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Family Dramas

J.A. Burrow, 2 July 1981

Symbolic Stories 
by Derek Brewer.
Boydell, 190 pp., £15, October 1980, 0 85991 063 6
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... This is a polemical book. From the time of Dryden to the mid-20th century, Dr Brewer argues, English literary culture has been dominated by what he calls ‘Neoclassicism’ – by a taste, that is, for the realistic representation of likely events. A.C. Bradley is in this sense a Neoclassical critic; and the most characteristic product of Neoclassical taste is the naturalistic novel ...

Old Western Man

J.I.M. Stewart, 18 September 1980

C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences 
edited by James Como.
Collins, 299 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 9780002162753
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... added, with characteristic candour: ‘At the Socratic the enemy often wipe the floor with us.’ Derek Brewer, a pupil of Lewis’s who was later to become Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, formed the impression that Lewis attended, and presided over, the Socratic ‘entirely as a sacrificial duty, and loathed it’. This may well be an ...


Marilyn Butler, 2 September 1982

The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. I: Medieval Literature Part One: Chaucer and the Alliterative Tradition, Vol. II: The Age of Shakespeare, Vol. III: From Donne to Marvell, Vol. IV: From Dryden to Johnson 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 647 pp., £2.95, March 1982, 0 14 022264 2
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Medieval Writers and their Work: Middle English Literature and its Background 
by J.A. Burrow.
Oxford, 148 pp., £9.95, May 1982, 0 19 289122 7
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Contemporary Writers Series: Saul Bellow, Joe Orton, John Fowles, Kurt Vonnegut, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Pynchon 
by Malcolm Bradbury, C.W.E. Bigsby, Peter Conradi, Jerome Klinkowitz and Blake Morrison.
Methuen, 110 pp., £1.95, May 1982, 0 416 31650 6
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... at retirement, not necessarily early. Any series-editor would be proud of a team which includes Derek Brewer, Derek Traversi, D.W. Harding, L.G. Salingar, Peter Ure, Ian Watt, J.C. Maxwell, L.C. Knights, D.J. Enright, Roy Strong, John Broadbent, Arthur Humphreys, Philip Collins, Pat Rogers, D.W. Jefferson and John ...

When in Rom

John Sutherland, 9 June 1994

The English Poetry Full-Text Database 
editorial board: John Barnard, Derek Brewer, Lou Burnand, Howard Erskine-Hill and Danny Karlin et al.
Chadwyck-Healey, £30,000, June 1994
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... Ask what has been the single greatest influence on literary research since the Sixties and the answer might be the Xerox machine, the jumbo jet or Jacques Derrida. Ask what will transform literary research in the next ten years and a likely answer is The English Poetry Full-Text Database. This project, whose three serial instalments will be complete this summer, has reportedly clocked up almost a hundred sales ...

Sea Changes

Patrick Parrinder, 27 February 1992

Indigo, or Mapping the Waters 
by Marina Warner.
Chatto, 402 pp., £14.99, February 1992, 9780701135317
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Shakespeare’s Caliban: A Cultural History 
by Alden Vaughan and Virginia Mason Vaughan.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £35, January 1992, 0 521 40305 7
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... above all, our involvement in the bloody turmoil of the Caribbean, where the very ocean, in Derek Walcott’s words, drags the ‘weight of chains of centuries’. The British colonial regime in the West Indies began with the occupation of Barbados in 1605, six years before The Tempest was written. Marina Warner’s magnificent new novel portrays an ...

‘No, no,’ replied the fat man

Michael Davie, 3 December 1992

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 
by Donald Read.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 19 821776 5
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... carve-up of 1984, when Reuters went public. Sandy Gall was nearly shot as a spy in the Congo. Derek Jameson was briefly a member of a leftwing, partly Communist cell that interfered with the transmission of copy. During the Vietnam war, a Reuters stringer worked secretly for the CIA, while really being a double agent for the Vietcong; challenged, he said ...

The Two Jacobs

James Meek: The Faragist Future, 1 August 2019

... checked the archive footage of the meetings chaired by the British Leyland trade union convenor Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson, but would I really catch a glimpse there of a peeping child in the colours of Rees-Mogg’s old prep school? At the time Robinson quit the national stage, Rees-Mogg was ten years old. Rees-Mogg’s adoration of Thatcher ...

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