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Putting Down the Rising

John Barrell, 22 February 1996

The Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. I: The Shepherd’s Calendar 
edited by Douglas Mack.
Edinburgh, 287 pp., £29.50, July 1995, 9780748604746
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Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. II: The Three Perils of Woman 
edited by David Groves, Antony Hasler and Douglas Mack.
Edinburgh, 466 pp., £32.50, July 1995, 9780748604746
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Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. III: A Queer Book 
edited by P.D. Garside.
Edinburgh, 278 pp., £29.50, July 1995, 0 7486 0506 1
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... Early 19th-century Edinburgh had a lot less time for James Hogg than for the Ettrick Shepherd, the literary persona created partly by Hogg himself, partly by the tight circle that ran Blackwood’s Magazine. Comic, bibulous, full of naive folk-wisdom, easy to patronise, the Ettrick Shepherd was invented as a souvenir of the pastoral Lowlands, a survival whose presence among one of the Edinburgh literary élites could represent both the continuity of modern Scots culture and the impolite past it had left behind ...

Loose Talk

Steven Shapin: Atomic Secrets, 4 November 2021

Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States 
by Alex Wellerstein.
Chicago, 549 pp., £28, April, 978 0 226 02038 9
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... director of the Manhattan Project, won this battle with its overall director, General Leslie Groves. Oppenheimer told Groves that if he wanted technical progress, he had to let scientists talk freely and across disciplinary specialisations. Oppenheimer set up periodic colloquia at Los Alamos, where the leaders of the ...

In Upper Nazareth

Ilan Pappe: ‘Judaisation’, 10 September 2009

... of Arabs into Nazareth, as he calls it, is a national priority. The city was built in the 1950s. David Ben-Gurion was outraged by the presence of so many Arabs in the Galilee when he toured the region in 1953, a few days before he retired for a year and half from his premiership. He appointed the director general of the Ministry of Defence, Shimon Peres, to ...

Why Goldwyn Wore Jodhpurs

David Thomson, 22 June 2000

The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper 
by Dominick Dunne.
Crown, 218 pp., £17.99, October 1999, 0 609 60388 4
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Gary Cooper Off Camera: A Daughter Remembers 
by Maria Cooper Janis.
Abrams, 176 pp., £22, November 1999, 0 8109 4130 9
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... photographs of what the town was like in the 1920s and 1930s. They show farmland and orange groves, with outcrops of buildings at crossroads. When you see a photograph of Samuel Goldwyn in jodhpurs, that’s not because he’s dressed for the role of whip-cracking dictator. No, he often rode a horse to the studio, following bridle paths. When California ...

Ariel the Unlucky

David Gilmour, 5 April 1990

Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... Palestine has less connection with the modern world than with the picturesque towns engraved by David Roberts in the 19th century. Old men still talk about their orange groves and their old stone houses in Jaffa, remembering every tree and every stone, and one doesn’t have the heart to tell them that the houses have ...

At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Russian landscapes, 5 August 2004

... skies.’ Painters of flat land, denied rocks, hills, torrents and mountains, turn to trees (in groves, avenues and forests); to the sky and clouds; and to light as it changes from sunrise, to high noon, to sunset, and to moonlight. With these they are able to dramatise plains, prairies, steppes and meadows. In the 17th century the Dutch did it. The ...


Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire, 22 September 1994

... explain and go to check the newspapers. The Independent has a well-informed and balanced piece by David McKittrick on the genesis of the ceasefire. He seems cautiously optimistic. Not so that other old ham, Conor Cruise O’Brien, writing on the same newspaper’s opinion pages. O’Brien sees the timing of the ceasefire as evidence of a Machiavellian plot to ...

Agh, Agh, Yah, Boo

David Wheatley: Ian Hamilton Finlay, 4 December 2014

Midway: Letters from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Stephen Bann, 1964-69 
edited by Stephen Bann.
Wilmington Square, 426 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 905524 34 1
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... on 22 December 1969 that he had ‘bought a lot of new trees’ and was ‘planting 2 little groves of birches’ to frame a marble sundial. Little Sparta ‘Sea Poppy I’ (1966) ‘Arcadia’ (1973)PreviousNext Forty-five years later, Little Sparta is thriving (open three afternoons a week throughout the summer), but its founder remains an elusive ...

Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David, 9 December 1999

Elizabeth DavidA Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth DavidThe Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... When Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food appeared in 1950, many of the ingredients it called for were unobtainable. But even after meat came off the ration, few people can have had much practical need for a traditional Turkish recipe for stuffing a whole sheep. That was not the point. Saturated with description, of figs and aubergines, of fishing boats at anchor in Marseille and paella pans left out to dry in Spanish courtyards, Mediterranean Food brought a beakerful of the warm South to chilly, postwar England ...

Miles from Palestine

Robert Fisk, 23 June 1988

The Yellow Wind 
by David Grossman, translated by Haim Watzman.
Cape, 202 pp., £10.95, June 1988, 9780224025669
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... of Jerusalem, a place of apartment blocks and car repair shops? Was he unaware that the olive groves of which he spoke so emotionally had in some cases disappeared, that the bare hilltops were now sporting Jewish settlements? What could he do to arrest these things, sitting here in this drafty hut so many miles from ‘Palestine’? The bare light-bulb ...


Yonatan Mendel: A Palestinian Day Out, 15 August 2019

... cities, with more than eighty thousand inhabitants, a vibrant port and prospering orange groves, with at least six movie theatres – the Orient, the Apollo, the Nabil, the Farouq, the Rashid and the Alhambra. Following the Nakba it lost 95 per cent of its population, and now, after seventy years of Israeli ‘modernisation’, it is a suburb of Tel ...

Putting it on

David Marquand, 12 September 1991

A Life at the Centre 
by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 600 pp., £20, September 1991, 0 333 55164 8
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... even in the darkest days of war than they ever could be on the hills of Wales or in the painting groves of the South of France.      So, although I think that I was a decisive and even an adventurous politician at various stages in my life, and had more sensible views about how to lead a government than many of those who have actually done it, I ...

Saved by the Ant’s Fore-Foot

David Trotter: Pound’s Martyrology, 7 July 2005

The Pisan Cantos 
by Ezra Pound, edited by Richard Sieburth.
New Directions, 159 pp., $13.95, October 2003, 9780811215589
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Poems and Translations 
by Ezra Pound, edited by Richard Sieburth.
Library of America, 1363 pp., $45, October 2003, 1 931082 41 3
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... items kept in storage in the early lyrics, or on loan from Keats and Swinburne (vineyards, olive groves, emblematic minerals, pards, maelids, bassarids, the pad of furry feet in the undergrowth). This looks like dionysiac kitsch. But it was considered an improvement on the documentary rigours of Cantos LII-LXXI. Most reassuring of all, to Pound’s ...

Bastard Gaelic Man

Colin Kidd, 14 November 1996

The Correspondence of Adam Ferguson 
edited by Vincenzo Merolle.
Pickering & Chatto, 257 pp., £135, October 1995, 1 85196 140 2
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... of Liberals and Marxists alike, while the New Right delights in a pedigree which reaches back to David Hume and Adam Smith. In the United States scholars have established the influence of Francis Hutcheson, Hume and Smith on the American Revolution and the making of the Constitution. This view has been widely disseminated – to the liberal left by Garry ...


Amanda Vickery: Vauxhall Gardens, 7 February 2013

Vauxhall Gardens: A History 
by Alan Borg and David Coke.
Yale, 473 pp., £55, June 2011, 978 0 300 17382 6
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... Georgian society and culture in one fabulous setting. As places of commerce masquerading as wooded groves, pleasure gardens offered idealised rus in urbe. They could seem poetic in the dusk as the visitor listened to the evening chorus of resident songbirds, but were transportingly magical as night fell and hundreds, if not thousands, of lights were ...

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