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Fouling the nest

Anthony Julius, 8 April 1993

Modern British Jewry 
by Geoffrey Alderman.
Oxford, 397 pp., £40, September 1992, 0 19 820145 1
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... identification and partial assimilation, and on the other by accommodation and partial exclusion. Geoffrey Alderman is a member of the community he describes and his book can be read as a collective self-portrait – presented from an inward-looking, religiously Orthodox, politically conservative and rather philistine perspective. Modern British Jewry ...

Jewish Liberation

David Katz, 6 October 1983

The Jewish Community in British Politics 
by Geoffrey Alderman.
Oxford, 218 pp., £17.50, March 1983, 9780198274360
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Economic History of the Jews in England 
by Harold Pollins.
Associated University Presses, 339 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 8386 3033 2
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... by Anglo-Jewry in business and at the polls has been a particularly sensitive issue. Indeed, Geoffrey Alderman notes the opposition and personal abuse which he suffered during the research and writing of his book on the Jewish vote in Britain from the leaders of Anglo-Jewry, who thought it best to ‘tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the ...

The Best

Tom Shippey, 22 February 1996

Alfred the Great 
by David Sturdy.
Constable, 268 pp., £18.95, November 1995, 0 09 474280 4
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King Alfred the Great 
by Alfred Smyth.
Oxford, 744 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 19 822989 5
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... in Anglo-Saxon Studies has not been entirely extinguished.’ The tone is very much that of Geoffrey Howe summing up on Margaret Thatcher. Smyth’s utterly convincing points ought to be put first. As part of his rejection of the ‘neurotic king’ thesis based entirely on Asser, he points out how underrated the Viking threat has increasingly ...


Charles Nicholl: ‘The Shakespeare Circle’, 19 May 2016

The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography 
edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells.
Cambridge, 358 pp., £18.99, October 2015, 978 1 107 69909 0
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... increasing significance and status – from constable to ale-taster, chamberlain, bailiff, chief alderman and justice of the peace: a pillar of the civic and commercial community – but on none of the attesting documents has he left a signature. He used a mark, vaguely A-shaped, which is interpreted as a pair of glover’s dividers and so perhaps could be ...

Secrets are best kept by those who have no sense of humour

Alan Bennett: Why I turned down ‘Big Brother’, 2 January 2003

... a reader comparing her experiences of evacuation with mine. She was sent to Grantham and says that Alderman Roberts, Mrs Thatcher’s father, was thought to be into the black market and that Maggie used to hang out of her bedroom window and spit on the other children. 12 February. A shoddy programme about the conviction of Jonathan King for offences against ...


David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... about the psychological motives for this choice. Her father, Alfred Roberts, had been an alderman in Grantham and a leading figure in the town’s affairs until he was unceremoniously turfed out of office in 1952. Margaret admired him but also found him closed off and unresponsive. Was this legislation a complex act of revenge against his ...

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