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Memories of Lindsay Anderson

Alan Bennett, 20 July 2000

... thoughts occur like ‘I bet Tom Stoppard doesn’t have to do this’ or ‘There is no doubt David Hare would have deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities. On the eve of filming O Lucky Man Lindsay has his ailing ...


A.N. Wilson, 21 October 1993

Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford 
edited by Charlotte Mosley.
Hodder, 538 pp., £20, September 1993, 0 340 53784 1
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... Gaston Palewski (‘Colonel’), she reports that Odette Massigli is having an affair with John Lehmann, who had never liked women before’. ‘Are you shrieking, Colonel?’ One hopes that he was. ‘I have been screaming with laughter for several days on end,’ Nancy reports, after reading a life of Queen Victoria. The French General Election of ...

I am a cactus

John Sutherland: Christopher Isherwood and his boys, 3 June 2004

by Peter Parker.
Picador, 914 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 330 48699 3
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... purged. Even in the Hollywood years, some indelible poshocracy remained. On making friends with David Hockney, in LA in the 1960s, Isherwood enthusiastically exclaimed: ‘Oh David, we’ve so much in common; we love California, we love American boys, and we’re from the North of England!’ Parker adds: ‘As Hockney ...
London Reviews 
edited by Nicholas Spice.
Chatto, 222 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2988 3
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The New Review Anthology 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 31330 0
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Night and Day 
edited by Christopher Hawtree, by Graham Greene.
Chatto, 277 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 07 011296 7
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Lilliput goes to war 
edited by Kaye Webb.
Hutchinson, 288 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780091617608
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Penguin New Writing: 1940-1950 
edited by John Lehmann and Roy Fuller.
Penguin, 496 pp., September 1985, 0 14 007484 8
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... ear for prose. Craig Raine is represented in this selection by a poem of his own and another by David Lodge, who parodies the Martian approach so successfully that you wonder if it has quite enough to it. Blake Morrison’s ‘Xerox’ is a poem to be memorised now if you did not cut it out of the paper and keep it, but he already had a reputation so anyone ...

A Toast at the Trocadero

Terry Eagleton: D.J. Taylor, 18 February 2016

The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England since 1918 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 501 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 7011 8613 5
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... or two feeble excuses for his hostility to the study of post-Chaucerian English at Oxford. Lord David Cecil’s ‘gentlemanly and rather old-fashioned scholarship’ is duly noted, but ‘this is not to disparage Lord David’s accomplishments, either as critic or biographer.’ Why not? Even Empson’s expulsion from ...

Bow. Wow

James Wolcott: Gore Vidal, 3 February 2000

Gore Vidal 
by Fred Kaplan.
Bloomsbury, 850 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 7475 4671 1
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... or even fifteen-minute pick-ups, none likely to have any emotional content. As he had told John Lehmann, “I freely admit to having no romantic notions about trade.”’ ‘Their residence in Paris in spring 1965 made clear to both Howard and Gore how much more they preferred Rome. Nightlife and cruising were easier, more casual there, and there were the ...


Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen: The realities of depression, 11 July 2002

La Fatigue d’être soi: Dépression et société 
by Alain Ehrenberg.
Odile Jacob, 414 pp., €8.35, August 2001, 2 7381 0859 8
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Comment la Dépression est devenue une épidémie 
by Philippe Pignarre.
Découverte, 92 pp., €14.48, September 2001, 2 7071 3517 8
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... books by Alain Ehrenberg and Philippe Pignarre, along with a third, published a few years ago by David Healy,* forcefully underscore the incongruous fact that depression was never so prevalent as it has been since the introduction of antidepressants. It has always been with us, though it went by other names and sometimes assumed different shapes, depending ...

Each of us is a snowball

Susannah Clapp: Squares are best, 22 October 2020

Square Haunting 
by Francesca Wade.
Faber, 422 pp., £20, January, 978 0 571 33065 2
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... satin and Egyptian beads, and was painted by Augustus John in silks that don’t look too dusty. David Piper called it ‘the only existing humane portrait of a Lady Don’ and Harrison was pleased, thinking she looked ‘like a distinguished prize-fighter who has had a vision and collapsed under it’. Wade’s account of her life is in tune with the ...

We were the Lambert boys

Paul Driver, 22 May 1986

The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... Dance to the Music of Time), William Walton, Dylan Thomas, Augustus John, Elisabeth Lutyens, John Lehmann, Louis Macneice, Alan Rawsthorne, Michael Ayrton. In the dark background are the diabolic Bernard Van Dieren and Philip Heseltine (‘Peter Warlock’), two men, composer-writers like himself, to whom Lambert maintained a fierce loyalty, before and after ...

Who is Lucian Freud?

Rosemary Hill: John Craxton goes to Crete, 21 October 2021

John Craxton: A Life of Gifts 
by Ian Collins.
Yale, 383 pp., £25, May, 978 0 300 25529 4
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... in determining what Herbert Read called, in Horizon, ‘the fate of modern painting’. John Lehmann used their work to illustrate a volume of Penguin New Writing and Peter Watson, who co-curated the first exhibition of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, chose both of them, along with Bacon, Hepworth and Moore, to be shown with the great European ...

The Old, Bad Civilisation

Arnold Rattenbury: Second World War poetry, 4 October 2001

Selected Poems 
by Randall Swingler, edited by Andy Croft.
Trent, 113 pp., £7.99, October 2000, 1 84233 014 4
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British Writing of the Second World War 
by Mark Rawlinson.
Oxford, 256 pp., £35, June 2000, 0 19 818456 5
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... Brigaders, Trotskyites, Communists, pacifists failed by their tribunals. The playwright David Hare declared recently that working-class conscripts now met ‘the officer class’ for the first time and rebelled; but plenty had met the people issuing orders, at least since Peterloo. Moreover, an Army largely unemployed except in training or retreat ...

Brief Encounters

Andrew O’Hagan: Gielgud and Redgrave, 5 August 2004

Gielgud's Letters 
edited by Richard Mangan.
Weidenfeld, 564 pp., £20, March 2004, 0 297 82989 0
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Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave 
by Alan Strachan.
Weidenfeld, 484 pp., £25, April 2004, 0 297 60764 2
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... not only needing applause, but needing (badly needing) other people to have a little less of it. David Frost once asked him what he wished he’d known at 20. ‘To hold my tongue,’ Gielgud said. ‘I’ve talked too much, gossiped too much.’ The fear of gossip can run a life, and sometimes ruin one; Michael Redgrave was an actor powered by ...

Raging towards Utopia

Neal Ascherson: Koestler, 22 April 2010

Koestler: The Indispensable Intellectual 
by Michael Scammell.
Faber, 689 pp., £25, February 2010, 978 0 571 13853 1
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... two other biographies in English already exist: Iain Hamilton’s Koestler: A Biography (1982) and David Cesarani’s Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind (1998). But Scammell has little time for either work. His bibliography dismisses Hamilton’s book as ‘superficial and ill-researched’, and Cesarani’s (the one which attacked Koestler as a serial ...


John Bayley, 6 September 1984

The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. V: 1936-1941 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie.
Chatto, 402 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 7012 0566 0
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Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood 
by Angelica Garnett.
Chatto, 181 pp., £9.95, August 1984, 0 7011 2821 6
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... a fascination in which she seems the child and the child the adult. Angelica’s elopement with David Garnett deeply upset her. Angelica Garnett’s book about her childhood, Deceived with Kindness, shows a quite exceptional understanding of the whole environment. Tolerantly and without malice she analyses the ways in which Bloomsbury licensed and indulged ...

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