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In America’s Blood

Deborah Friedell, 24 September 2020

The NRA: The Unauthorised History 
by Frank Smyth.
Flatiron, 295 pp., $28.99, March 2020, 978 1 250 21028 9
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... the right to own guns ‘granted by God to all Americans as our American birthright’. But as Frank Smyth points out in his new history of the NRA, the organisation was actually founded because a group of Union Army veterans were dismayed by how few Americans actually knew how to shoot, particularly compared with Europeans. According to one of its ...

Tom Phillips: An Interview

Tom Phillips, Adam Smyth and Gill Partington, 11 October 2012

... and the creator of ‘A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel’, which was reviewed by Adam Smyth in the issue of 12 October 2012. The following conversation took place on 16 September 2011 at the South London Gallery, between Phillips (TP), Smyth (AS) and Gill Partington (GP).AS: Do you have many academic visitors ...

Big Head

John Sutherland, 23 April 1987

Thackeray’s Universe: Shifting Worlds of Imagination and Reality 
by Catherine Peters.
Faber, 292 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 571 14711 9
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... Anne Becher, fell in love with a handsome but penniless young soldier, Lieutenant Henry Carmichael-Smyth. Her family falsely told the infatuated girl that her lover was dead of a sudden fever. Anne was shipped out as sexual cargo to India, where she married Thackeray’s more eligible father, who already had a daughter by his Indian concubine. William ...

Static Opulence

Leah Broad: Delius’s Worldliness, 19 January 2023

The Music of Frederick Delius: Style, Form and Ethos 
by Jeremy Dibble.
Boydell, 564 pp., £40, June 2021, 978 1 78327 577 9
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... very different to that represented by his contemporaries Elgar, Vaughan Williams or even Ethel Smyth, who, like Delius, studied in Leipzig and travelled widely.Delius’s music has a distinct and identifiable sound. He drew on Debussy’s French impressionism and Wagnerian harmony so that his works are often described as ‘meditative’ and ...

Oh, you clever people!

Tom Crewe: The Unrelenting Bensons, 20 April 2017

A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion and the Bensons in Victorian Britain 
by Simon Goldhill.
Chicago, 337 pp., £24.50, October 2016, 978 0 226 39378 0
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... day​ in 1911, walking with Gertrude Bell, Arthur Benson mentioned to her that the composer Ethel Smyth had once said his mother was ‘as good as God and as clever as the Devil’. She laughed ‘at the profanity of it’, replying: ‘That’s one comfort about all of you – you are not in the least like the children of archbishops.’ I’m not sure what ...

Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... it was to do? He solved that problem by engaging three Kingsmen, F.E. Adcock, Dillwyn Knox and Frank Birch, who had worked in the First World War in Room 40at the Admiralty. They at once recruited ten more Kingsmen as well as other Cambridge dons and some German linguists. The most fertile fields they reaped were those of the Classics and Ancient ...

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