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Newton and God’s Truth

Christopher Hill, 4 September 1980

A Portrait of Isaac Newton 
by Frank Manuel.
Muller, 478 pp., £11.75, April 1980, 0 584 95357 7
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Philosopher at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz 
by Rupert Hall.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £15, July 1980, 0 521 22732 1
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... to Newton’s achievement in his personality. Far and away the best psychohistorian of Newton is Frank Manuel. His Portrait was first published in the USA in 1968, and is here reproduced without alteration: even a howler on page 112 stands uncorrected. Manuel has published two other more specialised books on ...

Great Good Places of the Mind

John Passmore, 6 March 1980

Utopian Thought in the Western World 
by Frank Manuel.
Blackwell, 896 pp., £19.50, November 1979, 9780631123613
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... For a quarter of a century, Professor and Mrs Manuel have explored the highways and byways of Utopianism. Their task is now completed, their painstaking research encapsulated in a single monumental volume. Nothing less than ‘monumental’ will suffice to describe it: half a million words, at a rough estimate. Tighter editing would have excised an occasional sentence as repetitious or otiose ...

Blake’s Tone

E.P. Thompson, 28 January 1993

Dangerous Enthusiasm: William Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s 
by Jon Mee.
Oxford, 251 pp., £30, August 1992, 0 19 812226 8
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... likely to have derived his eclectic borrowings? No single source can be cited with confidence: as Frank Manuel showed years ago (The 18th Century confronts the Gods, 1959), comparative mythology had been advancing for more than one hundred years. Jacob Bryant’s A New System; or, An Analysis of Ancient Mythology (1775) was mentioned once by Blake, and ...
The Romantic Generation 
by Charles Rosen.
HarperCollins, 723 pp., £30, November 1995, 0 00 255627 8
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... and poetic authorities. All the material will be familiar to readers, say, of M.H. Abrams and Frank Manuel, or, on particular Romantic subjects like ruins, Tom McFarland and others. Rosen rambles on and on, quoting not only translations but even the French and German originals, in displays of erudition that make one extremely impatient. Very rarely ...

Enlightenment Erotica

David Nokes, 4 August 1988

Eros Revived: Erotica of the Enlightenment in England and America 
by Peter Wagner.
Secker, 498 pp., £30, March 1988, 0 436 56051 8
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’Tis Nature’s Fault: Unauthorised Sexuality during the Enlightenment 
edited by Robert Purks Maccubin.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 34539 1
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The New Eighteenth Century: Theory, Politics, English Literature 
edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown.
Methuen, 320 pp., £28, February 1988, 0 416 01631 6
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... again he repeats the charge of prudery and cowardice, each time with a more damning tone. ‘When Frank Manuel suggested that Newton may not have been primarily heterosexual, the Newtonian establishment attacked him as if he had uttered the unthinkable.’ Isaac Kramnick was ‘savaged’ for broaching the subject of Burke’s homosexuality. Wilmarth ...

I tooke a bodkine

Jonathan Rée: Esoteric Newton, 10 October 2013

Newton and the Origin of Civilisation 
by Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold.
Princeton, 528 pp., £34.95, October 2012, 978 0 691 15478 7
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... After Gibbon, however, Newton’s work as a historian fell into a long oblivion, from which Frank Manuel rescued it in the 1960s; but his elegant study, Isaac Newton: Historian, has now been dwarfed by the labours of Buchwald and Feingold. Not that they hold the Chronology in much affection: the book to which they have dedicated many years of their ...

A Degenerate Assemblage

Anthony Grafton: Bibliomania, 13 April 2023

Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America 
by Denise Gigante.
Yale, 378 pp., £25, January, 978 0 300 24848 7
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... Old Church Slavonic or translating Rimbaud. Meanwhile, pioneering scholars like Barbara Tuchman, Frank Manuel and George Whalley mined gold year after year from the lodes of ore in the libraries.The roots of this bookish postwar New York, as Denise Gigante shows in Book Madness, stretched back deep into the 19th century. Some of them also nourished ...

Time Longer than Rope

Greil Marcus, 16 November 1995

... and let loose for the pleasure of chasing it down again. With every chorus Bob Dylan and Richard Manuel lift their voices and then abandon them, stranding their words right at the edge of a cliff, suspending the sound in dead silence until the next verse begins. It’s a stark, shuddering effect, the pleasure cut like a heater in a cheap hotel turning itself ...

Solve, Struggle, Invent

Rachel Nolan: Cuba Speaks, 6 June 2024

How Things Fall Apart: What Happened to the Cuban Revolution 
by Elizabeth Dore.
Apollo, 341 pp., £10.99, August 2023, 978 1 80328 381 4
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The Tribe: Portraits of Cuba 
by Carlos Manuel Álvarez, translated by Frank Wynne and Rahul Bery.
Fitzcarraldo, 336 pp., £12.99, May 2022, 978 1 913097 91 2
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... a stylish set of profiles now collected in a book, the Cuban journalist and novelist Carlos Manuel Álvarez describes the black market of this period:At the Technical University of Havana José Antonio Echeverría – the CUJAE, the most important technological university in the country – most of the students in apartments 28 and 42 of building 34 ...

When that great day comes

R.W. Johnson, 22 July 1993

... allowed more than three-quarters of all Zambians voted to get rid of Kaunda and that he remains a frank advocate of single-party rule. It turns out, by the by, that the whole election was an imperialist plot against the people of Zambia and that the only reasonable outcome would have been for President Kaunda to continue his rule for ever: we have this on the ...

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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... I still like to believe that players like Pancho Gonzales, Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Jaroslav Drobny, Frank Sedgman, Don Budge and Jack Kramer were as good if not better than the present lot – Sampras, Agassi, Moya, Kafelnikov, Rios and so on. The only first-class pre-World War Two player I ever saw was Henri Cochet, who had occasionally beaten the great Tilden ...

Hush-Hush Boom-Boom

Charles Glass: Spymasters, 12 August 2021

The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War – A Tragedy in Three Acts 
by Scott Anderson.
Picador, 576 pp., £20, February, 978 1 5290 4247 4
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... the Axis turned into a crusade to ‘roll back’ communism in Eastern Europe and Asia. One was Frank Wisner, a corporate lawyer who enlisted to work in naval intelligence early in 1941. When the US entered the war he was consigned to the tedium of the navy’s cable and censorship office in New York. Donovan rescued him from that backwater at the end of ...


Lorna Scott Fox: Salvador Dali, 2 April 1998

The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali 
by Ian Gibson.
Faber, 764 pp., £30, November 1997, 0 571 16751 9
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... he had produced a play and a book of poetry and had just organised a flamenco festival with Manuel de Falla. Luis Buñuel had been there even longer. He had recently switched from industrial engineering to entomology and was active within Ultra, a belated Futuristic movement enchanted by French Modernism; only later was Buñuel to champion a ...

No Looking Away

Tom Stammers: Solo Goya, 16 December 2021

Goya: A Portrait of the Artist 
by Janis Tomlinson.
Princeton, 388 pp., £28, October 2020, 978 0 691 19204 8
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... conversation, from court gossip, reports of his hunting prowess and the tunes of seguidillas, to frank discussions of masturbation and some remarkable doodles, including a self-portrait of Goya smoking a cigarette. The two men exchanged drawings of their penises (‘Jesus! What a testimony!’ Goya marvelled on receiving Zapater’s letter). During an ...

On the imagining of conspiracy

Christopher Hitchens, 7 November 1991

Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... Marilyn Monroe fucked both Kennedy brothers before taking her own life, if she did indeed take it. Frank Sinatra raised money for the Reagans and acted as at least a confidante to the First Lady. Norman Podhoretz’s son-in-law Elliott Abrams, while working as Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State, dunned the Sultan of Brunei for a $10 million backhander to ...

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