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Showing the sights

D.J. Enright, 15 August 1991

The New Oxford Book of 16th-Century Verse 
edited by Emrys Jones.
Oxford, 809 pp., £25, June 1991, 0 19 214126 0
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... was friendship, not unfriendliness. It should be said straight away that the selection of poems in Emrys Jones’s New Oxford Book of 16th-Century Verse is quite splendid, a veritable treasure house (to use a ludicrous outdated trope); there are no shocking omissions to deprecate, and if some of the poems are lengthy it is because they are long poems. But ...

Untouched by Eliot

Denis Donoghue: Jon Stallworthy, 4 March 1999

Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems 
by Jon Stallworthy.
Carcanet, 247 pp., £14.95, September 1998, 1 85754 163 4
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... to Magdalen College. Again his teachers were splendid, he had Jack Bennett for Anglo-Saxon and Emrys Jones for Shakespeare. I’m sure he spent many hours in the Bodleian, but more on the rugby pitch. In Singing School he doesn’t mention his literary prizes, but he gives the scores of the rugby matches in which he played and quotes favourable ...

The Verity of Verity

Marilyn Butler, 1 August 1996

Essays in Appreciation 
by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 363 pp., £25, March 1996, 0 19 818344 5
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... a score of scholars are courteously acknowledged for a piece of information or a useful edition; Emrys Jones is praised for a model political reading of Cymbeline, as is D.J. Enright for a poem that is also an act of criticism. But the level of citation of others’ work is low, especially by American standards, and with the single exception of Hugh ...

Blood Running Down

Helen Cooper: Iconoclasm and theatre in early modern England, 9 August 2001

The Idolatrous Eye: Iconoclasm and Theatre in Early Modern England 
by Michael O'Connell.
Oxford, 198 pp., £30, February 2000, 9780195132052
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... of a scene an actor who doesn’t speak and is therefore non-existent on the page. It is there, as Emrys Jones suggested, in the sheer scale of Shakespeare’s tetralogies of history plays, and in their structure of fall, bitter consequences and ultimate redemption – the pattern that goes from the domestic strife that loses France and divides England to ...


Pat Rogers, 6 November 1986

Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... affective and yearning sense of what literature does for us. Strong and characteristic essays by Emrys Jones and Rachel Trickett draw clear critical lines around, respectively, Dryden as translator of Lucretius, and a Stiltrennung between descriptive modes in 18th-century prose and verse. Apt to the commemorative theme is a rather gentle, musing ...

Blistering Attacks

Claude Rawson, 6 November 1980

The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Oxford, 454 pp., £8.50, September 1980, 0 19 214110 4
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... had become an intractable schoolboy. There is also a more genial side to the schoolboy dimension. Emrys Jones pointed out in a brilliant British Academy lecture how Pope’s dunces disport themselves like ‘children at play’, shouting, chattering, having peeing competitions and the rest, though none of this appears in Mr Grigson’s extracts. An ...


David Norbrook, 18 July 1985

Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism 
edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield.
Manchester, 244 pp., £19.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1752 1
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Alternative Shakespeares 
edited by John Drakakis.
Methuen, 252 pp., £10.50, July 1985, 0 416 36850 6
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Shakespeare and Others 
by S. Schoenbaum.
Scolar, 285 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 85967 691 9
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Illustrations of the English Stage 1580-1642 
by R.A. Foakes.
Scolar, 180 pp., £35, February 1985, 0 85967 684 6
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £17.50, April 1985, 0 7190 1743 2
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... ambitions for them, rather than writing whatever would please current theatrical fashions. Emrys Jones has pointed out in The Origins of Shakespeare that the 16th century was the period of a Humanist ‘educational revolution’ which generated immense intellectual excitement and produced a heightened political and historical consciousness from ...


Barbara Everett: Thinking about Hamlet, 2 September 2004

... the most intelligent person in the early history play King John is the royal bastard, who – as Emrys Jones has pointed out – in some sense looks forward to Hamlet; Hamlet, in his turn, is ‘bastardised’ by his intelligence, set outside the whole familial and social group. He has to think for himself. Both Hamlet and the play are problems for this ...

So Much Smoke

Tom Shippey: King Arthur, 20 December 2018

King Arthur: the Making of the Legend 
by Nicholas Higham.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 300 21092 7
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... one of a whole string of Roman names repronounced by Welsh speakers in the post-Roman era, such as Emrys/Ambrosius, Custennin/Constantinus, Aergol/Agricola. That at least gives Arthur a historical setting, Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries, when Latin still had prestige but few people spoke it much any more. It seems to have been quite a popular name ...

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