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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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... feminist fiction: a just observation, albeit in extenuation it might be pleaded that the theme was friendship, not unfriendliness. It should be said straight away that the selection of poems in EmrysJones’s New Oxford Book of 16th-Century Verse is quite splendid, a veritable treasure house (to use a ludicrous outdated trope); there are no shocking omissions to deprecate, and if some of the ...

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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... kept himself busy with ceremonies, polo, hockey and a mild love affair. Coming back to Oxford, he went to Magdalen College. Again his teachers were splendid, he had Jack Bennett for Anglo-Saxon and EmrysJones 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 ...
1 August 1996
Essays in Appreciation 
by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 363 pp., £25, March 1996, 0 19 818344 5
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... from his favourite pursuit of spot-checking his colleagues’ work for mistakes. In this book perhaps a score of scholars are courteously acknowledged for a piece of information or a useful edition; EmrysJones 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 ...

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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... the mocking of York before his murder in Henry VI Part 3, or in the readiness to have at the centre of a scene an actor who doesn’t speak and is therefore non-existent on the page. It is there, as EmrysJones 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 ...
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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... as the World’s Posteriors, whether you apply to it the Toe or the Birch,’ as if all the world had become an intractable schoolboy. There is also a more genial side to the schoolboy dimension. EmrysJones 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 ...

Heroes

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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... responsiveness beneath the word-play: a sort of comic business goes on, to make light of a painfully affective and yearning sense of what literature does for us. Strong and characteristic essays by EmrysJones 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 ...

Shakespeares

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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... may have revised his major plays extensively over a period of years. He may, then, have had ‘literary’ ambitions for them, rather than writing whatever would please current theatrical fashions. EmrysJones 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 ...

Whirligig

Barbara Everett: Thinking about Hamlet

2 September 2004
... politics: it must, in a word, alienate the individual from mere conventions and rituals. Immensely the most intelligent person in the early history play King John is the royal bastard, who – as EmrysJones 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 ...

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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... the Welsh word for ‘bear’, arth, but from the name of a Roman gens or family, Artorius. It is 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 ...

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