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David Lindley, 7 November 1991

The Triumph of the Embryo 
by Lewis Wolpert.
Oxford, 211 pp., £14.95, September 1991, 0 19 854243 7
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... In the old days, when organic matter was supposed to be infused with some vital spirit that distinguished it from the cold clay of the material world, and the variety of human types and the possession of free will were in-controvertibly attributed to the powers and generosity of God, it was not so hard to understand how an embryo grew into a whole human being ...

Not God

David Lindley, 30 January 1992

Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science 
by Michael White and John Gribbin.
Viking, 304 pp., £16.99, January 1992, 0 670 84013 0
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... Stephen Hawking is now 50 years old, and has lived 25 years longer than he once expected to live. As a scientist he long ago earned the respect of his colleagues; more recently, with the astonishing success of his book A Brief History of Time, he has become a widely recognised public figure. Immobile for decades, he is now unable to communicate except by means of an electronic voice-synthesiser connected to a word-processor ...

Insolence

Blair Worden, 7 March 1985

Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance 
by David Norbrook.
Routledge, 345 pp., £15.95, October 1984, 0 7100 9778 6
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Restoration Theatre Production 
by Jocelyn Powell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £19.95, November 1984, 0 7100 9321 7
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Theatre and Crisis: 1632-1642 
by Martin Butler.
Cambridge, 340 pp., £25, August 1984, 0 521 24632 6
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The Court Masque 
edited by David Lindley.
Manchester, 196 pp., £22.50, August 1984, 0 7190 0961 8
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Ben Jonson, Dramatist 
by Anne Barton.
Cambridge, 370 pp., £30, July 1984, 0 521 25883 9
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... and none of them would have understood the modern relocation of politics below imagination. David Norbrook’s Poetry and Politics in Renaissance England is a protest against the devaluation of political verse, and especially of radical political verse. Where Dr Johnson could deplore Milton’s radicalism yet admire his poetry, Eliot and Leavis expelled ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC, 10 July 2003

Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
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The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
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... well’. Birt agreed, with consequences for the BBC as a whole. But it is also clear from Richard Lindley’s long, densely researched history of Panorama that the programme’s perceived importance over the past fifty years has been generated as much by its own staff, with their professional egos and particular working practices, as by outside observers. For ...

With What Joy We Write of the New Russian Government

Ferdinand Mount: Arthur Ransome, 24 September 2009

The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Roland Chambers.
Faber, 390 pp., £20, August 2009, 978 0 571 22261 2
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... of East and West alike. This other Ransome was, I think, first brought to public attention by David Caute in The Fellow Travellers (1973), then by Hugh Brogan in his 1984 biography, more recently in papers declassified by MI5 in 2005, and now by Roland Chambers in this new biography. It should be said at once that the bulk of the evidence was never ...

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