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Rogue Socialists

Michael Mason, 1 September 1988

Francis Place, 1771-1854: The Life of a Remarkable Radical 
by Dudley Miles.
Harvester, 206 pp., £40, April 1988, 0 7108 1225 6
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Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries and Pornographers in London, 1795-1840 
by Iain McCalman.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £27.50, March 1988, 0 521 30755 4
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... written a major book on a minor subject. It would not be fair to the considerable achievement of Dudley Miles in his life of Francis Place simply to invert this formula: but Place’s life is a major subject, and this treatment of it – the first in almost a hundred years – does leave a sense of possibilities not explored. The enterprise in any ...

Eating people

Claude Rawson, 24 January 1985

Cannibalism and the Common Law: The Story of the Tragic Last Voyage of the ‘Mignonette’ 
by A.W.B. Simpson.
Chicago, 353 pp., £21.25, July 1984, 0 226 75942 3
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... sank in the South Atlantic, midway between St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. The captain, Tom Dudley, and a crew of three named Stephens, Brooks and Parker drifted on a dinghy for 1050 miles in 24 days, until they were rescued by the German barque Moctezuma some nine hundred and ninety ...

Aberdeen rocks

Jenny Turner: Stewart Home, 9 May 2002

69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess 
by Stewart Home.
Canongate, 182 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 9781841951829
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... monument in succession, carrying over his shoulder a life-size ventriloquist’s dummy called Dudley, weighted with bricks. As the tale progresses, Dudley joins in the sex and takes over the narration, which gradually disintegrates in an elegant medley of old-style Modernism: ‘A man no longer called Alan came to ...

Unshutuppable

James Lever: Nicola Barker, 9 September 2010

Burley Cross Postbox Theft 
by Nicola Barker.
Fourth Estate, 361 pp., £18.99, April 2010, 978 0 00 735500 6
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... shorter, less obviously ambitious work. The brief, lovely, Salingeresque coming-of-age tale Five Miles from Outer Hope (2000) preceded her next big one, Behindlings (2002); Clear (2004), a furious defence of David Blaine’s 44-day exhibition of hunger artistry at Tower Bridge, interrupted the composition of Darkmans (2007); and Burley Cross Postbox ...

Mushrooms

Michael Dobson: How to Be a Favourite, 5 October 2006

Literature and Favouritism in Early Modern England 
by Curtis Perry.
Cambridge, 328 pp., £50, February 2006, 0 521 85405 9
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... In an area of dairy pasture a few miles from Coventry, there is a bench formed from one half of a large clinker-built rowing boat sticking vertically out of the ground, with a sturdy wooden seat placed within the hull so that it is sheltered as if by an arbour. There is no water in sight except a definitely non-navigable stream ...

Disgrace Abounding

E.S. Turner, 7 January 1988

A Class Society at War: England 1914-18 
by Bernard Waites.
Berg, 303 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 907582 65 6
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Working for Victory? Images of Women in the First World War 
by Diana Condell and Jean Liddiard.
Routledge, 201 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7102 0974 6
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The Countryside at War 1914-18 
by Caroline Dakers.
Constable, 238 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 468060 4
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When Jim Crow met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War Two Britain 
by Graham Smith.
Tauris, 265 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 9781850430391
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... dazzling white. While daisies, red poppies and a blue flower, great masses of them, stretched for miles and miles. The sky a pure, dark blue, and the whole air, up to a height of about forty feet, thick with white butterflies; your clothes were covered with butterflies. It was like an enchanted land; but in the place of ...

The Lesson of Swaffham Down

W.R. Mead, 5 March 1981

The Theft of the Countryside 
by Marion Shoard.
Temple Smith, 269 pp., £9, October 1980, 0 85117 200 8
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Britain’s Wasting Acres 
by Graham Moss.
Architectural Press, 230 pp., £13.50, February 1981, 0 85139 078 1
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... been relatively little progress in the collection of the kind of statistics that he needs since L. Dudley Stamp prepared his pioneering land utilisation survey in the 1930s. Marion Shoard is no less sensitive to what Alice Coleman (director of the second land use survey) has called ‘the galloping consumption’ of agricultural land for other purposes, but ...

Cad

Frank Kermode, 4 April 1996

Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude 
by Ray Monk.
Cape, 720 pp., £25, April 1996, 0 224 03026 4
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... vices and the effect he has on other people’. The actress Colette O’Neil, wife of the actor Miles Malleson, wrote a novel à clef in which a character based on T.S. Eliot called Russell ‘a man exhausting other men by his intellect; exhausting women by his intensity; wearing out his friends, sucking them dry, passing from person to person, never giving ...

Diary

Patrick Hughes: What do artists do?, 24 July 1986

... then I bought a bike, and went on a cycling and reading holiday to St Ives over the new year. Then Dudley Winter-bottom, Secretary of the Chelsea Arts Club, Tim Hilton, biographer of Ruskin, and Ian Tyson, artist, joined us, and the Artists’ Cycling Club was formed at a Little Chef somewhere in Surrey. Now we have club jerseys in navy and cerise with a ...

Anglophobics

Douglas Johnson, 25 April 1991

The Battle of France: Six weeks which changed the world 
by Philip Warner.
Simon and Schuster, 275 pp., £16, April 1990, 0 671 71030 3
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The Last War between Britain and France 1940-1942 
by Warren Tute.
Collins, 334 pp., £16, January 1990, 0 00 215318 1
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Darlan 
by Hervé Coutau-Bégarie and Claude Huan.
Fayard, 873 pp., frs 190, May 1989, 2 213 02271 2
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... in the Second World War. This occurred at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, a small port some hundred miles south-west of Dunkirk. It is often said that the French, acting unilaterally, gave up fighting, and, carrying white flags, marched in front of the 51st Highland Division, thereby preventing them from firing at the Germans. Warner explains the extraordinary ...

Hammers for Pipes

Richard Fortey: The Beginnings of Geology, 9 February 2006

Bursting the Limits of Time 
by Martin Rudwick.
Chicago, 840 pp., £31.50, December 2005, 0 226 73111 1
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... palaeontological studies of trilobites. The commonest trilobite from the famous Silurian rocks at Dudley is called Calymene blumenbachii, and here I learn that Blumenbach was one of the leading naturalists of his day, the author of a standard textbook, and one of those who introduced history into geognosy by clearly distinguishing past worlds from the ...

Burke and Smith

Karl Miller, 16 October 1980

Sydney Smith 
by Alan Bell.
Oxford, 250 pp., £9.95, October 1980, 0 19 812050 8
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Burke and Hare 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
Polygon, 300 pp., £7.95, August 1980, 0 904919 27 7
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... a verdict of not proven: she had been ably defended by Henry Cockburn. A bad business; Owen Dudley Edwards calls it mass murder. Blackwood’s Magazine made it even worse than it was, adding atrocity to atrocity, in one of their series of imaginary conversations, the Noctes Ambrosianae. John Wilson (‘Christopher North’) appears to have been ...

Making strange

John Sutherland, 19 March 1981

Other people 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 223 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 224 01766 7
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The Magic Glass 
by Anne Smith.
Joseph, 174 pp., £6.50, March 1981, 9780718119867
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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page 
by Gerald Edwards.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £7.50, March 1981, 0 241 10477 7
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Sharpe’s Eagle 
by Bernard Cornwell.
Collins, 266 pp., £6.50, February 1981, 0 00 221997 2
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XPD 
by Len Deighton.
Hutchinson, 397 pp., £6.95, March 1981, 0 09 144570 1
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... so the soggy, sentimental myth-message about Scottish soldiers, high roads, low roads and longest miles back would tell us. The only Scot in Hardy’s fiction is called Farfrae – it is his ethnic destiny to be far from home, a native even less capable of return than Clym Yeobright. Other émigrés and déracinés seem to manage it better. Raymond ...

Little Bastard

Patrick Collinson: Learning to be Queen, 6 July 2000

Elizabeth: Apprenticeship 
by David Starkey.
Chatto, 339 pp., £20, April 2000, 0 7011 6939 7
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Elizabeth I: Collected Works 
edited by Leah Marcus and Janel Mueller.
Chicago, 436 pp., £25, September 2000, 0 226 50464 6
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... the extent of Elizabeth’s complicity in the plots against Mary, and especially in the Dudley conspiracy of 1555, which makes her survival even more of a miracle than it was for Foxe, who chose to know nothing about such things. But it was more a matter of policy than of providence, since what saved Elizabeth’s bacon was the fact that for ...

Only Sleeping

Anne Barton: Variations on Elizabeth I, 10 July 2003

England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy 
by Michael Dobson and Nicola J. Watson.
Oxford, 348 pp., £19.99, November 2002, 0 19 818377 1
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... into speculations about a hidden love life – usually in terms of relations with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, or even Thomas Seymour, her abuser when she was 14. Once initiated, fantasies of this kind, which began to appear at the end of the 17th century with such prose works as The Secret History of the most ...

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