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Lawful Charm

Donald Davie, 6 July 1995

Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, edited by Andrew Motion.
Penguin, 171 pp., £6.99, May 1994, 0 14 042379 6
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Selected Poems 
by William Barnes, read by Alan Chedzoy.
Canto, £6.99
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... to us as ‘Northamptonshire dialect-poet’; yet to their Clare: Selected Poems and Prose (1966), Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield appended a glossary of more than two hundred words and expressions. If Barnes’s Dorset poems were put into Standard English, would their glossary be any bigger? Perpetuating Barnes’s pedantries along with his poems ...

Gentlemen and ladies came to see the poet’s cottage

Tom Paulin: Clare’s anti-pastoral, 19 February 2004

John Clare: A Biography 
by Jonathan Bate.
Picador, 650 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 330 37106 1
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‘I Am’: The Selected Poetry of John Clare 
edited by Jonathan Bate.
Farrar, Straus, 318 pp., $17, November 2003, 0 374 52869 1
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John Clare, Politics and Poetry 
by Alan Vardy.
Palgrave, 221 pp., £45, October 2003, 0 333 96617 1
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John Clare Vol. V: Poems of the Middle Period 1822-37 
edited by Eric Robinson, David Powell and P.M.S. Dawson.
Oxford, 822 pp., £105, January 2003, 0 19 812386 8
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... The formative texts of his childhood and early youth were, inevitably, Pilgrim’s Progress and Robinson Crusoe, both of which he echoed in ‘To the Snipe’, a lyric whose isolated, islanded atmosphere and slough-like, ‘rude, desolate’ marshes build a distinctive form of Puritan anguish. Bate begins his third chapter with an account of the most ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... strongly in fascism,’ he said. ‘Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.’ In August, Eric Clapton took a break from a performance in Birmingham to demand the repatriation of Britain’s immigrant and black population. ‘You should all just leave,’ he said to members of his audience. ‘Not just leave the hall, leave our country … I don’t ...

East Hoathly makes a night of it

Marilyn Butler, 6 December 1984

The Diary of Thomas Turner 1754-1765 
edited by David Vaisey.
Oxford, 386 pp., £17.50, November 1984, 0 19 211782 3
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John Clare’s Autobiographical Writings 
edited by Eric Robinson.
Oxford, 185 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 19 211774 2
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John Clare: The Journals, Essays, and the Journey from Essex 
edited by Anne Tibble.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 85635 344 2
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The Natural History Prose Writings of John Clare 
edited by Margaret Grainger.
Oxford, 397 pp., £35, January 1984, 0 19 818517 0
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John Clare and the Folk Tradition 
by George Deacon.
Sinclair Browne, 397 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 86300 008 8
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... autobiography, including a letter about himself to his publisher, John Taylor, in 1821, given in Robinson’s book, and a memoir about his four-day walk home from an asylum in Essex in 1841, which both Tibble and Robinson include. But subjective writings make only a part of Clare’s efforts to record his village ...

Tired of Giving in

Eric Foner: Rosa Parks, 10 May 2001

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Life of Rosa Parks 
by Douglas Brinkley.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £12.99, January 2001, 0 297 60708 1
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... and that local black leaders were actively seeking an incident to inspire a boycott. Jo Ann Robinson, a professor of English at the all-black Alabama State University, had publicly threatened city officials with a boycott in 1954. In March 1955, Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old high school junior, had refused to give up her seat to a white ...

Rongorongo

John Sturrock: The Rosetta Stone, 19 September 2002

Keys of Egypt 
by Lesley Atkins and Roy Atkins.
HarperCollins, 335 pp., £7.99, September 2001, 0 00 653145 8
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The Rosetta Stone: The Story of the Decoding of Hieroglyphics 
by Robert Solé and Dominique Valbelle, translated by Steven Rendall.
Profile, 184 pp., £7.99, August 2002, 1 86197 344 6
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Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts 
by Andrew Robinson.
McGraw Hill, 352 pp., £25.99, June 2002, 0 07 135743 2
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The Man who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris 
by Andrew Robinson.
Thames and Hudson, 168 pp., £12.95, April 2002, 0 500 51077 6
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... do better to read the summary expertly given in The Rosetta Stone, or, best of all, in Andrew Robinson’s lucid and well illustrated chapter on hieroglyphics in Lost Languages (whose many line drawings are at once valuable and deceptive, since they make the signs displayed look a great deal easier to identify than they are in the worn and weathered ...

Manufacturing in Manhattan

Eric Foner, 1 June 2000

Working-Class New York: Life and Labour Since World War Two 
by Joshua Freeman.
New Press, 393 pp., $35, May 2000, 1 56584 575 7
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... in this subject in the two decades after 1965. Inspired by the work of E.P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm, American scholars redefined a field which had been almost exclusively taken up with the history of trades union to encompass working-class life and culture outside the workplace as well as within it. Practised primarily by historians who came of ...

In the Workshop

Tom Paulin: Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 22 January 1998

The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets 
by Helen Vendler.
Harvard, 672 pp., £23.50, December 1997, 0 674 63712 7
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Shakespeare's Sonnets 
edited by Katherine Duncan-Jones.
Arden, 503 pp., £7.99, September 1997, 1 903436 57 5
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... Clare’s volumes and then reading the same poems in the unpunctuated original manuscript versions Eric Robinson and his fellow editors print in the big Oxford edition of Clare. A good example is sonnet 19: Deuouring time blunt thou the Lyons pawes, And make the earth deuoure her owne fweet brood, Plucke the keene teeth from the ficrce Tygers yawes, And ...

Crusoe was a gentleman

John Sutherland, 1 July 1982

The Gentleman in Trollope: Individuality and Moral Conduct 
by Shirley Letwin.
Macmillan, 303 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 333 31209 0
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The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel 
by Robin Gilmour.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £10, October 1981, 0 04 800005 1
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... 1880s – a result of the ‘division’ of the English moral consciousness. (Materialists like Eric Hobsbawm have, of course, put it down to such things as German supremacy in steel production.) The kernel of chauvinism at the heart of Letwin’s book – which asserts that if Britain had cleaved to the old monistic Trollopian ways we should still be great ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... Is it a wish for genuine consultation with the business community, or just spinnery? Geoffrey Robinson presides, prompting reflections about the kind of businessmen who succeed, however improbably, in winning the trust of left-wing politicians. Who exploits who? When it’s David Lloyd George, he exploits them. But when it’s Harold Wilson? 2 December ...

Who won the Falklands War?

Edward Luttwak, 23 April 1992

One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander 
by Admiral Sandy Woodward and Patrick Robinson.
HarperCollins, 359 pp., £18, January 1992, 0 00 215723 3
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... was another of my officers from a family with dark blue naval blood. His father Commander Eric Hart-Dyke fought the U-boats in the Second World War ... David’s wife Diana bore the well-known naval name of Luce, both her grandfathers being admirals ... her uncle was Admiral Sir David Luce, and her brother Richard Luce, Minister of State at the ...

At Kettle’s Yard

Eleanor Birne: The Reopening, 22 March 2018

... through friendships, or as gifts from the artists or their families – the first inscription Eric Gill ever made; a Miró – as he got hold of whatever people would let him have: I turned out to be one of Ben Nicholson’s very few admirers at that time, and after he had tried to sell a painting for a year or so he would tell me that I could have it for ...

Destined to Disappear

Susan Pedersen: ‘Race Studies’, 20 October 2016

White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations 
by Robert Vitalis.
Cornell, 272 pp., $29.95, November 2015, 978 0 8014 5397 7
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... he also notes the contributions of the historians E. Franklin Frazier (PhD Chicago 1931) and Eric Williams (PhD Oxford 1938), who taught at Howard before returning to Trinidad in the late 1940s. Of the main four, all but Tate – the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in this field – are today reasonably well known, something that can’t be ...

Gloomy Sunday Afternoons

Caroline Maclean: Modernists at the Movies, 10 September 2009

The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period 
by Laura Marcus.
Oxford, 562 pp., £39, December 2007, 978 0 19 923027 3
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... on cinema in the 1920s; the Hogarth Press published two pamphlets on film by the music critic Eric Walter White; and Roger Fry, in ‘An Essay in Aesthetics’ (1909), mentioned that it was only when he watched a ‘cinematograph’ that he noticed the bizarre habit people have of turning a full circle when they get off a train. In ‘The Cinema’, Woolf ...

Ruling Imbecilities

Andrew Roberts, 7 November 1991

The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture and Other Circumstances of Language 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 153 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 19 811216 5
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... the earlier volume, suggesting that Hill may have responded to comments made by, among others, Eric Griffiths. In an essay included in Geoffrey Hill: Essays on his Work (1985, edited by Peter Robinson), Griffiths expressed reservations about Hill’s ‘unsteady reliance on religious metaphors’ in his critical ...

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