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East Hoathly makes a night of it

Marilyn Butler, 6 December 1984

The Diary of Thomas Turner 1754-1765 
edited by David Vaisey.
Oxford, 386 pp., £17.50, November 1984, 0 19 211782 3
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John Clare’s Autobiographical Writings 
edited by Eric Robinson.
Oxford, 185 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 19 211774 2
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John Clare: The Journals, Essays, and the Journey from Essex 
edited by Anne Tibble.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 85635 344 2
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The Natural History Prose Writings of John Clare 
edited by Margaret Grainger.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, January 1984, 0 19 818517 0
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John Clare and the Folk Tradition 
by George Deacon.
Sinclair Browne, 397 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 86300 008 8
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... diary might not be quite a classic, but it becomes one in the hands of its exemplary editor David Vaisey, who has trimmed it to not much more than a third of its original length, and richly supplemented its information about the village’s inhabitants and about Turner’s family and business. In this way he quietly helps to substantiate the ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... James.7 August, Oxford. To Oxford and the Holywell Music Room where Bodley’s librarian emeritus David Vaisey and I have a conversation about our time at Oxford in the 1950s. David and I were first aware of each other at the scholarship examination in Exeter College hall in January 1954. The hall was bitter cold but ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... think I knew what a placenta was except that I knew it didn’t come with chips.11 September. David Cameron has been in Leeds preaching to businessmen the virtues of what he calls ‘the smart state’. Smart to Mr Cameron seems to mean doing as little as one can get away with and calling it enterprise. Smart as in smart alec, smart of the smart ...


Alan Bennett: My 2006, 4 January 2007

... do. But so also do a collection of people whom I’ve never seen before, and in such numbers that David Hyde Pierce, who is presenting it, is practically elbowed out of the way. These turn out to be the backers who, of course, have every reason to be pleased and indeed one of them duly adjusts my tie. I am then bundled out through a back door and across the ...


Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection, 1 January 2009

... West and Ecclesiastes) is given a round of applause. The best speech, regrettably, is David Frost’s, the best anecdote that Ned, questioned about the young man he had brought with him to supper, said: ‘If pressed, I would have to say he’s a Spanish waiter.’ Waiting at the lights this afternoon my bike slips out of my hands and slides to ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... the same from one abbey to the next.2 April, Yorkshire. Come across a thirty-year-old note from David Vaisey, at that time a postgraduate student at Bodley and subsequently its Librarian. The note just has a crudely drawn swastika and the slogan ‘A.L. Raus’.14 April. Pass two slightly cheeky-looking middle-aged businessmen in Hanover Square, one of ...

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