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Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life 
by Herman Pleij, translated by Diane Webb.
Columbia, 544 pp., £23.50, June 2001, 0 231 11702 7
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... architecture’ prevail (I use Pleij’s appealing phrases, or those of his translator, Diane Webb). Yet they prevail in oddly unattractive forms. Cockaigne, for example, can be entered only by means of a staggering act of ingestion: ‘the entrance to this land is formed by a very high and very wide mountain of buckwheat porridge, all of three ...

Failed Vocation

James Butler: The Corbyn Project, 3 December 2020

Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour under Corbyn 
by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire.
Bodley Head, 376 pp., £18.99, September, 978 1 84792 645 6
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This Land: The Story of a Movement 
by Owen Jones.
Allen Lane, 336 pp., £20, September, 978 0 241 47094 7
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... MPs, partly for the benefit of the journalists crouching at the door; it is hard to disagree with Diane Abbott’s verdict that the intention was to ‘break [Corbyn] as a man’. The abuse wasn’t directed only at him: staffers could expect similar treatment in the corridors, Corbynite MPs from their putative colleagues in the Commons, often from those fond ...

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