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Thanks be to God and to the Revolution

David Lehmann, 1 September 1983

... The silhouette of Cesar Augusto Sandino, his hands clasped behind his back, his left foot pointing outwards, wearing high-laced army boots and a ten-gallon hat, is the universal emblem of Nicaragua’s revolutionary movement. In the 1920s Sandino led a prolonged guerrilla campaign against the US marines who had been occupying his country since 1912 ...

Basismo

Anthony Pagden, 13 June 1991

The Cambridge History of Latin America. Vol. VII: 1930 to the Present 
edited by Leslie Bethell.
Cambridge, 775 pp., £70, October 1990, 0 521 24518 4
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Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America 
by John King.
Verso, 266 pp., £29.95, November 1990, 0 86091 295 7
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Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, Politics and Religion in the Post-war Period 
by David Lehmann.
Polity, 235 pp., £29.50, April 1990, 0 7456 0776 4
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... classes, and where such parties do exist they tend to act less as agents of government than, in David Lehmann’s words, ‘as employment agencies for their followers’. In their place are clientelist, sometimes even semi-feudal, oligarchies whose capacity for survival is remarkable. Despite the revolution of 1910-20, many of the Mexican élites are ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann, 7 January 1999

John LehmannA Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... The first volume of John Lehmann’s autobiography, published in 1955, starts: When I try to remember where my education in poetry began, the first image that comes to mind is that of my father’s library at the old family home of Fieldhead on the Thames. It is an autumn or winter evening after tea, for James the butler has been in to draw the blinds and close the curtains, and my father is reading under a green-shaded lamp ...

Meringue-utan

Rosemary Hill: Rosamund Lehmann’s Disappointments, 8 August 2002

Rosamond Lehmann 
by Selina Hastings.
Chatto, 476 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7011 6542 1
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... Rosamond Lehmann was born the day after Queen Victoria’s funeral. When the First World War broke out she was 13, on holiday with her family on the Isle of Wight. The imminence of hostilities had put an end to a plan, much dreaded by Rosamond, to send her and her sister to stay with relatives in Germany. From her own point of view the war was ‘a personal and miraculous reprieve’: ‘of the world crisis, I remember only that sudden emptiness of the beach and the expression on my father’s face as he sat reading the papers all day ...

A Conversation with Gore Vidal

Thomas Powers: Meeting Gore Vidal, 31 July 2014

... story. It happened that Vidal had information on this subject: both Stephen Spender and John Lehmann had been told by Hugh Walpole – in identical words, apparently – of an occasion mentioned by Edel. Walpole, then young, beautiful, and awed by the Master, had offered himself to James. After a moment of hesitation, James shuddered and said: ‘This ...

Playing Catch Up

Wolfgang Streeck: The German Exception, 4 May 2017

German Economic and Business History in the 19th and 20th Centuries 
by Werner Plumpe.
Palgrave, 367 pp., £86, August 2016, 978 1 137 51859 0
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The Seven Secrets of Germany: Economic Resilience in an Era of Global Turbulence 
by David Audretsch and Erik Lehmann.
Oxford, 229 pp., £22.99, February 2016, 978 0 19 025869 6
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Germany’s Role in the Euro Crisis: Berlin’s Quest for a More Perfect Monetary Union 
by Franz-Josef Meiers.
Springer, 146 pp., £90, November 2016, 978 3 319 37052 1
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... of the Mediterranean EMU member countries began to collapse. Here​ the story is picked up by David Audretsch and Erik Lehmann. They purport to reveal the ‘seven secrets’ that enabled Germany to muster, in the words of their subtitle, ‘economic resilience in an era of global turbulence’. What are these ...

Bad Dreams

Robert Crawford: Peter Porter, 6 October 2011

The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems 
by Peter Porter.
Picador, 421 pp., £12.99, May 2010, 978 0 330 52218 2
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... to read at the Adelaide Arts Festival, and while in Australia he fell in love with Sally Lehmann, the wife of the poet Geoff Lehmann. Just after he returned to London, Jannice told her husband she wanted to go to her parents’ place for some time alone. He waved her off from Paddington. She phoned London on her ...

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 ...

The Candidates

Chris Lehmann: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb, 18 June 2015

... the same time accusing me.’ Meanwhile, a longtime friend and ally of Rubio, former Congressman David Rivera, is facing a series of ethics proceedings, the Washington Post reports, for ‘routinely billing the state for travel and other expenses while paying himself back out of campaign accounts when he was a state legislator’. In 2005, Rivera and Rubio ...

Fit and Few

Donald Davie, 3 May 1984

The Making of the Reader: Language and Subjectivity in Modern American, English and Irish Poetry 
by David Trotter.
Macmillan, 272 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 30632 5
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... but himself. If he is in earnest – and if he isn’t we’ll not bother with him, any more than David Trotter does – he thought that he was testing his society by moving out to the periphery of that society, speaking for and with the disaffected, the vagabonds, the ill-adjusted. How disconcerting, then, to find that the disaffection he thought he was ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster, 18 March 2004

... in Gütersloh, can much have cared about the inter-office memoranda of Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann, or between Ian Parsons and Norah Smallwood – all of them big names in the days when British publishing houses were small? Let the librarians at Reading look after them, if they were kind enough to want to. What Reading now ...

Unmuscular Legs

E.S. Turner, 22 August 1996

The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... of incense and a fine model of a Russian destroyer of 1912’. There is a withering account by Sir David Hunt of the reputed master-spy Sir William Stephenson, who encouraged the writing of best-selling works of fantasy about himself, in the best tradition of Buffalo Bill. Earlier volumes of the DNB tell of disreputable divines in George Ill’s time who ...

Playing Fields, Flanders Fields

Paul Delany, 21 January 1982

War Diary 1913-1917: Chronicle of Youth 
by Vera Brittain, edited by Alan Bishop.
Gollancz, 382 pp., £8.50, September 1981, 0 575 02888 2
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The English Poets of the First World War 
by John Lehmann.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 0 500 01256 3
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Voices from the Great War 
by Peter Vansittart.
Cape, 303 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 224 01915 5
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The Little Field-Marshal: Sir John French 
by Richard Holmes.
Cape, 427 pp., £12.50, November 1981, 0 224 01575 3
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... is so striking that it has been exhaustively chronicled; and an inevitable drawback to John Lehmann’s survey of The English Poets of the First World War is that so many of his poets seem already chosen for him, so many of his conclusions already foregone. The excellence of the illustrations, the urbanity of the author’s prose, tempt one to think ...

Kitty still pines for his dearest Dub

Andrew O’Hagan: Gossip, 6 February 2014

Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... can be tolerated, and might even be enjoyed, as piano-players in the funhouse of letters. Early in David Plante’s diaries, we find him tinkling away, dropping names in basso profundo, as if knowing people and knowing what they do in private can be the thing that makes one special. He is 28 years old when he comes to London from the US (a little younger than ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell, 24 January 2013

Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... they forgive.It wasn’t that he was particularly good-looking – according to his friend John Lehmann he was ‘a great, untidy, sprawling figure of a young man’. Virginia Woolf blamed his lack of looks on his father’s family: ‘He had a strong element of the Bell in him. What do I mean? I think I mean that he was practical & caustic & shrewd … He ...

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