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Grail Trail

C.H. Roberts, 4 March 1982

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail 
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
Cape, 445 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 224 01735 7
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The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus 
by Desmond Stewart.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 241 10686 9
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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition 
by Jeffrey Burton Russell.
Cornell, 258 pp., £14, November 1981, 0 8014 1267 6
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... a quota of scholarship and more than a dash of fiction or imaginative reconstruction. The late Desmond Stewart’s book (which Alan Neame, who introduces it, neatly describes as an ‘intuitive biography’) belongs to the second class. Though it draws on scholarship, it is not a book for scholars; his reading, though wide, was patchy (nothing written ...

Cleaning up

Simon Schaffer, 1 July 1982

Explaining the Unexplained: Mysteries of the Paranormal 
by Hans Eysenck and Carl Sargent.
Weidenfeld, 192 pp., £9.95, April 1982, 0 297 78068 9
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Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts 
by R.C. Finucane.
Junction, 292 pp., £13.50, May 1982, 0 86245 043 8
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Hauntings and Apparitions 
by Andrew Mackenzie.
Heinemann, 240 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 44051 5
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Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences 
by Susan Blackmore.
Heinemann, 270 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 07470 5
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... of the electron) and from the distinguished physicists Oliver Lodge and Balfour Stewart. Since then the links between scientific heroes and psychical research have always been close. In his foreword to the two books, by Mackenzie and Blackmore, published to celebrate the Society’s centenary, Brian Inglis recalls the roll of honour among ...

Short Cuts

Glen Newey: Murdoch, 28 July 2011

... It was barely noticed earlier this year when Northern & Shell, owned by the porn king Richard Desmond, pulled its funding from the PCC. As a result, the commission can’t deal with complaints against N&S titles, including the Express, Star and OK! magazine. Not that external regulation has worked either. Recent disclosures, including John Yates’s frank ...

Browning Versions

J.I.M. Stewart, 5 July 1984

Oscar Browning: A Biography 
by Ian Anstruther.
Murray, 209 pp., £12.50, October 1983, 9780719540783
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... good deal of curious behaviour. Pupils might receive tuition while scrubbing him down in his bath. Desmond MacCarthy recorded how at one of O.B.’s famous musical parties his host was spanked ‘by a Tommy in scarlet uniform’, apparently as a penalty for having performed inadequately at the piano. But although there were youths from the highways and byways ...

Blood Relations

J.I.M. Stewart, 1 December 1983

Diversity and Depth in Fiction: Selected Critical Writings of Angus Wilson 
edited by Kerry McSweeny.
Secker, 303 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 436 57610 4
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... of fashionable real names and current topics: Osbert and Sacheverell, James Agate, ‘Uncle’ Desmond MacCarthy, the Arthur Marshall girl, the Prince of Wales at Fort Belvedere, ‘I’ve worked with Whicker,’ ‘brown sauce straight from old Harold at Number Ten’. T.S. Eliot is said to be well-disposed to the Vardon Hall scheme in Hemlock and ...

Miss Lachrymose

Liz Brown: Doris Day’s Performances, 11 September 2008

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door 
by David Kaufman.
Virgin, 628 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 905264 30 8
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... up her career to be a doctor’s wife in Indianapolis, and is travelling with her husband (Jimmy Stewart) in Morocco when their son is kidnapped. It is by returning to her profession, singing ‘Que Sera, Sera’, that she saves her child. (In a quintessential Hitchcock scene, the husband uses his medical expertise to drug her before telling her that their ...
... mostly old, and the Irish Parliamentary Party had never fully recovered from the fall of Charles Stewart Parnell. (Parnell, first elected to the House of Commons in 1875, and known for his charisma, cunning and strategic skills, was dubbed ‘the uncrowned king of Ireland’. He was brought down in 1890, having been named by William O’Shea as co-respondent ...

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