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Naming the Dead

David Simpson: The politics of commemoration, 15 November 2001

... Among the many things that changed after 11 September was the policy on obituaries in the New York Times. Since the attack on the World Trade Center, the newspaper has been printing fifteen or so brief remembrances a day of some of the approximately five thousand people who died in the towers, in the planes and during the rescue efforts ...

The Devil upon Two Sticks

Charles Nicholl: Samuel Foote, 23 May 2013

Mr Foote’s Other Leg: Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian London 
by Ian Kelly.
Picador, 462 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 330 51783 6
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... to add some spice to the entertainment of a royal house guest, the stage-struck Edward Augustus, Duke of York, the younger brother of George III. It seems that Foote, in his cocksure way, had been boasting his prowess as a horseman. As some kind of test or wager he was given one of the ...


Richard Horton, 8 October 1992

Edward Jenner 1749-1823 
by Richard Fisher.
Deutsch, 361 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 233 98681 2
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... had set up the ‘Institution for the Inoculation of the Vaccine-Pock’. The patron was the Duke of York, and the director and chief physician Pearson himself. Jenner was offered the position of ‘extra-corresponding physician’, which he judged an insult. He proposed the formation of the Jenner Society and sought a ...

Gilded Drainpipes

E.S. Turner: London, 10 June 1999

The London Rich: The Creation of a Great City from 1666 to the Present 
by Peter Thorold.
Viking, 374 pp., £25, June 1999, 0 670 87480 9
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The Rise of the Nouveaux Riches: Style and Status in Victorian and Edwardian Architecture 
by Mordaunt Crook.
Murray, 354 pp., £25, May 1999, 0 7195 6040 3
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... had become a poisonous place for the rich, as the dwellers in those great riverfront palaces, York House, Northumberland House, Exeter House and others, had discovered. The Thames was a grand latrine and at times a vile smog rendered preachers invisible in their pulpits. New living room was imperative. Any expansion had to be to the north and west; the ...


Antonia Fraser, 3 April 1980

The House of Stuart 
by Maurice Ashley.
Dent, 237 pp., £9.95, January 1980, 0 460 04458 3
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... inheritance through her mother Mary of Guise, sister of those two amibitious politicians the Duke and the Cardinal of Guise. The monarch with the best claim to embody the ‘Stuart’ qualities, for better or for worse, has to be King James VI and I. This is because he enjoyed a double dose of Stuart blood due to his mother’s marrying her step-first ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... were populist – and even institutions once considered friendly to intellectuals, such as the New York Times, mocked the humanities, as with its annual listings of far-fetched titles from Modern Language Association meetings. (It rarely focused on the infinitely more dangerous obfuscations of language perpetrated by the State and Defense departments.) One ...

Sexual Politics

Michael Neve, 5 February 1981

Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929: Prophet of Human Fellowship 
by Chushichi Tsuzuki.
Cambridge, 237 pp., £15, November 1980, 0 521 23371 2
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... of 1889, that Carpenter was asked in 1875 to become tutor to Prince Albert Victor (‘Eddy’, Duke of Clarence and implicated in the scandal) and to Prince George, later George V. Carpenter visited Windsor in 1875 to refuse the offer, but ‘retained autographed photographs of the two princes’. The ambiguities abound. Carpenter’s socialism, and his ...

Downsize, Your Majesty

David Cannadine, 16 October 1997

The Royals 
by Kitty Kelley.
Warner, 547 pp., $27, September 1997, 0 446 51712 7
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... the marriages and divorces of Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York; the fire at Windsor Castle, the annus horribilis speech; and so on. In telling this story she parades a cast of cardboard characters: the Queen Mother with her gin bottle and her gambling; Princess Margaret, the ...


Hugh Honour, 13 November 1997

A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 
compiled by John Ingamells.
Yale, 1070 pp., £50, May 1997, 0 300 07165 5
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... refugees, notably Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, and his brother, the Cardinal Duke of York (who was born in Rome and left only once to go to Paris in 1745 and prepare to go to England should the rebellion be successful). Many Jacobites had followed them and some may have ‘pined by Arno’ for their ...

Social Workers

David Cannadine, 5 October 1995

Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy 
by Frank Prochaska.
Yale, 352 pp., £19.95, October 1995, 0 300 06453 5
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... the British throne, meant that these efforts were redoubled during the Twenties and Thirties. The Duke and (especially) the Duchess of York were dutiful, hard-working and good with ordinary people. But the Prince of Wales was much less enthusiastic, and as King Edward VIII he did not improve. The Second World War was an ...

The Rack, the Rapier, the Ruff and the Fainting Nun

Nicholas Penny: Manet/Velázquez, 10 July 2003

Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting 
by Gary Tinterow and Geneviève Lacambre et al.
Yale, 592 pp., £50, March 2003, 0 300 09880 4
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... opened last year in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and went on to the Metropolitan Museum, New York, gave us a sample of the masterpieces in Soult’s collection and in the Galerie Espagnole in the Louvre, which was formed by Louis-Philippe partly out of that collection. In the Metropolitan Museum The Immaculate Conception was mounted on a special screen ...

The Ruling Exception

David Cannadine, 16 August 1990

Queen Victoria: Gender and Power 
by Dorothy Thompson.
Virago, 167 pp., £6.99, May 1990, 0 86068 773 2
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... washed a great deal of the Abdication dirty linen in public, and much of the mud has stuck to the Duke of Windsor himself, to say nothing of the Duchess. Sarah Bradford’s biography of George VI portrayed him as the ultimate sacrificial sovereign, overwhelmed and destroyed by events he could neither control nor comprehend. And Philip Ziegler’s official ...

Is it a bird, is it a plane?

Peter Clarke, 18 May 1989

The Pleasures of the Past 
by David Cannadine.
Collins, 338 pp., £17.50, March 1989, 0 00 215664 4
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... work miracles, surpass belief, beggar all description and beat everything). Then again, in the New York Review of Books I sometimes discover this same dash and élan, this zest and vim, this fire and mettle, this fizz and verve, this pep and go, this vehemence and violence, this thrust and push and kick and punch. What livewire or quicksilver – dynamo or ...

Rose’s Rex

David Cannadine, 15 September 1983

King George V 
by Kenneth Rose.
Weidenfeld, 514 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78245 2
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... George V’s widow was still alive, one son was king as George VI, and another was ex-king as Duke of Windsor. Not surprisingly, their books were masterpieces of tact and discretion – qualities necessary in a courtier, but inhibiting in a biographer. Although he was given full access to the relevant papers, Nicolson was explicitly instructed to omit ...

Smuggled in a Warming Pan

Stephen Sedley: The Glorious Revolution, 24 September 2015

The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law 
by Richard Kay.
Catholic University of America, 277 pp., £45, December 2014, 978 0 8132 2687 3
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... When Charles II died in 1685 without legitimate offspring, the throne passed to his brother James, Duke of York, who had been brought up in exile in France as a Catholic and who now began publicly attending mass. Within a few months the Duke of Monmouth’s abortive rebellion and Baron ...

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