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Trollope’s Delight

Richard Altick, 3 May 1984

The Letters of Anthony Trollope 
edited by John Hall.
Stanford, 1082 pp., $87.50, July 1983, 0 8047 1076 7
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Anthony Trollope: Dream and Art 
by Andrew Wright.
Macmillan, 173 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 34593 2
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... was hunting. ‘I have been trying to hunt three days a week,’ he wrote his friend and publisher George Smith. ‘I find it must be only two. Mortal man cannot write novels, do the Post Office, and go out three days.’ ‘In some coming perfect world,’ he said on another occasion, ‘there will be hunting 12 months in the year.’ An acquaintance once ...

So what if he was

Paul Foot, 25 October 1990

No Other Choice 
by George Blake.
Cape, 288 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 224 03067 1
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Inside Intelligence 
by Anthony Cavendish.
Collins, 181 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 9780002157421
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... Here are two more spy books from authors who worked long ago for British Intelligence. George Blake was very left-wing, and is now slightly less so. Anthony Cavendish has always been very right-wing. Both authors write of their profound respect for one of their former bosses, George...

Pleased to Be Loony

Alice Spawls: The Janeites, 8 November 2012

Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures 
by Claudia Johnson.
Chicago, 224 pp., £22.50, June 2012, 978 0 226 40203 1
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... in strange fantasies to sustain the impression of intimacy with Austen that the novels create. George Saintsbury, who coined the term ‘Janeite’ in 1894, made a point of his readiness ‘to live with and to marry’ Elizabeth Bennet and serve as ‘a knight (or at least a squire) of the order of St Jane’. In 1949, after writing two books about ...

Such a Husband

John Bayley, 4 September 1997

Selected Letters of George Meredith 
edited by Mohammad Shaheen.
Macmillan, 312 pp., £47.50, April 1997, 0 333 56349 2
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... and their sprightly utterance? Even old loyalties turned a bit sceptical. In her Memories of George Meredith one of his fans, Lady Butcher, recalled how he had thrilled her with his first inspiration for One of Our Conquerors, as they walked together on Box Hill. As I listened to his wonderful voice telling of the tragic history of Nathalie and the ...

A Match for Macchu Picchu

Christopher Reid, 4 June 1981

Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu 
by John Felstiner.
Stanford, 284 pp., $18.50, December 1980, 0 8047 1079 1
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The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation 
edited by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 608 pp., £12.95, October 1980, 0 19 214103 1
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... at best a minor or compromised one. It seems that the idea for this book came from a passage in George Steiner’s study of language and translation, After Babel – itself an intellectual adventure in the grand old conquistadorial manner. Steiner deplored the fact that, whereas a good many literary creators have left documentation, in the form of notes and ...

Subversions

R.W. Johnson, 4 June 1987

Traitors: The Labyrinths of Treason 
by Chapman Pincher.
Sidgwick, 346 pp., £13.95, May 1987, 0 283 99379 0
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The Secrets of the Service: British Intelligence and Communist Subversion 1939-51 
by Anthony Glees.
Cape, 447 pp., £18, May 1987, 0 224 02252 0
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Freedom of Information – Freedom of the Individual? 
by Clive Ponting, John Ranelagh, Michael Zander and Simon Lee, edited by Julia Neuberger.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £4.95, May 1987, 0 333 44771 9
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... its citizens that the KGB exists and who the head of it is. It is on this crazy situation that Chapman Pincher has built his entire career. Since he is extremely right-wing, and willing to swallow even the most ridiculous claptrap in the furtherance of the Anti-Communist Cause, Pincher at least has some access to the officers of MI5 – for in practice the ...

At Camden Arts Centre

Marina Warner: Kara Walker , 5 December 2013

... to abolitionists. The results are as disturbing as anything in Goya’s Disasters of War or the Chapman Brothers’ defacings of Goya. Since her earliest works, such as The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven (1995), Walker has shown astonishing fluidity in the domestic skill of silhouette portraiture, in order to revisit ...

Naked except for a bath towel

Paul Addison, 24 January 1985

Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence 
edited by Warren Kimball.
Princeton, 674 pp., £125, October 1984, 0 691 05649 8
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... complex patterns of interpretation for a minority audience: the popular ground has been won by the Chapman Pincher school of history, with its attendant band of novelists, journalists and politicians. The message they bear is a simple one: that the war against Hitler was merely a side-show in the truly decisive struggle of the 20th century – the battle ...

Portrait of a Failure

Daniel Aaron, 25 January 1990

Henry Adams 
by Ernest Samuels.
Harvard, 504 pp., £19.95, November 1989, 9780674387355
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The Letters of Henry Adams: Vols I-VI 
edited by J.C Levenson, Ernest Samuels, Charles Vandersee and Viola Hopkins-Winner.
Harvard, 2016 pp., £100.75, July 1990, 0 674 52685 6
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... shared in varying degrees by other ‘improvised Europeans’ like Henry James, Edith Wharton, George Santayana, T.S. Eliot and Pound. His interpreters haven’t ignored or condoned his obsession, but neither have they explored its possible bearing on other aspects of his thought and personality. He seems to have looked upon Jews as an unsavoury mix of the ...

Whitehall Farce

Paul Foot, 12 October 1989

The Intelligence Game: Illusions and Delusions of International Espionage 
by James Rusbridger.
Bodley Head, 320 pp., £12.95, August 1989, 0 370 31242 2
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The Truth about Hollis 
by W.J. West.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7156 2286 2
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... that the secretary of the committee which planned it was the British MI6 officer and Russian spy, George Blake, who passed details of the entire operation to the Russians two years before the tunnel was completed. Here, too, is the story of MI6’s courageous decision to order Commander Lionel Crabb to swim under a Russian warship in Portsmouth to take ...

Ramadhin and Valentine

J.R. Pole, 13 October 1988

A History of West Indies Cricket 
by Michael Manley.
Deutsch, 575 pp., £17.95, May 1988, 0 233 98259 0
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Sobers: Twenty Years at the Top 
by Garfield Sobers and Brian Scovell.
Macmillan, 204 pp., £11.95, June 1988, 0 333 37267 0
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... was one of the most widely discussed public questions of the late Fifties. It is true that George Headley had been appointed to lead in two matches against England as far back as 1947 (he was unfit to play in the second of them), but no black player had thenceforth been entrusted with this socially significant responsibility. Worrell, a sensitive and ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster, 18 March 2004

... pull out a plum, and throw the rest away. Plum-picking explains why Dickens’s dealings with Chapman and Hall and Bradbury and Evans have survived, while the bulk of their papers have disappeared (some B&E materials washed up in the Punch archive; those of C&H were, apparently, thrown out when the firm was taken over by Methuen in 1938). Only after 1945 ...
From Author to Reader: A Social Study of Books 
by Peter Mann.
Routledge, 189 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 7100 9089 7
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David Copperfield 
by Charles Dickens, edited by Nina Burgis.
Oxford, 781 pp., £40, March 1981, 0 19 812492 9
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Martin Chuzzlewit 
by Charles Dickens, edited by Margaret Cardwell.
Oxford, 923 pp., £45, December 1982, 0 19 812488 0
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Books and their Readers in 18th-Century England 
edited by Isabel Rivers.
Leicester University Press, 267 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 7185 1189 1
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Mumby’s Publishing and Bookselling in the 20th Century 
by Ian Norrie.
Bell and Hyman, 253 pp., £12.95, October 1982, 0 7135 1341 1
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Reading Relations 
by Bernard Sharratt.
Harvester, 350 pp., £18.95, February 1982, 0 7108 0059 2
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... prepared for the European and American markets; and three single-volume reprints, published by Chapman and Hall, and allegedly ‘carefully revised’ by Dickens. In her copious and lucid introduction to the Clarendon edition (which had not appeared when Gaskell set out the problems) Nina Burgis gives the evolution of David Copperfield from ...

Bring some Madeira

Thomas Keymer: Thomas Love Peacock, 8 February 2018

Nightmare Abbey 
by Thomas Love Peacock, edited by Nicholas A. Joukovsky.
Cambridge, 297 pp., £84.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03186 9
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Crotchet Castle 
by Thomas Love Peacock, edited by Freya Johnston and Matthew Bevis.
Cambridge, 328 pp., £79.99, December 2016, 978 1 107 03072 5
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... hunting estate at Spring-gun and Treadmill. Some of the names indicate real-life targets such as George Canning, the Tory statesman who started out as the attack dog of the Anti-Jacobin, and Wordsworth, whose acceptance of a government post as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland in 1813 confirmed his apostasy from radical politics. Other names aim at ...

Cowboy Coups

Phillip Knightley, 10 October 1991

Smear! Wilson and the Secret State 
by Stephen Dorrill and Robin Ramsay.
Fourth Estate, 502 pp., £20, August 1991, 9781872180687
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... the Spectator, can be explained in terms of his mischievous iconoclasm. But what are we to make of Chapman Pincher, who does not seem to mind the fact that the secret state regarded him as ‘a contact who could be used to plant leaks’. Did Mr Pincher never think of asking himself why the secret state wished to plant these leaks? Or did he know and ...

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