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Lords loses out

R.W. Johnson: Basil D’Oliveira and racism in sport, 16 December 2004

Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story 
by Peter Oborne.
Little, Brown, 274 pp., £16.99, June 2004, 0 316 72572 2
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Reflections on a Life in Sport 
by Sam Ramsamy and Edward Griffiths.
Greenhouse, 168 pp., £7.99, July 2004, 0 620 32251 9
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... Growing up in Durban in the 1950s, I could see how keen Coloured and Indian cricketers were, how much everything was tilted against them and, at the same time, how good white South African cricket was. Take the schoolboy generation I saw rising around me. Playing against Hilton College, I came up against Hylton Ackerman and Mike Procter – the latter opening both the batting and bowling at the age of 13 – while at Durban High School the opening pair of Lee Irvine and Barry Richards had century or double-century partnerships every week; it was impossible to bowl to them ...

Monopoly Mule

Anthony Howard, 25 January 1996

Plant Here the ‘Standard’ 
by Dennis Griffiths.
Macmillan, 417 pp., £35, November 1995, 0 333 55565 1
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... be fair, at least one of its editors always held his own head high. If the earlier part of Dennis Griffiths’s narrative has a hero, it is William Heseltine Mudford, editor of the Standard from 1874 to 1899. When Lord Salisbury, as Foreign Secretary, imprudently sent him a telegram via his House Steward in 1880, he received this crushing retort: The Editor ...

On Jews Walk

Andrew Saint: Eleanor Marx’s Blue Plaque, 9 October 2008

... to address or interpret at meetings, and kept up a prodigious correspondence. The problem was Edward Aveling, her common-law husband, as clever and fervent a socialist as Eleanor, but a cold, compulsive philanderer, gravely sick himself and dependent on her for care and cash. Nine months before she died, he contracted a secret marriage. The usual theory ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Magdalen College, 19 November 2009

... Tory reaction. Brockliss attempts the usual throat-clearing defence against the damning verdict of Edward Gibbon, who went up in 1752. He said he spent an ‘idle and unprofitable’ time there, and spoke of the fellows as ‘decent easy men, who supinely enjoyed the gifts of the founder: their days were filled by a series of uniform employments; the chapel ...

Noddy is on page 248

Jay Griffiths: On the streets, 10 June 1999

The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Protest 
edited by Brian MacArthur.
Penguin, 440 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 670 87052 8
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DIY Culture: Party and Protest in Nineties Britain 
edited by George McKay.
Verso, 310 pp., £11, July 1998, 1 85984 260 7
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... There are two pieces about the Titanic, two about the Lusitania and two on the abdication of Edward VIII. Considering what MacArthur omits, repetitions are irritating. (There is also a repeated typo. You may wonder who Sylvia Pankhurt is. There are Pankhursts in my family and we tend to spell it with the ‘s’.) Obviously space is limited, and whether ...

Standing on the Wharf, Weeping

Greg Dening: Australia, 25 September 2003

The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia 
by John Gascoigne.
Cambridge, 233 pp., £45, September 2002, 0 521 80343 8
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Looking for Blackfella’s Point: An Australian History of Place 
by Mark McKenna.
New South Wales, 268 pp., £14.50, August 2002, 0 86840 644 9
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Words for Country: Landscape and Language in Australia 
by Tim Bonyhady and Tom Griffiths.
New South Wales, 253 pp., £15.50, October 2001, 0 86840 628 7
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The Land Is a Map: Placenames of Indigenous Origin in Australia 
edited by Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson.
Pandanus, 304 pp., AUS $39.95, October 2002, 1 74076 020 4
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... launched in 1997): James Cook’s journal of the Endeavour, written in his own hand; and the Edward Koiki Mabo Papers, the record of Eddie Mabo’s landmark case before the High Court, which gave legal recognition to the fact that indigenous land ownership existed before European settlement and was not, in some cases, extinguished by the Crown. The ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: American Prints, 8 May 2008

... Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock is from the British Museum’s own holdings. One of the four Edward Hopper etchings is Evening Wind. A naked girl kneeling on a bed looks out through an open window. Curtains billow inwards. Her head, turned from you, is hidden by long hair which is pushed about by the wind. In East Side Interior another young woman sits ...

State-Sponsored Counter-Terror

Karl Miller, 8 May 1986

Parliamentary Debates: Hansard, Vol. 95, No 94 
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... A6s from the American Sixth Fleet would have hit any more.’ Healey and Gilmour – and indeed Edward Heath and James Callaghan – may be thought to have spoken for those two-thirds of poll respondents who decided that Mrs Thatcher had been guilty of a brutal misjudgment: and for the many people who believe that she overrode a rational understanding on ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... usually written off as lunatic fictions – Michael Flood, Frederick Saxby, Valentine Fane, Griffiths Davies and so on: there were many – may yet turn out to be comrades from the trenches, those other persons he so loved. Although writing of place-names rather than people, P.J. Kavanagh puts the matter exactly in the introduction to his wonderful ...

Mumpsimus, Sumpsimus

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Common Prayer, 24 May 2012

Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559 and 1662 
edited by Brian Cummings.
Oxford, 830 pp., £16.99, September 2011, 978 0 19 920717 6
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... went, so did their prayer book. A heroic work of chronological listings published by David Griffiths in 2002 rounded up about 4800 editions of the Prayer Book or of liturgies stemming from its Scottish and American derivatives; around 1200 of these are in 199 other languages, ranging from the Acholi of Uganda to Zulu. ...

In an Empty Church

Peter Howarth: R.S. Thomas, 26 April 2007

The Man who Went into the West: The Life of R.S. Thomas 
by Byron Rogers.
Aurum, 326 pp., £16.99, June 2006, 1 84513 146 0
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... snob’, in the words of a tight-lipped email to Rogers from the girlfriend, signed ‘Sue Griffiths, PhD’. But in all accounts of Thomas’s domestic life the word that occurs most frequently is ‘silence’: huge, desolate silences filling the mornings and afternoons, gathering and building like the rolls of dust under the furniture (the Thomases ...

Suffocating Suspense

Richard Davenport-Hines, 16 March 2000

Cult Criminals: The Newgate Novels 1830-47 
by Juliet John.
Routledge, 2750 pp., £399, December 1998, 0 415 14383 7
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... novelists rested comfortably in the routines that had brought them success in the past, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-73) was always committed to experimentation. He was his own pitiless taskmaster, working for money as strenuously as a starveling, and received £30,000 from Routledge for a 15-year option on his novels. He wrote successful silver-fork ...

Leave them weeping

Colin Grant: Frederick Douglass, 1 August 2019

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom 
by David Blight.
Simon and Schuster, 892 pp., £30, November 2018, 978 1 4165 9031 6
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... challenged by his insolent teenage slave, handed him over ‘to be broken’ by an overseer called Edward Covey. ‘Mr Covey succeeded in breaking me,’ Douglass wrote, ‘in body, soul and spirit.’ He was reduced to a beastlike stupor – but then one day he fought back, unnerving Covey, who didn’t want to admit that the 16-year-old still had the ...

Keith Middlemas on the history of Ireland

Keith Middlemas, 22 January 1981

Ireland: Land of Troubles 
by Paul Johnson.
Eyre Methuen, 224 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 413 47650 2
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Acts of Union 
by Anthony Bailey.
Faber, 221 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 571 11648 5
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Neighbours 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Faber, 96 pp., £2.95, November 1980, 0 571 11645 0
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Ireland: A History 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 256 pp., £9.95, December 1980, 0 297 77855 2
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... Painstaking work since the 1950s by a broad range of scholars such as R.B. McDowell, Owen Dudley Edwards, F.S.L. Lyons and Patrick O’Farrell has profoundly altered our understanding: not only have ancient myths been invalidated, but the structure of a genuinely Irish history now exists, free from the Anglo-centric emphasis still common twenty years ...

Had we lived …

Jenny Diski: The Afterlife of Captain Scott, 9 February 2006

Scott of the Antarctic: A Life of Courage and Tragedy in the Extreme South 
by David Crane.
HarperCollins, 637 pp., £25, November 2005, 0 00 715068 7
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... a hopeless incompetent, a victim of the exhaustion of empire. Later, in the 1980s, Trevor Griffiths endorsed the judgment from the left. On what is beginning to look like a roughly ten-year cycle, another assessment came due in 1996 and the old material was viewed by Francis Spufford in his eloquent I May Be Some Time with less animus and a more ...

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