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21 August 1980
On the Edge of Paradise 
by David Newsome.
Murray, 405 pp., £17.50, June 1980, 0 7195 3690 1
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... at truth, they often succeed only in playing labyrinthine games. ‘Anyone,’ Benson says, ‘might think that they could get a good picture of my life from these pages; but it is not so.’ DavidNewsome, invited and challenged, has entered the labyrinth, drawing the rest of us with him into an implacable game initiated by the diarist. The mirrors and images multiply, with Newsome, the reviewer and ...
4 March 1982
Edwardian Excursions: From the Diaries of A.C. Benson 1898-1904 
edited by A.C. Benson and David Newsome.
Murray, 200 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 9780719537691
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Geoffrey Madan’s Notebooks 
edited by John Gere and John Sparrow.
Oxford, 144 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 19 215870 8
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... leaving beads of blood on the skin. As the years passed and the cat got even larger and more contented, the claws were bared less often. These extracts, chosen by Benson’s splendid biographer, DavidNewsome, from among the four million words of the diaries Benson left as his memorial, are taken from a period in Benson’s life when he was uncertain and hypersensitive, so the claws are out. It ...

Happy Bunnies

John Pemble: Cousin Marriage

25 February 2010
Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England 
by Adam Kuper.
Harvard, 296 pp., £20.95, November 2009, 978 0 674 03589 8
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... is very like another, and it doesn’t take many of them to stop you seeing the wood. Furthermore, when Kuper zooms in for a closer look, he selects areas already well investigated. If you’ve read DavidNewsome, Annan himself, Michael Holroyd and Hermione Lee on the Wilberforces, Leslie Stephen, Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf, you’re likely to know what’s coming before you’ve turned the ...

Scrum down

Paul Smith

14 November 1996
Making Men: Rugby and Masculine Identity 
edited by John Nauright and Timothy Chandler.
Cass, 260 pp., £35, April 1996, 0 7146 4637 7
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... we easily exaggerate or misconceive its shaping role, whether for better or for worse. Like most institutionalised forms of preparation for life, it tended to train its pupils for the wrong battles. DavidNewsome pointed out long ago that the very success of the games cult risked failing to transform boys into men at all. Rugby’s capacity to equip its charges for the challenges of industrialised ...

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