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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 ...

Short Cuts

Richard J. Evans: Rewritten History, 2 December 2021

... its properties’ colonial connections. The resignation in October of the trust’s chairman, Tim Parker, widely hyped in the same places as a victory against ‘wokeness’, was coincidental (his two-term tenure had come to an end, having been extended for a year because of the pandemic).None of this made any difference to Dowden, who while still culture ...

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 ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... of Hobsbawm, Hilton, Hill, Keith Thomas and E.P. Thompson, it has still been possible for Geoffrey Barraclough in Main Trends in History to surmise that ‘if a consensus were taken today it would almost certainly show that the majority of professional historians is sceptical of, if not positively hostile to, the more recent trends.’ There has, 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 ...

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 ...

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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