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The Professor

Marilyn Butler

3 April 1980
A Fantasy of Reason: The Life and Thought of William Godwin 
by Don Locke.
Routledge, 398 pp., £13.50, January 1980, 0 7100 0387 0
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... stage.’ Even the duns the postman brought him in later life cannot have been worse than that. Don Locke has been sufficiently amused by the life and impressed by the philosophy to try to forge the two together in a ‘philosophical biography’. An academic philosopher himself, he regards Godwin’s one formally philosophic book, Political ...

Winner’s History

Howard Erskine-Hill

20 August 1981
Some Intellectual Consequences of the English Revolution 
by Christopher Hill.
Weidenfeld, 100 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 297 77780 7
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The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714 
by Christopher Hill.
Nelson, 296 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 17 712002 9
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... Professor Hill’s account slides to and fro from causation to succession. For example: ‘Locke drew on the experiences of the revolutionary decades’ and is thus an ‘intellectual consequence’ of ‘the English Revolution’; and ‘the great revolution in human thought … echoed from England all over Europe … Harrington, ...
20 January 2011
Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist 
by Thomas Levenson.
Faber, 318 pp., £9.99, August 2010, 978 0 571 22993 2
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... in the west and leading them towards the capital, James could still count on the support of London’s crowds, and his warning that if William took power he might prove ‘a worse man than Cromwell’ played well with them. But James was prone to ominous forebodings, and when the crisis came his courage deserted him. On 18 December he allowed himself to be ...

Beware of counterfeits

Dror Wahrman: 18th-century fakery

6 June 2002
The Perreaus and Mrs Rudd: Forgery and Betrayal in 18th-Century London 
by Donna Andrew and Randall McGowen.
California, 346 pp., £24.95, November 2001, 0 520 22062 5
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The Smart: The True Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers 
by Sarah Bakewell.
Chatto, 321 pp., £17.99, April 2001, 9780701171094
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... reckless. On 11 March 1775, Robert, the respectable half of the Perreau twins, a well-connected London apothecary, stormed into the Bow Street magistrate’s office to report a forgery. Not, as you might expect, a forgery of which he was the victim, but one of which he was the alleged perpetrator, and from the imputation of which he wanted to clear his ...
11 January 1990
Oxford History of the United States. Vol. VI: Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era 
by James McPherson.
Oxford, 904 pp., $35, June 1988, 0 19 503863 0
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Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 
by Eric Foner.
Harper and Row, 690 pp., $21.95, April 1988, 0 06 015851 4
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... any immediate prospect of emancipation, still less of a 14th Amendment. The South would have done better to have lost quickly: the longer and bloodier the war, the greater the devastation of the South, as Georgia and South Carolina found in the autumn of 1864. The second critical phase was the fall of 1862 with the battles of Perryville and ...

What you see is what you get

Terry Eagleton: Bishop Berkeley

25 April 2013
The Correspondence of George Berkeley 
edited by Marc Hight.
Cambridge, 674 pp., £75, November 2012, 978 1 107 00074 2
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... some ways, his thought is a lot closer to Nietzsche and poststructuralism than it is to Leibniz or Locke. It certainly has more in common with Finnegans Wake than with Middlemarch. The Irish novel from Gulliver’s Travels and Melmoth the Wanderer to Dracula and The Third Policeman has generally preferred fantasy to reality, and much Irish thought is idealist ...

Common Thoughts

Eamon Duffy: Early Modern Ambition

23 July 2009
The Ends of Life: Roads to Fulfilment in Early Modern England 
by Keith Thomas.
Oxford, 393 pp., £20, February 2009, 978 0 19 924723 3
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... and Christian orthodoxies informed early modern attitudes, so that the devoutly Protestant John Locke could assert on both counts that ‘labour for labour’s sake is against nature.’ There would be no work in heaven. But then in the second half of his chapter, on ‘the rewards of labour’, Thomas inverts this picture, tracing ‘the rudiments of an ...
23 January 1997
... of Monteverdi’s Arianna and his most famous song. The lament expressed the opera’s theme: abandonment. Monteverdi called it Arianna’s ‘most fundamental part’. There have been many Ariadnes since. Cambert, Marcello, Porpora, Handel, Strauss: only Dido can challenge the number of times Ariadne magnetises ‘aban...

Very very she

Margaret Anne Doody

22 April 1993
The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. I: Poetry 
edited by Janet Todd.
Pickering & Chatto, 481 pp., £55, September 1992, 1 85196 012 0
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Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works 
by Aphra Behn, edited by Janet Todd.
Penguin, 385 pp., £6.99, November 1992, 0 14 043338 4
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... Charles was better at promise than performance.) Behn then managed to survive in Restoration London as a literary creature, taking advantage of what was in effect a new medium, the reconstituted English stage, which now featured actresses as well as actors. She wrote plays, wrote poems, had love affairs. She was an admirer of that witty poet, John ...

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