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18 July 1985
The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... 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 ...


Norman Page

16 March 1989
Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VI, 1920-1925 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 379 pp., £27.50, March 1987, 0 19 812623 9
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Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VII, 1926-1927 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 304 pp., £29.50, October 1988, 0 19 812624 7
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Thomas Hardy: The Offensive Truth 
by John Goode.
Blackwell, 184 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 631 13954 0
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The Thomas Hardy Journal. Vol. IV: October 1988 
edited by James Gibson.
Thomas Hardy Society, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1988, 0 00 268541 8
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Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody 
by Dennis Taylor.
Oxford, 297 pp., £32.50, December 1988, 9780198129677
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Collected Short Stories 
by Thomas Hardy.
Macmillan, 936 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 47332 9
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... volume on his 88th birthday it wasn’t for want of trying (in the event Winter Words, containing over a hundred poems, appeared posthumously). The Hardyan blend of stamina, abundance and variety is DennisTaylor’s starting-point in Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody: not only was his career ‘longer than that of any other Victorian poet, indeed any English poet’, but ‘he wrote poems in more ...

Zeitgeist Man

Jenny Diski: Dennis​ Hopper

22 March 2012
Dennis​ Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel 
by Peter Winkler.
Robson, 376 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84954 165 7
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... As charm is to Cary Grant, awkwardness to Jerry Lewis, vulnerability to Montgomery Clift, so malevolence is to Dennis Hopper. Very few actors specialised as Hopper did in convincing malice. Vincent Price was too camp to be really alarming, even as the witchfinder general. Peter Lorre was heartbreaking as a child ...

Skimming along

Ross McKibbin

20 October 1994
The Major Effect 
edited by Anthony Seldon and Dennis​ Kavanagh.
Macmillan, 500 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 333 62273 1
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... John Major has now been prime minister for four years. For us, as presumably for him, it often seems a lifetime, so crowded has his premiership been with crises of one sort or another. Dennis Kavanagh and Anthony Seldon not unreasonably, therefore, think this the moment to assess his prime ministerial career; the result is The Major Effect, a collection of 26 essays by a distinguished ...


Gary Taylor

7 January 1993
Shakespeare: The Later Years 
by Russell Fraser.
Columbia, 380 pp., $35, April 1992, 0 231 06766 6
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Shakespeare: His Life, Work and Era 
by Dennis​ Kay.
Sidgwick, 368 pp., £20, May 1992, 0 283 99878 4
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William Shakespeare: The Anatomy of an Enigma 
by Peter Razzell.
Caliban, 188 pp., May 1992, 1 85066 010 7
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Politics, Plague and Shakespeare’s Theatre: The Stuart Years 
by Leeds Barroll.
Cornell, 249 pp., £20.80, January 1992, 0 8014 2479 8
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Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus 
by Margreta de Grazia.
Oxford, 244 pp., £30, February 1991, 0 19 811778 7
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... were printed by ‘pirate publishers’, that by 1594 Shakespeare was already known for ‘kingly roles and old man’s roles’. The first claim is at best debatable, the other two simply wrong. Dennis Kay’s biography is altogether more respectable. He has only a dozen pages of notes, but they direct readers to major sources and divergent views. He has not closed his eyes and swallowed everything ...

Second Chances

Donald Davie

22 July 1993
Collected Poems 
by Patricia Beer.
Carcanet, 216 pp., £18.95, July 1990, 9780856357886
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Friend of Heraclitus 
by Patricia Beer.
Carcanet, 59 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 026 3
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... aside from all the modish categories of modern, post-modern, post-post-modern, one true dilemma that faces us is what it means to be post-Christian. Thomas Hardy faced up to this in his poems, as Dennis Enright and Patricia Beer have faced up to it since. The more publicised and profitable concerns of their contemporaries seem, by comparison, trivial. How hard it is to live in a post-Christian world ...


Clive James: Lord's Day

7 February 1985
... the noble baroness’, for example, rapidly came to sound like ordinary courtesy, and one looked forward with regret to the next time the Speaker of the House of Commons would be obliged to eject Mr Dennis Skinner. The Minister for the Arts, who is also the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and who when neither of those things is the Earl of Gowrie, was referred to at all times as either ‘my ...
30 August 2012
... disaster, when 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush, it cost £4 to stand on Liverpool’s Kop; last season the cheapest seat on the Kop for a match against top opponents was £45. Lord Justice Taylor’s official report in the wake of Hillsborough documented a class-divided sport, the directors helping themselves to the boardroom buffet while young fans died on the terraces. Taylor recommended ...


Andrew Lowry: Pyongyang’s Missing Millions

6 December 2018
... impressed that I knew the ship went down on the day Kim Il-sung was born. As we drove, we sang a few songs from The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. I played them some tunes on my phone. They loved Taylor Swift and Adele, but Kanye only confirmed their worst suspicions about Western decadence. Radiohead was met with confusion and they clearly hated the Pogues, which given the number of patriotic ...
7 August 1980
Louis MacNeice in the BBC 
by Barbara Coulton.
Faber, 215 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 571 11537 3
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Best Radio Plays of 1979 
Eyre Methuen/BBC, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 413 47130 6Show More
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... freedom as well as engagement. The Fifties, in which MacNeice dwindled into a coterie writer, repetitive and somewhat self-pitying or sentimental, saw other talents come down from university: Dennis Potter, for example, with his striking power to re-create a setting, a culture, a range of characters different from each other or from their author; or Don Taylor, whose sense of the 17th century is ...

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