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Stuck with Your Own Face

Bee Wilson: The Beauty Industry

8 July 2010
Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry 
by Geoffrey Jones.
Oxford, 412 pp., £25, February 2010, 978 0 19 955649 6
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... how conservative our ideas about looks and personal hygiene tend to be, the growth of the global beauty industry over the span of my grandmother’s life is fairly remarkable. In 1916, according to GeoffreyJones, a business historian, only ‘one fifth of Americans may have used any toiletry or cosmetics.’ This would mean that four fifths of Americans used neither toothpaste nor shampoo, never mind ...
24 June 1993
Capitalism, Culture and Decline in Britain 1750-1990 
by W.D. Rubinstein.
Routledge, 182 pp., £25, April 1993, 0 415 03718 2
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British Multinational Banking 
by Geoffrey Jones.
Oxford, 511 pp., £48, March 1993, 0 19 820273 3
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Going for Broke: How Banking Mismanagement in the Eighties Lost Thousands of Billions of Pounds 
by Russell Taylor.
Simon and Schuster, 384 pp., £17.50, April 1993, 0 671 71128 8
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... essentially’. As well as being, to my mind, factually wrong, his contention is based on a greatly exaggerated dichotomy between industry, on the one hand, and finance and commerce, on the other. As GeoffreyJones points out in his clear, sober and authoritative history of British multinational banking, the strength of those banks in the 19th century rested on British economic and political pre-eminence ...

Peroxide and Paracetamol

Adam Mars-Jones: Alison MacLeod

12 September 2013
by Alison MacLeod.
Hamish Hamilton, 340 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 0 241 14263 9
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... course of the year 1940-41, when an invasion by Hitler’s forces was universally expected and the town likely to be his first port of call. MacLeod’s main characters are the Beaumonts: dependable Geoffrey, whose mother died in an asylum, so that he longs for a solid conventional life, and clever, arty Evelyn, in revolt against her oppressively snobbish parents. Her choice of Geoffrey, a bank manager ...


E.S. Turner

15 September 1988
Memories of Times Past 
by Louis Heren.
Hamish Hamilton, 313 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 241 12427 1
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Chances: An Autobiography 
by Mervyn Jones.
Verso, 311 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 86091 167 5
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... of the frozen bodies of American Marines stacked like cordwood in Korea, awaiting shipment home. Heren, born in the East End of London, was taken on as a messenger boy in Printing House Square when Geoffrey Dawson was at the helm. If, fifty years on, he had succeeded to the editorship, he would have known better than to cast himself as an unofficial member of the Cabinet, which was where Dawson, the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Sedan Stories

8 August 2002
... in 1947, 308 years after the Corporation of Coachmen first received a licence allowing them to compete with sedan chairs. According to Poles Apart: The Public Sedans of Bygone London, a pamphlet by Geoffrey Wilson (Connor and Butler, £5.95), ‘the first public hire chairs in Britain appeared in London in 1634, after Charles I had granted a warrant to Sir Saunders Duncombe, a gentleman-pensioner of the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Aristocrats

20 May 2004
... to London on Sunday night the letters, written over the weekend, with which she regularly bombarded her friends and relations in high places, one of whom happened then to be the editor of the Times, Geoffrey Dawson, who, finding a likely lad with the right connections in the anteroom to his office, had, in the way things used to happen in those days, taken me out to supper at Pratts. The rest, as they ...

Against Theory

Gerald Graff

21 January 1982
Structuralism or Criticism? 
by Geoffrey​ Strickland.
Cambridge, 209 pp., £17.50, April 1981, 0 521 23184 1
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... In the noisy polemical atmosphere of contemporary literary criticism, Geoffrey Strickland’s quiet ‘thoughts on how we read’ may not have got a fair hearing. His book is an answer to the philosophical critics who have lately been questioning the assumption that literary ...

Passage to Africa

D.A.N. Jones

7 July 1983
Africa Dances 
by Geoffrey​ Gorer.
Penguin, 218 pp., £2.95, January 1983, 0 14 009502 0
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Nigerian Kaleidoscope 
by Rex Niven.
Hurst/Archon, 278 pp., £13.50, January 1983, 0 905838 59 9
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by Sylvia Leith-Ross, edited by Michael Crowder.
Peter Owen, 191 pp., £10.95, February 1983, 0 7206 0600 4
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Female and Male in West Africa 
edited by Christine Oppong.
Allen and Unwin, 402 pp., £18.50, April 1983, 0 04 301158 6
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Memories of Our Recent Boom 
by Kole Omotoso.
Longman, 232 pp., £1.50, May 1983, 0 582 78572 3
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... to my seniors’ appreciation of it. They were as different, almost, as Cocteau and Baden-Powell. One was picturesque and picaresque, Africa Dances: A Book about West African Negroes, published by Geoffrey Gorer in 1935 when he was 30, after a rather Waugh-like tour of French and British territories: he had been guided by Féral Benga, a ballet dancer from Senegal whom he had met in Paris. The striking ...

The Balboan View

Kenneth Silverman: Alfred Kinsey

7 May 1998
Alfred Kinsey: A Public/Private Life 
by James Jones.
Norton, 937 pp., £28, October 1997, 0 393 04086 0
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... to be the greatest bookselling event since Gone with the Wind. The killer title was Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, better known as the ‘Kinsey Report’. Its author, as portrayed in James Jones’s exasperating biography, was no less of a paradox than his book. On this side, the public figure – a sober scientist with an original, careful methodology; over there, the man: a switch-hitting ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Looking Ahead

18 May 2000
... curiously reproduced in the design of the new ad. One of the many books to emerge from the evolutionary psychology stable (ideologically aligned with Wilson) this year is The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller. It’s subtitled ‘How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature’, and the basic idea is that ‘the richness and subtlety of modern human psychology reflects a legacy of minds ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal

5 September 2002
... Telegraph. He says he finds that ‘older men’ – by which he means those over forty – ‘make the best subjects,’ which would explain the contents (James Hewitt to Henry Kissinger by way of Geoffrey Boycott, Charlton Heston, Dave Lee Travis and Norman Tebbit), but you have to wonder how much of a coincidence it is that men over forty not only ‘make the best subjects’ but also make the best ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Politicians v. the press

22 July 2004
... in his rooms in the Commons’), ‘there’s a lack of any kind of respect for achievement and status.’ As if his status made it more rather than less acceptable for him to borrow money from Geoffrey Robinson without declaring it, or to put in a word at the Home Office to help Srichand Hinduja get a passport. Readers might be forgiven at times for thinking that a more accurate title for the book ...

At The Thirteenth Hour

William Wootten: David Jones

25 September 2003
Wedding Poems 
by David Jones, edited by Thomas Dilworth.
Enitharmon, 88 pp., £12, April 2002, 1 900564 87 4
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David JonesWriter and Artist 
by Keith Alldritt.
Constable, 208 pp., £18.99, April 2003, 1 84119 379 8
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... David Jones was staying in the Chelsea flat of the BBC’s Assistant Director of Programme Planning, Harman Grisewood, as the bombs fell on London in the autumn of 1940. During one raid, a near miss blew a bus ...

swete lavender

Thomas Jones: Molesworth

17 February 2000
by Geoffrey​ Willans and Ronald Searle.
Penguin, 406 pp., £8.99, October 1999, 0 14 118240 7
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... at school. Nigel Molesworth is a 1950s prep-school boy – the ‘goriller of 3B’, ‘curse of st custard’s which is the skool i am at’ – whose spelling is atrocious. His diaries, written by Geoffrey Willans (a one-time schoolmaster) and illustrated by Ronald Searle, originally appeared in Punch, as a kind of sequel about a boys’ school to Searle’s St Trinians drawings. They were published in ...
7 June 2001
... without the drinks.’ This one as it turned out wasn’t, so she got the sack. But it was a nice lunch. Also thinking how English these occasions tended to be was the young priest in charge, Father Geoffrey Jolliffe. Father Jolliffe was Anglican but with Romish inclinations that were not so much doctrinal as ceremonial and certainly sartorial. Amiable, gregarious and plump, he looked well in the cloak ...

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