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Attending Poppy

Christopher Tayler: David Grand

9 December 1999
Louse 
by David Grand.
Quartet, 255 pp., £10, April 1999, 9780704381155
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... head, upper part of the body, arms etc, at least one foot away from the can ... [there must be] absolutely no talking, coughing, clearing of the throat, or any movement whatsoever of the lips. As David Thomson remarks in his Biographical Dictionary of Film, this was a life ‘so primed for legend, it leaves one feeling that the doleful, suspicious Hughes had some hygienic plan for missing life ...

At the Grand​ Palais

Andrew O’Hagan: The Lagerfeld Fandango

18 July 2019
... d’Orsay. Roses peeped from the gardens. Kids were going up and down on hired motorised scooters, and a swimwear convention was going overboard on the right bank of the Seine. When I arrived at the Grand Palais, I had already gone 12 rounds with the black limousines, trying to cross the road, so I was happy to encounter the young models willing to show me inside. The gargoyle count at Paris fashion ...

Vous êtes belle

Penelope Fitzgerald

8 January 1987
Alain-Fournier: A Brief Life 1886-1914 
by David​ Arkell.
Carcanet, 178 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 85635 484 8
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Henri Alain-Fournier: Towards the Lost Domain: Letters from London 1905 
translated by W.J. Strachan.
Carcanet, 222 pp., £16.95, November 1986, 0 85635 674 3
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The Lost Domain 
by Henri Alain-Fournier, translated by Frank Davison.
Oxford, 299 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 0 19 212262 2
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... him, saying they were both no more than children, and for the next eight years, during which he never saw her, she was his Mélisande, and (transferred to the deep country) the Yvonne de Galais of Le Grand Meaulnes, which was published in 1913. Meanwhile, Fournier – he used the pen-name Alain-Fournier from 1905, partly to avoid confusion with a racing driver – had become a journalist and had a ...

At the Ashmolean

Rosemary Hill: The Capture of the Westmorland

19 July 2012
... on the nature and scope of art-historical inquiry. ‘Portrait of an Unknown Man’ (1777) Much of Captain Machell’s cargo consisted of the luggage of travellers who were either still on the Grand Tour or had recently returned home. They had for the most part followed a well-worn route that led through France into Italy, including an extended stay in Rome, and they journeyed in pursuit of many ...

Princes, Counts and Racists

David​ Blackbourn: Weimar

18 May 2016
Weimar: From Enlightenment to the Present 
by Michael Kater.
Yale, 463 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 0 300 17056 6
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... to raise, then dash, the possibility of Weimar’s revival. This would be a recurring pattern. Franz von Lenbach and Arnold Böcklin, two of the first teachers at the painting academy established by Grand Duke Carl Alexander, would later become major artists, but both left within a few years, repelled by the philistinism of local notables and the formality of the court. A generation later the 25-year ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Grand​ Budapest Hotel’

16 April 2014
The Grand​ Budapest Hotel 
directed by Wes Anderson.
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... where in the words of the leading character in Wes Anderson’s new film, their needs were met ‘before the needs were needed’. The wealthy were pampered, and the pampered felt wealthy. Is the Grand Budapest Hotel of the movie in Budapest? How could you ask? Budapest is just a name, a link to Eastern associations in case the idea of Vienna doesn’t take us far enough into the old empire. The ...

Brown and Friends

David​ Runciman

3 January 2008
... life. At the time of writing, Alexander’s sister Wendy was still hanging on as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. Balls’s wife, Yvette Cooper, sits with him in cabinet. Miliband’s brother, David, is foreign secretary. Brothers and sisters, husbands and wives: the Brown government is a family affair, and it marks a shift to ever more intimate political relationships at the centre of power ...

On the Titanic

Rosemary Hill: ‘Ocean Liners’ at the V&A

24 May 2018
... were designed to conceal as far as possible from passengers the fact they were at sea. The Lusitania was styled like a floating country house. With stuccoed ceilings, stained glass, palm courts and grand pianos, it looked as if it might sink under the weight of the furniture. The deck was a merely functional space for the crew. After 1918 things changed. Modernism, as well as a fashion for fitness ...

Diary

David​ Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991

25 January 1996
... 10 a.m. Taxi Southampton Dock to Eastleigh – Air France plane departed 12.45. Met at Roissy (3 p.m. approx. Continental time) by Jean-Claude Masson and Annick, who drove us in their car to the Grand Hotel Français, boulevard Voltaire, XIIème – a quarter little known to me. Windy, showery, as at home; mild. Pleasant enough double room on the fifth floor – very slow lift. Feeble lighting as ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: From ‘Alien’ to ‘Covenant’

14 June 2017
Alien: Covenant 
directed by Ridley Scott.
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... Nostromo, signing off.’ Prometheus ended with Weaver’s successor Noomi Rapace murmuring: ‘There is only death here now.’ Only death apart from her and the severed head of an android called David. She is going to connect him to his separated body, and he will steer the ship to another planet. They haven’t got on well during the movie – ‘We have had our differences,’ the android says ...

Italianizzati

Hugh Honour

13 November 1997
A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 
compiled by John Ingamells.
Yale, 1070 pp., £50, May 1997, 0 300 07165 5
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... The Dictionary is the brain-child of Sir Brinsley Ford, a collector of 17th and 18th-century art, a patron of living British painters, and in many ways a reincarnation of the ideal virtuoso and Grand Tourist. He was first drawn to the subject by the Roman landscapes of Richard Wilson; published a book on Wilson’s then little-known drawings; and went on to annotate the letters written from Rome ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters

2 August 2007
The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David​ Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... name, I’m seeking now for wealth and fame, They say that I was lost at sea, But I tell them ‘Oh dear, no, not me.’ This ballad, sung in procession when the Tichborne Claimant appeared at the Grand Amalgamated Demonstration of Foresters at Loughborough in August 1872, neatly compresses the story of the most celebrated of all late Victorian causes. In the spring of 1854, Roger Tichborne, a ...

Diary

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Brussels

29 July 1999
... Adjustment, no matter how comfortable it appears to be, is never freedom.’ David Reisman said that in The Lonely Crowd, a work of academic/pop sociology, published in the US in the late Forties; much read and remarked on at the time, and now forgotten. I looked it up the other ...

Eagle v. Jellyfish

Theo Tait: Edward St Aubyn

2 June 2011
At Last 
by Edward St Aubyn.
Picador, 266 pp., £16.99, May 2011, 978 0 330 43590 1
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... and supposedly final book in the series, late in 2010. St Aubyn is a terrific prose stylist and, end to end, these 800 or so pages, covering more than 40 years, add up to something incontestably grand, the nearest we have today to the great cycles of upper-class English life published in the decades after the war – Dance to the Music of Time or Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour. They combine a ...

At the Met

David​ Hansen: Richard Serra

30 June 2011
... My wife had never been to New York before, so we decided we’d walk to the Met from Grand Central Station. On Fifth Avenue, just near Rockefeller Centre, we stopped to watch some roadworks: a guy in a front-end loader was laying down a line of inch-thick, six-foot-long steel plates. He ...

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