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7 July 1983
William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision 
by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Oxford, 496 pp., £25, February 1983, 0 19 812097 4
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William Wordsworth: The Poetry of Grandeur and of Tenderness 
by David Pirie.
Methuen, 301 pp., £14.95, March 1982, 0 416 31300 0
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Benjamin the Waggoner 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Paul Betz.
Cornell/Harvester, 356 pp., £40, September 1981, 0 85527 513 8
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... and one connecting thread in this volume of essays brings Coleridge into prominence as an influence and a commentator on Wordsworth’s oeuvre in its best years, 1797-1805. Another British critic, DavidPirie, writes in The Poetry of Grandeur and of Tenderness from a point of view which often resembles Jonathan Wordsworth’s. Pirie’s book is less obviously biographical in its orientation, yet in ...

Medawar’s Knack

N.W. Pirie

27 September 1990
A Very Decided Preference: Life with Peter Medawar 
by Jean Medawar.
Oxford, 256 pp., £15, August 1990, 0 19 217779 6
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The Threat and the Glory: Reflections on Science and Scientists 
by Peter Medawar, edited by David​ Pyke.
Oxford, 291 pp., £15, August 1990, 0 19 217778 8
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... Jean Taylor met Peter Medawar when they were students. When she married him she therefore knew that he was an extremely able biologist, but she cannot have foreseen what an energetic polymath she was attaching herself to. Medawar’s ability led at first to frequent moves to better jobs, with consequent house-hunting, and to much travel, on which she accompanied him, to lecture and attend conferences ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell

24 January 2013
Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... to life. He was much less regularly beautiful.’ Clive Bell and his family were also seen to be responsible for Julian’s fondness for country squirely pursuits. There’s a good description by David Garnett of Julian beagling at Cambridge: he was ‘far bigger, noisier and more raggedly dressed than any of his companions … bursting with happy excitement … Late in the afternoon Julian turned ...

Alphabeted

Barbara Everett: Coleridge the Modernist

7 August 2003
Coleridge’s Notebooks: A Selection 
edited by Seamus Perry.
Oxford, 264 pp., £17.99, June 2002, 0 19 871201 4
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The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Vol. XVI: Poetical Works I: Poems (Reading Text) 
edited by J.C.C. Mays.
Princeton, 1608 pp., £135, November 2001, 0 691 00483 8
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The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Vol. XVI: Poetical Works II: Poems (Variorum Text) 
edited by J.C.C. Mays.
Princeton, 1528 pp., £135, November 2001, 0 691 00484 6
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The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Vol. XVI: Poetical Works III: Plays 
edited by J.C.C. Mays.
Princeton, 1620 pp., £135, November 2001, 0 691 09883 2
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... sense a very strange poet. The usual account of this strangeness, until fairly recently, was to say as William Empson did in the introduction to the selection of Coleridge’s poems he edited with DavidPirie: ‘Coleridge wrote only a few very good poems.’ Debate has turned essentially on the question of which those poems were. Defending the edition he was by then at work on, Mays outlined in a ...

Who will stop them?

Owen Hatherley: The Neo-Elite

22 October 2014
The Establishment and How They Get Away with It 
by Owen Jones.
Allen Lane, 335 pp., £16.99, September 2014, 978 1 84614 719 7
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... Paul Staines (‘Guido Fawkes’), aware of the rules of the game, knowingly play the pantomime villain. Early on, Jones mounts a pre-emptive defence against an accusation he knows is coming. When David Aaronovitch smarmily remarks, one Oxbridge-educated staff journalist to another, ‘here we are, having our elite discussion,’ Jones tells the reader: ‘Some will claim that I am, myself, a member ...

Coe and Ovett & Co

Russell Davies

1 October 1981
Running Free 
by Sebastian Coe and David​ Miller.
Sidgwick, 174 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 283 98684 0
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... before a race’ – Peter Hildreth, Sunday Telegraph), One senses that the press box is full of people trying to ‘adopt’ Coe. Television viewers can see the process at work in the person of David Coleman, who maintains, on camera, what comes across as a flirtatiously bantering relationship with ‘Seb’. Coe may be inured to it by now, but as his book records, he has been embarrassed in the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1995

4 January 1996
... as this nylon-underpanted figure dismisses any defence of the tradition of free public libraries as ‘the usual bleating of the middle classes’. I go to bed depressed only to wake and find Madsen Pirie, also from the Adam Smith Institute for the Criminally Insane, banging the same drum in the Independent. Not long ago John Bird and John Fortune did a sketch about the privatisation of air. These ...

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