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7 November 1985
The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession 
edited by Daniel Aaron.
Harvard, 1661 pp., £35.95, March 1986, 0 674 45445 6
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... On 5 December 1963, the day Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, a man in Boston named Arthur Inman, having made several earlier attempts on his own life, managed to put a bullet through his head. A variety of chronic ailments and complaints had made him an invalid for nearly all of his 68 ...
17 January 2017
... and there’s a great sex scene in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow. The events that came to light last week – when a dossier of intelligence reports surfaced online alleging Donald Trump’s eccentric sexual exploits, a long-running conspiracy between Trump and the Russian regime, and inappropriate financial deals over sanctions against Russian companies – read like the plot ...
21 November 1985
The Miners’ Strike 
by Geoffrey Goodman.
Pluto, 213 pp., £4.50, September 1985, 0 7453 0073 1
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Strike: Thatcher, Scargill and the Miners 
by Peter Wilsher, Donald​ Macintyre and Michael Jones.
Deutsch, 284 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 233 97825 9
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... it was a disaster, most of all for the miners themselves. It is irresistible, in the interests of fairness at least, to look at the possibility that that verdict is wrong. Let us suppose – as Arthur Scargill invites us to – that it was forced upon them: that, as he also claims, it was a victory. There are two sets of reasons for believing that there was no choice but to fight an opponent who ...

Raining

Donald​ Davie

5 May 1983
Later Poems 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 224 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 333 34560 6
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Thomas Hardy Annual, No 1 
edited by Norman Page.
Macmillan, 205 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 333 32022 0
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Tess of the d’Urbervilles 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Juliet Grindle and Simon Gatrell.
Oxford, 636 pp., £50, March 1983, 0 19 812495 3
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Hardy’s Love Poems 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Carl Weber.
Macmillan, 253 pp., £3.95, February 1983, 0 333 34798 6
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. I: Wessex Poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, Time’s Laughingstocks 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 403 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 19 812708 1
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... remaining ‘progressive’ and egalitarian in matters further outside his ken. I don’t have to declare my interest, for Lucas has declared it for me: his essay in the Annual is called ‘Hardy, Donald Davie, England and the English’ – a subject certainly more wide-ranging than ‘the theme of rain in Hardy’s verse’. What he takes issue with is my book of ten years ago, Thomas Hardy and ...

She gives me partridges

Bee Wilson: Alma Mahler

5 November 2015
Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler 
by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Donald Arthur.
Northeastern, 360 pp., £29, May 2015, 978 1 55553 789 0
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... Alma Mahler Werfel​ celebrated her 70th birthday at home in Beverly Hills on the last day of August 1949. A brass band played as guests chose from a Mitteleuropean selection of drinks: champagne, black coffee or Alma’s favourite, Bénédictine (by the end of her life, she was drinking a bottle a day). In the dining room, an abundant buffet was laid out. Luminaries from the ‘German California ...

Armadillo

Christopher Ricks

16 September 1982
Dissentient Voice: Enlightenment and Christian Dissent 
by Donald​ Davie.
University of Notre Dame Press, 154 pp., £11.85, June 1982, 0 268 00852 3
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These the Companions 
by Donald​ Davie.
Cambridge, 220 pp., £12.50, August 1982, 0 521 24511 7
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... Donald Davie’s critical arguments are often happily reminiscential, and his reminiscences are often happily argumentative, so the difference in kind between these two admirable books doesn’t make for ...

At the Shore

Inigo Thomas

30 August 2018
... Further down the Suffolk coast, the Orwell Estuary encompasses the tidal waters between Felixstowe and Ipswich. On its southern shore, halfway between the two towns, is Pin Mill, a village where Arthur Ransome lived. The inn at Pin Mill is called the Butt and Oyster: through its windows you see boats that at low tide rest on the sandy, seaweed-covered shore. Some of them are flat-bottomed Thames ...
8 January 1987
Laurence Sterne: The Later Years 
by Arthur​ Cash.
Methuen, 390 pp., £38, September 1986, 0 416 32930 6
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Johnson’s Dictionary and the Language of Learning 
by Robert DeMaria.
Oxford, 303 pp., £20, October 1986, 9780198128861
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... for it: ‘He did not live in the conventional order from day to day, but grew strong or weak like the wind.’ Obviously this has something to do with the vacillations of his physical health – Arthur Cash brings this out – and maybe also with the pharmaceutical regime to which consumptives were exposed. However, there is a deeper existential pattern of causation, and that is the more ...

Molehunt

Christopher Andrew

22 January 1987
Sword and Shield: Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus 
by Jeffrey Richelson.
Harper and Row, 279 pp., £11.95, February 1986, 0 88730 035 9
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The Red and the Blue: Intelligence, Treason and the University 
by Andrew Sinclair.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.95, June 1986, 0 297 78866 3
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Inside Stalin’s Secret Police: NKVD Politics 1936-39 
by Robert Conquest.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 333 39260 4
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Conspiracy of Silence: The Secret Life of Anthony Blunt 
by Barrie Penrose and Simon Freeman.
Grafton, 588 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 246 12200 5
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... much. Not to be quoted and I’ll sue you if you do.’ Mr Wright is at the moment preoccupied with other litigation. One of the most interesting interviews recorded in Conspiracy of Silence is with Arthur Martin, the MI5 officer in charge of interrogating Blunt after his secret confession and the granting of immunity to him in 1964. Penrose and Freeman conjure up a bizarre portrait of Sir Anthony ...
31 October 1996
Possible Dreams: A Personal History of the British Christian Socialists 
by Chris Bryant.
Hodder, 351 pp., £25, July 1996, 0 340 64201 7
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... Because the ideological underpinnings of the movement are rather vague and Bryant is not doctrinaire, he can recruit any socialist with a declared belief in Christianity, including Keir Hardie, Arthur Henderson, George Lansbury and Harold Wilson, and any Christian who has advocated a social role for Christianity – a rubric which would not exclude most modern Popes. If Bryant’s history had been ...

End-of-the-World Trade

Donald​ MacKenzie: The credit crisis

8 May 2008
... from scratch. Believable bank balance sheets encourage banks to lend to each other; it was the suspension of such lending that undid Northern Rock. As the American sociologists Bruce Carruthers and Arthur Stinchcombe pointed out in the journal Theory and Society in 1999, market liquidity – plentiful borrowing and lending, or buying and selling – ‘is, among other things, an issue in the sociology ...
3 July 1986
Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hodder, 516 pp., £19.95, June 1986, 0 340 25751 2
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Bloomsbury/Freud: The Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925 
edited by Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick.
Chatto, 360 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7011 3051 2
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... papers for discussion in the British Society (fertile ground already since an interest in child analysis had been evinced by several of its members, including Nina Searl, Ella Sharpe, Susan Isaacs, Donald Winnicott and Barbara Low). Ernest Jones, the President and later Freud’s biographer, was enthusiastic (‘absolutely heart-and-soul whole-hogging pro-Melanie’, according to James Strachey). In ...
16 November 2017
... forgotten, or at least learned to repress, after the Cold War. Once again, the newspapers are full of not-so-hallucinatory scenarios of the steps to apocalypse, while the sabre-rattlers-in-chief – Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un – trade insults like schoolchildren locked in a brawl. Of course the threat of nuclear war never vanished. All that went away was the bipolar conflict with the Soviet Union ...

Mae West and the British Raj

Wendy Doniger: Dinosaur Icons

18 February 1999
The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon 
by W.J.T. Mitchell.
Chicago, 321 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 226 53204 6
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... theory and palaeontology (primarily Darwin and Cuvier), 19th and 20th-century history of science, political history, fiction (the ‘lost worlds’ of Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Bur roughs and Arthur Conan Doyle), film, advertising, depth psychology and art (paintings in art museums and museums of science, cartoons and comics). The scholarship is successfully air-brushed by an elegant Post-Modern ...

Home Stretch

John Sutherland: David Storey

17 September 1998
A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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Saville 
by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... Harris), mired, spavined, raising himself on the rugby field to lurch back into hopeless battle. His life as a professional is over. Football chews up its workforce faster even than the pits. But Arthur doesn’t take it lying down: no longer a sportsman but still a man. Storey adapted his original novel for Lindsay Anderson, who directed the film, but he curtailed the ending. On the printed page ...

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