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Shave for them

Christian Lorentzen: ‘The Submission’, 22 September 2011

The Submission 
by Amy Waldman.
Heinemann, 299 pp., £12.99, September 2011, 978 0 434 01932 8
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... Ross Perot called Lin an ‘egg roll’. She was compelled to defend her design before Congress. A Frederick Hart statue of three soldiers was erected next to her memorial to appease the literal-minded. ‘It’s like Maya Lin all over again. But worse,’ a character in The Submission is made to say, without much subtlety, after the winner of the blind ...

The Brothers Koerbagh

Jonathan Rée: The Enlightenment, 14 January 2002

Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 
by Jonathan Israel.
Oxford, 810 pp., £30, February 2001, 0 19 820608 9
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... was dawning even as he wrote: he had the good fortune to live in an epoch – ‘the century of Frederick’ he called it – in which the promise of general Enlightenment could at last be fulfilled. He conceded that he did not yet live in ‘an enlightened age’; but thanks to his liberal Prussian king it was at least an ‘Age of ...


Norman Page, 16 March 1989

Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VI, 1920-1925 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 379 pp., £27.50, March 1987, 0 19 812623 9
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Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VII, 1926-1927 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 304 pp., £29.50, October 1988, 0 19 812624 7
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Thomas Hardy: The Offensive Truth 
by John Goode.
Blackwell, 184 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 631 13954 0
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The Thomas Hardy Journal. Vol. IV: October 1988 
edited by James Gibson.
Thomas Hardy Society, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1988, 0 00 268541 8
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Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody 
by Dennis Taylor.
Oxford, 297 pp., £32.50, December 1988, 9780198129677
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Collected Short Stories 
by Thomas Hardy.
Macmillan, 936 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 47332 9
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... volume, for instance, the most frequent recipient of his surviving letters is his publisher. Sir Frederick Macmillan, the letters to him deal mainly with matters of business and are not very informative about that ‘amazing old man’ (to use the phrase that Hardy applied to Verdi), the author of such very late poems as ‘He never expected much’. What ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... the writings of an unlikely set of predecessors: Edmund Burke, the eccentric Jeffersonians John Taylor of Caroline and John Randolph of Roanoke, Old School Presbyterian defenders of slavery, T.S. Eliot, Karl Marx, Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, the Nashville Agrarians and their latterday apostles, Richard Weaver and Melvin Bradford. Liberals thus find ...

Even When It’s a Big Fat Lie

Alex Abramovich: ‘Country Music’, 8 October 2020

Country Music 
directed by Ken Burns.
PBS, eight episodes
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... time of Bitches Brew (leading to the film’s brutal dismissal of free-jazz artists such as Cecil Taylor, and cementing a regressive view of the jazz canon). Country Music stops in 1996, allowing Burns to skirt such subjects as the Dixie Chicks’ stand against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent, multi-year industry blacklist (along with the term ...

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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... like Blunt and Burgess? Certainly. But their loyalty and dedication to secrecy was such that until Frederick Winter-botham’s book, The Ultra Secret, appeared in 1974 none of the work at Bletchley was ever referred to in the press, and none of those who worked there ever sought to break their obligation to maintain secrecy. It was an agreeable organisation in ...

Little Englander Histories

Linda Colley: Little Englandism, 22 July 2010

A Mad, Bad & Dangerous People? England 1783-1846 
by Boyd Hilton.
Oxford, 757 pp., £21, June 2008, 978 0 19 921891 2
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Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1780-1939 
by James Belich.
Oxford, 573 pp., £25, June 2009, 978 0 19 929727 6
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... Thompson have also explored these comparisons, the ‘opening’ of the West – even before Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis – has always been an important part of a self-congratulatory and inward-looking version of American national history. But it is not just American history that Belich seeks to locate in a broader, transcontinental ...

My Girls: A Memoir

August Kleinzahler: Parents, lovers and a poetic punch-up, 19 August 2004

... three miles west you’d fall off the earth. Then it passes, even as the cab heads up the hill to Frederick and turns right. Like a brief bout of nausea. Mother and Father would come to visit, at least during my first few years out here. Father liked the idea of the place. As a boy he’d been mad for Jack London and that author’s many youthful adventures ...
... Crachami had been exhibited at 22 New Bond Street in London. This was 20 years before Phineas Taylor Barnum arrived from America with Tom Thumb. The Times declared Crachami ‘unquestionably the most curious of all the dwarfish candidates for public favour that have visited this metropolis’. The ‘Brief Memoir’ in the 1824 exhibition pamphlet claims ...

When the Floods Came

James Meek: England’s Water, 31 July 2008

... and the first person in Tewkesbury to die as a result of the floods, 19-year-old Mitchell Taylor, had drowned while taking a short cut past the abbey on his way home from the pub. Passers-by heard him yelling for help – he couldn’t swim – and tried in vain, via mobile phone and the 999 centre, to guide a helicopter to him. His body was found a ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... to Javid’s political land-grab. Your browser does not support html5 video. Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council from September 2017, is asked if the government has been helpful.Headlines seem like wisdom to those who rely on them. ‘Fire Victims Left in Lurch by Chaotic Relief Effort’, ‘Grenfell: The Net ...

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