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De Mortuis

Christopher Driver, 28 June 1990

The Ruffian on the Stair: Reflection on Death 
edited by Rosemary Dinnage.
Viking, 291 pp., £14.99, April 1990, 0 670 82763 0
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Death, Ritual and Bereavement 
edited by Ralph Houlbrooke.
Routledge, 250 pp., £35, October 1990, 0 415 01165 5
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In the Face of Death 
by Peter Noll, translated by Hans Noll.
Viking, 254 pp., £15.99, April 1990, 0 670 80703 6
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... Dying’ to alleviate the Christmas ordeal and his father was orphaned as a baby. Chance put Geoffrey Gorer’s pioneer study of Death, Grief and Mourning (1965), dust-jacketed in tasteful purple, into my hands for a review. An assiduous hymn-singer, I had long realised that centuries other than ours had different views on the subject, especially when I ...

Tea-Leafing

Duncan Campbell, 19 October 1995

The Autobiography of a Thief 
by Bruce Reynolds.
Bantam, 320 pp., £15.99, April 1995, 0 593 03779 0
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... to stay there because he liked the people and the atmosphere. He was the one who liked his Charlie Parker rather than his Matt Monroe and did not yearn, when on the run, for HP Sauce and Queen’s Park Rangers. And, as far as he was concerned, a thief is what he was. He stole other people’s things. ‘The younger element, brought up after the war and ...

Untouched by Eliot

Denis Donoghue: Jon Stallworthy, 4 March 1999

Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems 
by Jon Stallworthy.
Carcanet, 247 pp., £14.95, September 1998, 1 85754 163 4
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... of the day. Stallworthy has always been well-connected. As a youngster, he became friends with Geoffrey Keynes. In Oxford, and although he came down with a mere Second, Helen Gardner urged him to do a B.Litt. and write a dissertation on Yeats’s manuscripts. Stallworthy had no interest in writing a dissertation; he stayed on for a fourth year in Oxford ...

What are judges for?

Conor Gearty, 25 January 2001

... which can then be cast off when no longer required. Like Hannen, Day and Levin Smith, Lords Parker and Widgery, for example, are now remembered as much for their reports on aspects of security practice in Northern Ireland as for anything they achieved as successive Lord Chief Justices. The memory is not a warm one. This whole question of ...

Tell us, Solly

Tim Radford: Solly Zuckerman, 20 September 2001

Solly Zuckerman: A Scientist out of the Ordinary 
by John Peyton.
Murray, 252 pp., £22.50, May 2001, 9780719562839
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... with the arts of the plausible as well. Zuckerman for a while was involved with a man called Geoffrey Pyke, who invented a material made out of ice and sawdust, called Pykrete. Mountbatten, then head of Combined Operations, dropped a lump of it in Churchill’s bath, to show how it resisted melting. He also fired a revolver at it (the bullet ricocheted ...

The Strange Death of Municipal England

Tom Crewe: Assault on Local Government, 15 December 2016

... by 2020. In Taking Power Back, his 2015 book calling for a renewal of local democracy, Simon Parker describes the consequences as ‘perhaps the biggest shift in the role of the British state since 1945’. There is currently a very real risk that Brexit will distract from austerity – no longer the disaster du jour – which will nonetheless grind ...

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