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Peter Burke

15 October 1987
Patronage, Art and Society in Renaissance Italy 
edited by F.W. Kent and Patricia Simons.
Oxford/Humanities Research Centre, 331 pp., £35, June 1987, 0 19 821978 4
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Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City 
by Charles Mack.
Cornell, 250 pp., $43.95, June 1987, 9780801416996
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Piety and Patronage in Renaissance Venice: Bellini, Titian and the Franciscans 
by Rona Goffen.
Yale, 285 pp., £30, July 1986, 0 300 03455 5
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Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance 
by Margaret King.
Princeton, 524 pp., £42.90, April 1986, 0 691 05465 7
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The Venetian Patriciate: Reality versus Myth 
by Donald Queller.
Illinois, 386 pp., $29.95, September 1986, 0 252 01144 9
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Tradesman and Traders: The World of the Guilds in Venice and Europe, c.1250-c.1650 
by Richard MacKenney.
Croom Helm, 289 pp., £35, January 1987, 0 7099 1763 5
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Florence, Rome and the Origins of the Renaissance 
by George Holmes.
Oxford, 273 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 19 822576 8
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From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in 15th and 6th-Century Europe 
by Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine.
Duckworth, 224 pp., £29.95, January 1987, 0 7156 2100 9
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Renaissance and Revolt: Essays in the Intellectual and Social History of Early Modern France 
by J.H.M. Salmon.
Cambridge, 306 pp., £30, June 1987, 0 521 32769 5
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... patron is accountable to no one.’ But what exactly was a patron in Florence or elsewhere in Renaissance Italy? Despite the existence of a large literature on art patronage, the question received few direct answers till the publication in 1981 of a book focused on England: Patronage in the Renaissance, edited by Guy Lytle and Stephen Orgel. Taking their cue from Lytle and Orgel, F.W.Kent and ...

Elegy for Gurney

Sarah Howe: Robert Edric

4 December 2008
In Zodiac Light 
by Robert Edric.
Doubleday, 368 pp., £16.99, July 2008, 978 0 385 61258 6
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... aspirations. At times, Irvine seems almost aware of the symbols thudding all around him. He laughs that the local shipping channels are called the ‘Lower Hope Reaches’: who would have known Kent was an allegorical landscape? Another unfortunate consequence of In Zodiac Light’s dalliance with allegory is the flatness of its villains. The hospital’s hierarchy has Osborne, a shamelessly ...

Porringers and Pitkins

Keith Thomas: The Early Modern Household

5 July 2018
A Day at Home in Early Modern England: Material Culture and Domestic Life, 1500-1700 
by Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson.
Yale, 311 pp., £40, October 2017, 978 0 300 19501 9
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... they have to be discussed more than once. In their account of change in domestic housing, the authors supplement the work of their many predecessors with a focus on old houses in the West Country, Kent and the Midlands. They are particularly interesting on town houses, which did not usually follow the rural pattern of a single-storey, tripartite structure, with the hall in the middle, buttery and ...

Big Bucks, Big Bangs

Chalmers Johnson: US intelligence and the bomb

20 July 2006
Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea 
by Jeffrey Richelson.
Norton, 702 pp., £22.99, April 2006, 0 393 05383 0
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... programme, for example, the CIA was often sabotaged by its own cultural arrogance and a belief that the Chinese were simply not up to it. In June 1955 the legendary intelligence analyst, Sherman Kent wrote that China’s attempt to build a bomb would take well over ten and possibly twenty years. He based his assessment on China’s inability to process uranium ore, as well as its having ‘almost ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB

20 January 2005
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... more than most in the 20th century: the idea of their inclusion immediately strikes us as perverse, but would it really possess any greater logic if Hitler had, say, visited his troops at their Kent bridgehead in 1940? The porousness of the ‘nation’ as a category is most tellingly exhibited in the case of American subjects. OUP has been understandably keen to enhance the appeal of the ...

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