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“... to know. Anyone in search of an object lesson in how to write about crime need look no further than Web of Corruption, which tells the story of John Poulson and T. Dan Smith. Raymond Fitzwalter and DavidTaylor took eight years to research and write their analysis of the most far-reaching corruption trial of this century. The opening summary is startling. Of those prosecuted in connection with ...”
“... Without Richard Norton-Taylor of the Guardian, there would be no Belgrano affair, and doubtless Mr Clive Ponting OBE would be plying his way, ever upwards, in the Ministry of Defence. This is no exaggeration. Simply a statement ...”
John Barrell: On the trail of the mysterious John Taylor
1 April 2004
“... John Taylor, the journalist, newspaper editor and poet, was born in 1757. His grandfather, the legendary ‘Chevalier’ Taylor, had been oculist to George II, and afterwards, so his grandson assures us, to ‘every crowned head in Europe’. He was as famous for his womanising as for his knowledge of ophthalmology, but most ...”
“... This is the third full biography of A.J.P. Taylor to appear since his death in 1990. I find this fact almost more interesting than anything in the biographies themselves. For more than two decades after the war Taylor was, very nearly, the public ...”
“... When the London Review of Books began to run a Diary in 1982, A.J.P. Taylor was one of its authors. He always delivered to an exact length, well before the deadline, and often in person. A new editorial assistant, handed copy by the small seventy-five-year-old in a ...”
“... of narcissism. If you rather admire these people’s attitudes and way of life, you may describe it as a culture of tolerance. If you have mixed feelings, you might settle for the description Charles Taylor suggests: it is a culture of authenticity. Taylor says that we ought neither to boost this culture (in the manner of the truly dreadful books produced by representatives of ‘the human potential ...”
“... in the present circumstances, and the right hand respects that – so long as the left hand does in the end pick up the pieces. And it will. Downing Street’s first-choice strategy for the outing of David Kelly – writing, semi-publicly, to the Intelligence and Security Committee to offer him as a witness – was vetoed by Ann Taylor MP, the Committee’s chairman, whose staff refused to be sent the ...”
“... D.J. Taylor is the most charitable of critics. However absurd, third-rate or pretentious the authors he examines, he can always find something to say in their favour. In this latest study, he even puts in a ...”
“... good-natured assumption that everyone is a snob about something and to that extent we are all ridiculous. The bookseller was a snob about snobbery and thought it was vulgar to talk about class. D.J. Taylor is perhaps a literary snob for Cooper gets no mention in his much less enjoyable The New Book of Snobs: A Definitive Guide to Modern Snobbery (Little, Brown, £16.99). His first mistake is to attempt ...”
“... to show what Shakespeare signified rather than what he looked like. Scheemakers’s full-length marble in Poets’ Corner is an image of a national bard. Roubiliac’s version was commissioned by David Garrick, who posed for it himself and while this was certainly vain of him, it was not as vain as it would be today. At a time when the play, rather than the biography, was the thing, Garrick was not ...”
“... to learn that the combined circulation of the three periodicals in which most of his essays appeared was only about half that of the publication you are now reading. On the other hand, A.J.P. Taylor wrote some 1500 book reviews in the course of his career, many of which appeared in the Sunday Express, which in the late 1950s had a circulation of four million and paid him up to £100 a time – a ...”
“... hired by Scholar, who jetted to Florida to snap him up, while others dithered. And it was lucky that Spurs had a vacancy when they did – a vacancy created by the resignation of Tel’s predecessor, David Pleat. Pleat had been fingered by the Sun as a kerb-crawler and there was much bar-room speculation at the time about tip-offs, fit-ups, Sun stringers on the Met. The first Sun revelations came in ...”
“... to emphasise instead how available rhetorical tropes or habits of mind constrained political options. A layman might be forgiven for assuming that those two at least were on the same side. But when David Mayfield and Susan Thorne, two young American scholars, cited Stedman Jones and Joyce as exemplars of social history’s ‘linguistic turn’ in an essay published in Social History in 1992, a ...”
“... guide: They hand in hand with wondering steps and slow Through Eden took their solitary way. A ‘lack of pace’ might seem to be the problem with this dual strike-force, but happily the author – David Bennie – does not say so. Nick Hornby cannot be blamed for writing of this kind, although Fever Pitch has helped to set the tone. In some ways, Hornby has links with the old school. He knows and ...”
“... that he was much more successful in his lifetime than Keats, with whom he shared a publisher). Clare was discovered in 1819, when Edward Drury, a young Stamford bookseller, wrote to his cousin John Taylor, who was also a bookseller – what we would now call a publisher – and told him that he had discovered a wholly untutored genius: Your hopes of good grammar and correct verse, depend on the ...”