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Homely Virtues

David Cannadine, 4 August 1983

London: The Unique City 
by Steen Eiler Rasmussen.
MIT, 468 pp., £7.30, May 1982, 0 262 68027 0
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Town Planning in London: The 18th and 19th Centuries 
by Donald Olsen.
Yale, 245 pp., £25, October 1982, 0 300 02914 4
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The English Terraced House 
by Stefan Muthesius.
Yale, 278 pp., £12.50, November 1982, 0 300 02871 7
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London as it might have been 
by Felix Barker and Ralph Hyde.
Murray, 223 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 7195 3857 2
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... and sentimental to resent and oppose much large-scale tampering with their city’s fabric. As Barker and Hyde put it, ‘London is an architectural mess, but London likes it that way.’ So, perhaps, Rasmussen was right all along: certainly this survey of what was not built corroborates his explanation of what was. We are back where we began, with the ...

Olivier Rex

Ronald Bryden, 1 September 1988

Olivier 
by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 504 pp., £16, May 1988, 0 297 79089 7
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... and underloved. No one has ever made much sense of the oracular morsel passed like a torch from Felix Barker, Olivier’s first biographer, to his successors: the story of how Elsie Fogerty, awarding the boy a scholarship to the Central School, ran her little finger from his hairline to the bridge of his nose, saying: ‘You have a ...

Ink Blots, Pin Holes

Caroline Gonda: ‘Frankenstein’, 28 January 2010

The Original ‘Frankenstein’ 
by Mary Shelley, with Percy Shelley, edited by Charles Robinson.
Bodleian Library, 448 pp., £14.99, October 2009, 978 1 85124 396 9
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... Library’s Abinger Collection. Robinson describes how he and the specialist librarian Bruce Barker-Benfield painstakingly reconstructed the disbound notebooks containing most of the Draft and part of the Fair Copy of Frankenstein, ‘by inspecting each leaf of the manuscript and by attending to torn edges, glue residue, ink blots, pin holes, watermarks ...

Liza Jarrett’s Hard Life

Paul Driver, 4 December 1986

The Death of the Body 
by C.K. Stead.
Collins, 192 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 00 223067 4
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Kramer’s Goats 
by Rudolf Nassauer.
Peter Owen, 188 pp., £10.50, August 1986, 0 7206 0659 4
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Mefisto 
by John Banville.
Secker, 234 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780436032660
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The Century’s Daughter 
by Pat Barker.
Virago, 284 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780860686064
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Love Unknown 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 202 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 241 11922 7
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... all its other merits ... helplessly and submissively depend’. Unfortunately, that one – Pat Barker’s The Century’s Daughter – is also a consciously ‘working-class’ fiction whose claim to reality-status might be found off-puttingly vehement. Still, her book, risking as it does a limiting categorisation and, inescapably, a caricaturing treatment ...

Bardbiz

Terence Hawkes, 22 February 1990

Rebuilding Shakespeare’s Globe 
by Andrew Gurr and John Orrell.
Weidenfeld, 197 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 297 79346 2
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Shakespeare and the Popular Voice 
by Annabel Patterson.
Blackwell, 195 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 631 16873 7
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Re-Inventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present 
by Gary Taylor.
Hogarth, 461 pp., £18, January 1990, 0 7012 0888 0
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Shakespeare’s America, America’s Shakespeare 
by Michael Bristol.
Routledge, 237 pp., £30, January 1990, 0 415 01538 3
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... it as ‘the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life’, and 1914, when Granville Barker tried to dispense with the scenic display that generations of spectacular musical versions had imposed, ‘the play that Shakespeare wrote’ emerges in a powerful and startlingly different light. The major beneficiary of such a re-vision is the character ...

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