in London, for which she was paid handsomely. Yet the book includes a plea for ‘an undivided ...

Labour dies again

Ross McKibbin, 4 June 2015

... a majority in the Parliament in 2011; the mobilising effects of the independence referendum; David Cameron’s decision (presumably well prepared) to use the result as an excuse to push for ‘English votes for English measures’, which allowed the SNP to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. From that moment, as Scottish MPs knew, Labour was finished ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... think I knew what a placenta was except that I knew it didn’t come with chips.11 September. David Cameron has been in Leeds preaching to businessmen the virtues of what he calls ‘the smart state’. Smart to Mr Cameron seems to mean doing as little as one can get away with and calling it enterprise. Smart as in smart alec, smart of the smart ...


Alan Bennett: My 2006, 4 January 2007

... are often quite funny. Having rekindled an old flame, Lady Warrender, he adjourns with her to his Gower Street house, now emptied of furniture and up for sale. Suddenly, while they’re at it, there’s a loud banging on the door downstairs which Duff Cooper eventually has to answer and it’s the estate agent with some prospective buyers wanting to see the ...

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