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Daniel Soar: David​ Davis v. Miss Great Britain

3 July 2008
... When David Davis, the shadow home secretary, announced his resignation as an MP on 12 June – in order to fight a by-election for his own seat on an issue about which he was in total agreement with his party ...

At the Wallace Collection

Peter Campbell: Anthony Powell’s artists

26 January 2006
... of Time has been taken down into the basement. It can be found there until 5 February, holding a position of honour in Dancing to the Music of Time, an exhibition about the life and work of Anthony Powell. The painting is powerful but decorous. Apollo’s chariot, high in the sky, drives away the clouds of night. The daylight it brings falls only indirectly on the figures below: four dancers ...

Wild-Eyed and Ready to Die

Mary Hawthorne: Dawn Powell

22 February 2001
The Diaries of Dawn Powell​ 1931-65 
edited by Tim Page.
Steerforth, 513 pp., $19, October 1999, 1 883642 25 6
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... For more than thirty years, until her death in 1965, Dawn Powell lived and worked ceaselessly in Greenwich Village. She produced 15 novels, set in Manhattan or the small towns of her native Ohio, half a dozen plays, more than a hundred short stories and countless ...

English Butter

David​ Trotter

9 October 1986
Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880-1920 
edited by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd.
Croom Helm, 378 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 7099 0849 0
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The Character Factory: Baden-Powell​ and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Collins, 335 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 00 217604 1
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Oxford and Empire: The Last Lost Cause? 
by Richard Symonds.
Macmillan, 366 pp., £29.50, July 1986, 0 333 40206 5
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... a man’s mouth, ‘and perhaps a moustache’. Distinctions had to be preserved, even (or especially) between patriots. Nobody reasserted Englishness more emphatically than Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, hero of Mafeking. No organisation transmitted Englishness to a wider audience than the Boy Scout movement he founded in 1908. The extraordinary fame of the soldier made the extraordinary success of ...

Dry Lands

Rebecca Solnit: The Water Problem

3 December 2009
Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming and the Future of Water in the West 
by James Lawrence Powell.
California, 283 pp., £19.95, January 2010, 978 0 520 25477 0
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... in the South-West wouldn’t exist. But the supply was always precarious and overcommitted, and it is already running out. Water limitations were noticed from the beginning, when Major John Wesley Powell and his crew became the first white men to float down the Colorado. Powell’s 1875 Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, an expansion of his magazine reports, is still in print. It is a ...

Chances are

Michael Wood

7 July 1983
O, How the wheel becomes it! 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 143 pp., £6.95, June 1983, 0 434 59925 5
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Brilliant Creatures 
by Clive James.
Cape, 303 pp., £7.95, July 1983, 0 224 02122 2
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Pomeroy 
by Gordon Williams.
Joseph, 233 pp., £7.95, June 1983, 0 7181 2259 3
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... us!’ The thought is echoed in the closing pages of Clive James’s Brilliant Creatures, whose author-hero is said to be a ‘chapter of accidents’, and in the title and precarious plot of Anthony Powell’s O, How the wheel becomes it! The wheel is Ophelia’s, and suggests the incessant circlings of fortune, but quickly, in Powell’s hands, comes to hint at roulette and the dodgy hazards of ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell​ v. the World

2 August 2018
... maintained in Minima Moralia, are inevitably at once refused and demanded by them. That they may simply be incongruous he disregarded. Cases where parallels are as close as those between Proust and Powell lend ‘the compulsion to evaluate’ he thought so generally inescapable a particular force, requiring especial care. We are dealing with two great writers, one universally, the other marginally ...

At Tate Britain

David​ Craig: Mountain Art

25 April 2002
... Earth was God’s creation and that its bones, its visible crust, were ‘a Book of Revelations in the rock-leaved Bible of geology’. Those were the words of the pioneering geologist John Wesley Powell, who led the first expedition through the Grand Canyon in 1873. Thomas Moran, an experienced painter from Philadelphia, travelled with Powell, and had been to Wyoming and Montana with the US ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David​ Runciman: Thatcher Undone

22 December 2019
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... for speculators to target the pound. Lawson and Howe were stymied by her intransigence but realised there was little they could do about it. Having discovered what her most trusted adviser, Charles Powell, called somewhat euphemistically their ‘ploy’, she moved Howe away from the Foreign Office to become leader of the House of Commons, and a few months later Lawson resigned. The ostensible reason ...

Born Again

Phillip Whitehead

19 February 1981
Face the future 
by David​ Owen.
Cape, 552 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 224 01956 2
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... himself to the centre of the political stage writes a book on politics, he will suffer the condescension of his seniors, the condemnation of his critics, and the faint sniggers of academics offstage. David Owen has had his prescription for Britain patronised by Grimond and Powell, dissected by Ken Coates, and treated like a first-year undergraduate’s essay by Professor Peter Townsend. With his ...

Upside Down, Inside Out

Colin Kidd: The 1975 Referendum

25 October 2018
Yes to Europe! The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain 
by Robert Saunders.
Cambridge, 509 pp., £24.99, March 2018, 978 1 108 42535 3
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... referendum in Scotland, prudence, self-interest and the ministrations of Project Fear kept the Scottish electorate from succumbing to the over-optimistic prospectus presented by the SNP. Surely, David Cameron reckoned, the same formula would work again a mere two years later in the UK-wide Brexit referendum. After all, there was also the reassuring story of the UK’s first Euro-referendum in 1975 ...

Diary

Melanie McFadyean: In the Wrong Crowd

24 September 2014
... against murder convictions under joint enterprise. Of these, seven were upheld, one sentence was altered and three were quashed. It’s easy to see why so many of these cases go to appeal. But as David Ormerod, the law commissioner, said to the Justice Select Committee, the outcome of these appeals – like those of the original trials – ‘are often perceived as illogical or unfair’. In May ...

Short Cuts

David​ Runciman: Shuffling Off into Obscurity

4 May 2016
... David Laws​ ’s memoir of his time in government ends with everything in tatters: he has lost his seemingly safe seat, his party has gone from being a full partner in government to having the same ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: War Talk

6 February 2003
... directly links al-Qaida, Iraq and terrorist activity in the UK’. Nonetheless, it’s his job ‘to explain to people why it’s necessary’. All very confusing. Fortunately, the PM’s off to Camp David next week (on 31 January) to have matters straightened out for him by his superiors. He won’t have time to read Collateral Language: A User’s Guide to America’s New War (NYU, $16.95), a ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: Colourisation

22 March 2018
... of War’ (1864) by Timothy O’Sullivan, colourised by Marina Amaral Last year the BBC filmed high street shoppers being shown another of Amaral’s colourised photographs, this time of Lewis Powell, one of the men who conspired with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Lincoln, and who on the same night made a savage attempt on the life of his secretary of state, William H. Seward. The shoppers ...

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