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Forged, Forger, Forget

Nicholas Spice: Peter Carey, 5 August 2010

Parrot and Olivier in America 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 451 pp., £18.99, February 2010, 978 0 571 25329 6
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... Parrot and Olivier in America is the singular and surprising offspring of an unlikely coupling between two different novels: one, a fantasia on Tocqueville’s travels in America in 1831, the other a picaresque romance about an Englishman called John Larrit (known as Parrot for his talent as a mimic) who is suddenly and brutally torn from an idyllic childhood as the son of an itinerant printer in late 18th-century Devon and transported to Australia, where he grows up to become a topographical artist and engraver ...

Where will the judges sit?

Stephen Sedley: What will happen to the Law Lords?, 16 September 1999

The House of Lords: Its Parliamentary and Judicial Roles 
edited by Brice Dickson and Paul Carmichael.
Hart, 258 pp., £30, December 1998, 1 84113 020 6
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Constitutional Futures: A History of the Next Ten Years 
edited by Robert Hazell.
Oxford, 263 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 0 19 829801 3
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The Law and Parliament 
edited by Dawn Olivier and Gavin Drewry.
Butterworth, 219 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 406 98092 6
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Crown Powers: Subject and Citizens 
by Christopher Vincenzi.
Pinter, 343 pp., £47.50, April 1998, 1 85567 454 8
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... When, some years ago, the Bar’s dining room at the House of Lords was closed and barristers appearing before the Law Lords were given permission to use the Peers’ dining room, younger barristers became quite badly disoriented by seeing elder statesmen who they were confident had been dead for many years lunching at the next table. What they didn’t always appreciate was that it was thanks to a similar cryogenic process that the Law Lords themselves were hearing appeals – as they still are ...


Gabriele Annan, 3 September 1987

The Neo-Pagans: Friendship and Love in the Rupert Brooke Circle 
by Paul Delany.
Macmillan, 270 pp., £14.95, August 1987, 0 333 44572 4
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... Brooke (no relation); the Hungarian aristocrat Bekassy; the Frenchman Jacques Raverat; and Noel Olivier, the youngest of the four daughters of Sir Sydney Olivier, a Fabian Governor-General of Jamaica. The Oliviers were at the very centre of the Neo-Pagan scene and famously beautiful. The other Neo-Pagan girls were ...

Fear of Drying

Richard Eyre, 4 September 1986

Stage Fright: Its Role in Acting 
by Stephen Aaron.
Chicago, 156 pp., £13.95, July 1986, 0 226 00018 4
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... took over, and he remained in his dressing-room, underneath a table, curled up like a baby. When Olivier was playing in The Master Builder he had a less severe attack, cited by Aaron: My cue came, and on I went to that stage where I knew with grim certainty that I would not be capable of remaining more than a few minutes ... I took one pace forward and ...

Such a Husband

John Bayley, 4 September 1997

Selected Letters of George Meredith 
edited by Mohammad Shaheen.
Macmillan, 312 pp., £47.50, April 1997, 0 333 56349 2
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... doomed Chatterton, gracefully draped in his purple breeches against the background of a Bristol dawn, Wallis might seem to have endorsed the romantic conception of his subject while disclosing with unexpected shrewdness the more commonplace frailties of the actual model. Between Kate Horne’s graphic account of the Merediths’ home life and an anxiously ...

Strawberries in December

Paul Laity: She Radicals, 30 March 2017

Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Verso, 512 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 1 78478 588 8
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... time for her ‘quick-coming millennium’, warning that the ‘cold truth’ might eventually dawn on self-sacrificing idealists that ‘the people thank them not.’ Daniell responded with fervour, but Baillie, another of Rowbotham’s rebellious six, was undaunted, filling Liberty with his thoughts on Proudhon and Kropotkin. ‘They had all turned their ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2013, 9 January 2014

... play (aged 79) was still waving the same handkerchief. Better I suppose than always hailing a new dawn. 19 October. Back from Yorkshire on a Saturday for a change. We’re used to repairs on the line on a Sunday but today they’re so widespread that nobody at Leeds seems clear about the best way to get to London, one desk suggesting via Sheffield, another ...

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