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In a Boat of His Own Making

James Camp: Jack London, 25 September 2014

Jack London: An American Life 
by Earle Labor.
Farrar, Straus, 439 pp., £21.99, November 2013, 978 0 374 17848 2
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The Sea-Wolf 
by Jack London.
Hesperus, 287 pp., £9.99, August 2013, 978 1 78094 200 1
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... a matter of public record. London’s life had a mythic quality in the eyes of his contemporaries. Earle Labor, his latest biographer, who was born in 1928, sees him in this way too. ‘The careers of few writers,’ he writes, ‘mirror so clearly the American Dream of Success and the corollary ideal of the Self-Made Man.’ ...

Jack and Leo

John Sutherland, 27 July 1989

The Letters of Jack London 
edited by Earle Labor, Robert Leitz and Milo Shepard.
Stanford, 1657 pp., $139.50, October 1988, 0 8047 1227 1
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by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 572 pp., £16.95, May 1988, 0 241 12190 6
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... a calculus. Other commentators tried to accommodate Irving Shepard’s fixed idea. Among them was Earle Labor, one of the editors of the new Letters. In his Twayne monograph on London, published in 1974, Labor contrives to introduce Chaney in passing, but leaves the baffled reader thinking that Flora’s naming the ...

They didn’t mean me

Imaobong Umoren: African European History, 10 February 2022

African Europeans: An Untold History 
by Olivette Otele.
Hurst, 291 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 1 78738 191 9
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... have shaped the two continents. She builds on the work of writers such as Allison Blakely, T.F. Earle, Kate J.P. Lowe and Stefan Goodwin, and there are echoes of Johny Pitts’s Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (2019). Rather than documenting in detail the long physical presence of Africans in Europe, Otele synthesises this growing body of work, attempting ...
The Movement: English Poetry and Fiction of the 1950s 
by Blake Morrison.
Oxford, 326 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 9780192122100
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The Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse 1945-1980 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 299 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 19 214108 2
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... who flourished in the Thirties are excluded. The oldest poet present is Stevie Smith, who, like Earle Birney, was older than Auden; A.D. Hope was born in the same year as Auden, and is older than Spender. The poets who do get in are all pretty well known and mostly unexceptionable. Certain Americans pass the Civility ...

Grass Green Stockings

Eleanor Hubbard: A Spinster’s Accounts, 21 March 2013

The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys, Spinster of Hereford, 1638-48 
edited by Judith Spicksley.
Oxford, 413 pp., £90, March 2012, 978 0 19 726432 4
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... Prynne and his allies, who had lost their ears in 1637 for seditious libel, and one on ‘the Earle of Strafords arainment and his pickture & the Arch Bushop Lawds’. When war came, Hereford declared for the king, but was taken by a Parliamentary army led by the Earl of Stamford in September 1642. While Stamford occupied it for only a few months before ...

Somebody Shoot at Me!

Ian Sansom: Woody Guthrie’s Novel, 9 May 2013

House of Earth: A Novel 
by Woody Guthrie.
Fourth Estate, 234 pp., £14.99, February 2013, 978 0 00 750985 0
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... was only to be expected: unlikely as it seems, Bragg, along with fellow singer-songwriter Steve Earle, has become an official keeper of the Guthrie flame. The true sparks from the sacred fire are perhaps to be found elsewhere. Maybe in the film Big Easy Express, directed by Emmett Malloy and released last year, which followed gentlemen folk-rockers Mumford ...

Carnival of Self-Harm

Tom Crewe: Good Riddance to the Tories, 20 June 2024

Haywire: A Political History of Britain since 2000 
by Andrew Hindmoor.
Allen Lane, 628 pp., £35, June, 978 0 241 65171 1
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No Way Out: Brexit from the Backstop to Boris 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 698 pp., £26, April, 978 0 00 830894 0
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The Abuse of Power: Confronting Injustice in Public Life 
by Theresa May.
Headline, 368 pp., £12.99, May, 978 1 0354 0991 4
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The Conservative Party after Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation 
by Tim Bale.
Polity, 368 pp., £25, March 2023, 978 1 5095 4601 5
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Johnson at 10: The Inside Story 
by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell.
Atlantic, 640 pp., £12.99, April, 978 1 83895 804 6
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The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson 
by Nadine Dorries.
HarperCollins, 336 pp., £25, November 2023, 978 0 00 862342 5
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Politics on the Edge: A Memoir from Within 
by Rory Stewart.
Vintage, 454 pp., £10.99, June, 978 1 5299 2286 8
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Ten Years to Save the West: Lessons from the Only Conservative in the Room 
by Liz Truss.
Biteback, 311 pp., £20, April, 978 1 78590 857 6
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Tory Nation: The Dark Legacy of the World’s Most Successful Political Party 
by Samuel Earle.
Simon & Schuster, 294 pp., £10.99, February, 978 1 3985 1853 7
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... voters in the Midlands and Labour’s northern heartlands (the fabled ‘Red Wall’).As Samuel Earle observes in his snappy (though under-edited) survey of the ‘Tory Nation’, the Conservatives, who were in power for most of the 20th century, are always able to draw on their identity as the party of government, committed to the ‘national ...


Colin Burrow: Henry Howard, 11 November 1999

Henry Howard, the Poet Earl of Surrey: A Life 
by W.A. Sessions.
Oxford, 448 pp., £60, March 1999, 9780198186243
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... in Richard Tottel’s Songes and Sonnettes written by the ryght honourable Lorde Henry Haward late Earle of Surrey, and others (1557). On the strength of this, Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller turned the relationship between Surrey and Geraldine into a full-scale send-up of a Petrarchan romance, in which Surrey became the infatuated ...

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