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Ian Hamilton, 26 January 1995

An Unmentionable Man 
by Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 102 pp., £5.99, October 1994, 1 870612 64 7
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Journey to the Border 
by Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 135 pp., £5.99, October 1994, 1 870612 59 0
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The Mortmere Stories 
by Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 206 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 1 870612 69 8
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... In the title story of Edward Upward’s new collection, a forgotten Marxist author of the Thirties dreams that he is approached by a present-day admirer, a ‘lecturer at a Yorkshire polytechnic’. At first Stephen Highwood is suspicious. He doesn’t expect people to know who he is. His books have long been out of print and are not to be found in public libraries ...

At Home in the Huntington

John Sutherland: The Isherwood Archive, 10 June 1999

... and ephemera. Most of the interest lies in the long runs of correspondence with Auden, Spender, Edward Upward, John Lehmann and E.M. Forster. Permanently out of town, sedate in his living habits and unhurried in his rate of literary production, Isherwood cultivated the anachronistic arts of correspondence and diary-keeping. Despite the fact that the ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... sixth-form Spanish/French class about the Civil War and Surrealism. Went on to pick up Hilda and Edward Upward and take them out to lunch at a Shanklin restaurant. They’re not so indignant about Bush and the war as I’d expected them to be. Their CND fervour seems to have abated. It must be twenty years since ...


John Bayley, 29 September 1988

Something to hold onto: Autobiographical Sketches 
by Richard Cobb.
Murray, 168 pp., £12.95, September 1988, 0 7195 4587 0
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... What really matters, I suspect, is that Nya is for him something to hold onto, like the novels of Edward Upward, which he also defends for their historical interest, relishing for example in The Spiral Ascent the word and the concept ‘poshocrat’. Like all Bagshaw-type historians, both Kermode and Cobb delight not only in the objects but in the ...

Loose Canons

Edward Mendelson, 23 June 1988

History and Value: The Clarendon Lectures and the Northcliffe Lectures 1987 
by Frank Kermode.
Oxford, 160 pp., £15, June 1988, 0 19 812381 7
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by Stephen Haggard and Frank Kermode.
Oxford, 475 pp., £5.95, June 1988, 0 19 282135 0
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British Writers of the Thirties 
by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 530 pp., £30, February 1988, 0 19 212267 3
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... He prefers to enlarge the canon, and makes an exemplary case for a difficult outsider like Edward Upward, still loyal to the romantic communism of his youth, still a witness against the murderous power of the state. He has less patience with the Post-Modernists and their fantasy that we live at the end of an era when canons and coherences were ...

To Kill All Day

Frank Kermode: Amis’s Terrible News, 17 October 2002

Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 306 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 224 06303 0
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... a longing for rescue from what seemed the hopelessness of capitalism. There were those, like Edward Upward, who believed (and, I think, believe) that Communism was never even tried, that the whole of Soviet history is a monstrous deviation, its extent marked by the almost unimaginable cruelty of Koba. Amis has tried to render that cruelty ...

I am a cactus

John Sutherland: Christopher Isherwood and his boys, 3 June 2004

by Peter Parker.
Picador, 914 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 330 48699 3
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... he formed what would be his longest – and wholly asexual – friendship at Repton, with Edward Upward. Close and collaborative as it was, the friendship was often ruptured, for years at a time, by ideological differences over Upward’s lifelong Communism and Isherwood’s late-life conversion to ...

Don’t Ask Henry

Alan Hollinghurst: Sissiness, 9 October 2008

by Howard Sturgis.
NYRB, 345 pp., £8.99, May 2008, 978 1 59017 266 7
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... This unconventional refusal of feeling at a narrative climax was what, in the next generation, Edward Upward would extol to the young Isherwood as the essence of Forster’s modernity: ‘The whole of Forster’s technique is based on the tea-table: instead of trying to screw all his scenes up to the highest possible pitch, he tones them down until ...

The Unstoppable Upward

James Wolcott: ‘The Life of Saul Bellow’, 24 January 2019

The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005 
by Zachary Leader.
Cape, 864 pp., £35, November 2018, 978 0 224 10188 2
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... interest is the section where Atlas gives a draft of the work in progress to the social scientist Edward Shils – a long-time colleague and frenemy of Bellow’s at the University of Chicago – to vet for errors, misemphases, solecisms and overall tone and conditioning, much as the critic Dwight Macdonald had served as the gruff, avuncular sounding board ...

Lost Youth

Nicholson Baker, 9 June 1994

The Folding Star 
by Alan Hollinghurst.
Chatto, 422 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 7011 5913 8
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... he describes whatever suits him with an intelligence that cheers itself up as it goes. He – Edward Manners – has come to a mythical, silt-choked, fallen Flemish city (Ghentwerp? Brugeselles? some hybrid, anyway) to start fresh by tutoring two boys in English. One is the son of an art historian who has been plugging away at a catalogue raisonné of a ...

Done for the State

John Guy: The House of York, 2 April 2020

The Brothers York: An English Tragedy 
by Thomas Penn.
Penguin, 688 pp., £12.99, April, 978 0 7181 9728 5
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Richard III: The Self-Made King 
by Michael Hicks.
Yale, 388 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 300 21429 1
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... on Palm Sunday, he took the throne from the weak, ineffectual Henry VI and was crowned King Edward IV.Usurpers were plentiful in the 15th century. Edward’s claim was by lineal descent from Edward III, and was a strong one if you ignored the deposition of Richard II in 1399. In the ...

False Brought up of Nought

Thomas Penn: Henry VII’s Men on the Make, 27 July 2017

Henry VII’s New Men and the Making of Tudor England 
by Steven Gunn.
Oxford, 393 pp., £60, August 2016, 978 0 19 965983 8
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... Buonaccorso was simply turning already existing practice into theory. When the Yorkist usurper Edward IV came to power in 1461, he surrounded himself with new men who had proved their loyalty to him and his family: warriors like William Hastings, who went from mere gentleman to lord in a matter of months, and the Welshman Sir William Herbert, who became ...

All the Advantages

C.H. Sisson, 3 July 1980

Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E.E. Cummings 
by Richard Kennedy.
Norton, 529 pp., £12, May 1980, 0 87140 638 1
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... and that across the river was a Boston which still called itself ‘the Athens of America’. Edward Cummings, the father, was a man of modern outlook, if only in certain respects. A sociologist who had been at Toynbee Hall as well as at the universities of Paris and Berlin, he knew about strikes and lock-outs, arbitration, penal codes, and indeed all ...

Central Bankism

Edward Luttwak, 14 November 1996

... is disastrous. In economic theory deflation should have no consequences at all, because any upward movement in the value of money can be nullified by a compensating reduction in prices and wages. In practice, however, prices are downwardly sticky while very few employees anywhere at any time accept wage cuts without the most bitter resistance – even ...

Everyone, Then No One

David Nasaw: Where have all the bowler hats gone?, 23 February 2006

Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora and the Death of the Hat 
by Neil Steinberg.
Granta, 342 pp., £12, August 2005, 1 86207 782 7
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... the settled bourgeoisie; Charlie Chaplin placed his almost diagonally across the top of his head; Edward, Prince of Wales angled his upward, seeming to signify the slippery slope between masculine grace and sexual predation; the sluggers of Bandits’ Roost in New York City tilted their crowns downward almost to ...

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