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Ann Dummett, 9 July 1987

Anti-Racism: An Assault on Education and Value 
edited by Frank Palmer.
Sherwood, 210 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 907671 26 8
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The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain 
by Ron Ramdin.
Gower, 626 pp., £35, January 1987, 0 566 00943 9
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... of it. Two of the contributors, however, are members of the Labour Party. According to the editor, Frank Palmer, the idea for the book came from Roger Scruton, who, like several other contributors, also writes for the Salisbury Review and the Times. In short, this book is a product of the New Right. It would have been unthinkable ten years ago for a book ...

Henry Hill and Laura Palmer

Philip Horne, 20 December 1990

... investigating agent Dale Cooper, comes when he is kissed full on the mouth by the figure of Laura Palmer, who was a ‘wild girl’ but is now dead and whose murderer he has come to town to detect. The story exerts its spell over television viewers through a combination of gruesome invention, deadpan quirkiness and hyperbolic intensity characteristic of Lynch ...

At Tate Britain

T.J. Clark: Paul Nash , 2 February 2017

... with all that followed in terms of a settling of accounts with Constable and Turner, and Blake and Palmer, and Crome and the watercolourists and Ford Madox Brown, was at all compatible with being a painter ‘in the 20th century’. The pressure of this last question – or indeed of all three – is not to be collapsed into shorthand of the kind: ‘Wasn’t ...

Meaningless Legs

Frank Kermode: John Gielgud, 21 June 2001

Gielgud: A Theatrical Life 1904-2000 
by Jonathan Croall.
Methuen, 579 pp., £20, November 2000, 0 413 74560 0
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John G.: The Authorised Biography of John Gielgud 
by Sheridan Morley.
Hodder, 510 pp., £20, May 2001, 0 340 36803 9
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John Gielgud: An Actor’s Life 
by Gyles Brandreth.
Sutton, 196 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 7509 2752 6
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... paintings including a Dufy, a Nicholson and a Matthew Smith, drawings by Fuseli and Samuel Palmer and his distinguished cousin Edward Gordon Craig, objects of all sorts along with much fine furniture. By the time they come to the end of their task, readers of these books can no more than their authors doubt the scale of this performer’s ...

On Roy Fisher

August Kleinzahler, 29 June 2017

... Halsted Street where Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie lived; the Board of Trade building where Frank Norris’s novel The Pit is set; Studs Lonigan’s street corner on the South Side from James Farrell’s trilogy; the block of South Drexel where Bigger Thomas in Richard Wright’s Native Son killed and incinerated his rich employer’s daughter; Nelson ...


Richard Poirier, 20 December 1979

The Powers that Be 
by David Halberstam.
Chatto, 771 pp., £9.95
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... existence or when he characterises figures of secondary rank. Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post, Frank Stanton of CBS, or Kyle Palmer of the LA Times, do come to life here, perhaps because, being a few rungs down the ladder, they engage in intrigues and power struggles that have more specific, immediate and easily plotted ...

It’s slippery in here

Christopher Tayler: ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’, 21 September 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 
created by Mark Frost and David Lynch.
Showtime/Sky Atlantic, 18 episodes, 21 May 2017 to 3 September 2017
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... Dale Cooper, came to an isolated town in the Pacific Northwest to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer, a beautiful high-school student whose death had unsettled the eccentrics, grotesques and many attractive people who made up the population of Twin Peaks. Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan as a chipper yet authoritative grown-up version of the character he ...


Frank Kermode: Remembering William Empson, 16 November 2006

William Empson. Vol. II: Against the Christians 
by John Haffenden.
Oxford, 797 pp., £30, November 2006, 0 19 927660 9
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... worked with minute care on ‘The Ancient Mariner’, on Dr Faustus, on the question whether Mary Palmer (who published his poems after his death) was really married to Andrew Marvell. The posthumous collections, including Using Biography and Argufying, a volume of Shakespeare pieces and two on Renaissance literature, are all animated by a dislike amounting ...

The Only Alphabet

August Kleinzahler: Ashbery’s Early Life, 21 September 2017

The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life 
by Karin Roffman.
Farrar, Straus, 316 pp., £25.50, June 2017, 978 0 374 29384 0
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... quiz but he had the time of his life: his first ever taxi ride, a stay at the vast and luxurious Palmer House hotel with its arched ceiling and statuary in the alcoves. John, Momma and Grandma stayed on the 18th floor. ‘Very nice,’ he recorded in his diary. He returned a celebrity, but, more than a year after his brother’s death, he found himself still ...

For Australians only

Jill Roe, 18 February 1988

... advocated writers’ organisations, indigenous publishing, and book clubs. She even proposed Netti Palmer, in some respects a rival as critic and encourager, to be the first professor of Australian literature. In some ways the papers have rebounded on her. The impression has grown that she became increasingly hysterical in old age, an impression undoubtedly ...

On a Chinese Mountain

Frank Kermode, 20 November 1986

The Royal Beasts 
by William Empson.
Chatto, 201 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 7011 3084 9
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Essays on Shakespeare 
by William Empson.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 521 25577 5
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... this, dwelling on what seemed to others minor issues like the supposed marriage of Marvell to Mary Palmer or the way some manuscripts were filched. The Shakespeare essays, written over 27 years (the latest, a review of Harold Brooks’s edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, appeared in this paper in October 1979), share these characteristics. The racy manner ...

Mary, Mary

Christopher Hitchens, 8 April 1993

Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover 
by Anthony Summers.
Gollancz, 576 pp., £18.99, March 1993, 0 575 04236 2
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... for the office, clearly knowing when he was licked. You couldn’t hope to out-dress old Frankie-Frank Spellman, one of the great bitch drag queens of this or any other age. Nobody should grudge the frumpish Hoover a fling or two, or indeed a flounce, though probably with his figure and complexion the stockings were a mistake. (Didn’t he have one kind ...

An UnAmerican in New York

Lewis Nkosi: The Harlem Renaissance, 24 August 2000

Winds Can Wake Up the Dead: An Eric Walrond Reader 
edited by Louis Parascandola.
Wayne State, 350 pp., $24.95, December 1998, 0 8143 2709 5
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... keeping J. Edgar Hoover and the Justice Department busy. In a report on subversion A. Mitchell Palmer, the Attorney General, predicted that on May Day 1920 an attempt would be made to overthrow the US Government. He had plans to deport more than a thousand people, but in the end only 249 were sent to the Soviet Union.The Harlem Renaissance may have been ...

The Ultimate Novel

William Empson, 19 August 1982

by Hugh Kenner.
Allen and Unwin, 182 pp., £10, March 1980, 0 00 480003 6
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A Starchamber Quiry: A James Joyce Centennial Volume 1882-1982 
edited by E.L. Epstein.
Methuen, 164 pp., £9.50, February 1982, 0 416 31560 7
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... and another advantage of it is that it will annoy his father. The brooding presence of Mrs Bandman Palmer, who acted Hamlet in person on the previous evening, no longer carries its due weight because she has been so completely forgotten. She managed an acting company on the Northern Circuit, which took in Bradford and Huddersfield as well as the larger ...

Let Them Be Sea-Captains

Megan Marshall: Margaret Fuller, 15 November 2007

Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life: The Public Years 
by Charles Capper.
Oxford, 649 pp., £23.99, June 2007, 978 0 19 506313 4
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... the abolitionist Lydia Maria Child and the formidably educated historian and pedagogue Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. While Fuller remained their leader, she gained important support in return. An equally powerful impetus was her failed attempt to establish a closer bond with Emerson, a man seven years her senior and a married father of two. Fuller was, by all ...

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