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Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones

20 October 1983
The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... as if pleased to be one of the Fancy himself) and an apparent confidence, probably justified, that his book will last a good few years, like Tarka the Otter. The firm hand of the octogenarian EricFraser provides the illustrations, like an accolade for a minor classic. The bird, Squeak, belongs to two people described only as ‘the tenants’. In a loft in Warwickshire they breed pigeons for showing ...

Class Traitor

Edward Pearce

11 June 1992
Maverick: The Life of a Union Rebel 
by Eric​ Hammond.
Weidenfeld, 214 pp., £16.99, March 1992, 0 297 81200 9
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... Bull,” I thought as I put the letter down on my desk. “You’re scared witless, Brenda.” ’ The style and address of Eric Hammond is unmistakable. He is here declining to be scared by a letter from Brenda Dean, ‘the pleasant woman at the helm of SOGAT’, trying to frighten him over EEPTU relations with Eddie Shah and ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Ronnie Kray bows out

8 June 1995
... in the confusion between burns of hyperactivity and intolerable wedges of boredom. Style scribes prepared themselves by thumbing through red pulp memoirs, to be sure that they’d recognise Frankie Fraser or Tony Lambrianou when they poodled into the churchyard. Researchers were busy inventing quotes, hammering golden nuggets into the carious mouths of bemused recidivists. Photographers risked ...

Fire and Water

Rosalind Mitchison

17 October 1985
Water Power in Scotland: 1550-1870 
by John Shaw.
John Donald, 606 pp., £25, April 1984, 0 85976 072 3
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The History of the British Coal Industry. Vol. II: 1700-1830, The Industrial Revolution 
by Michael Flinn and David Stoker.
Oxford, 491 pp., £35, March 1984, 0 19 828283 4
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Industry and Ethos: Scotland 1832-1914 
by Sydney Checkland and Olive Checkland.
Arnold, 218 pp., £5.95, March 1984, 0 7131 6317 8
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The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen: 1650-1784 
by Bruce Lenman.
Methuen, 246 pp., £14.95, November 1984, 0 413 48690 7
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The Prince and the Pretender: A Study in the Writing of History 
by A.J. Youngson.
Croom Helm, 270 pp., £16.95, April 1985, 0 7099 2908 0
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Canna: The Story of a Hebridean Island 
by J.L. Campbell.
Oxford, 323 pp., £25, December 1984, 0 19 920137 4
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... their chiefs. To break through to the social structure of the clans, and the views and concerns of the lesser ranks of society, is almost impossible for the 18th century or earlier, though the late Eric Cregeen made some progress in this direction. The preferences and attitudes of the bosses had much to do with the eventual assimilation of Highland to Lowland culture and law. The junction of the ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: At Bluewater

3 January 2002
... huge tents that once sheltered London’s smallpox cases on Temple Hill in Dartford are the inspiration for this collision of ribbed domes and curved windows. The American architectural consultant Eric Kuhne, invited to talk the site up, spoke of a ‘new kind of city’, a ‘resort’. A form of petrol-guzzling tourism has evolved: Bluewater is a Ballardian resort (Vermilion Sands), shopping is ...
24 January 1980
... in the Times and a prize named after him for bright young English and American editors. He also had, and still has, the gratitude and affection of a host of authors as different as Edna O’Brien and Eric Ambler, Ronald Blythe and Antonia Fraser. That, perhaps, is the crucial difference between the two men. Lane was a publisher’s publisher, a man with immense commercial flair who opened up markets ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis

1 July 1999
The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... and retriever. Professional players of my son’s generation (he’s now 27) won’t have any of this, partly because they never saw even the great postwar champions like Ted Schroeder, Frank Parker, Eric Sturgess, and there are no videos of what Wadie quaintly refers to as ‘vintage’ players, partly because today’s champions are focused so exclusively on tennis, with endless exercise and hitting ...
5 January 1989
The King’s Jaunt: George IV in Scotland, 1822 
by John Prebble.
Collins, 399 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 00 215404 8
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... for the workers’ and all his storyteller’s colour would have been worthless had he not been able to give evidence for each splash and stroke. One excellent academic historian of the Clearances, Eric Richards, has credited Prebble with ‘a sound knowledge of important and frequently neglected sources’. He then objects to ‘leaps of the imagination – he invests elusive and obscure people ...
9 March 1995
... honours list for 1986, there were knighthoods for Godfrey Messervy (Lucas: £110,000 since 1979 and Costain: £105,650 since 1979), John Milne (Royal Insurance: £110,500 since 1979), and Ian Fraser (formerly of Lazards: £86,100 since 1979). The same list in 1987 saw knighthoods bestowed on Frank Gibb (chairman and chief executive of Taylor Woodrow which had given £35,000 to the Party in the ...

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