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A Pride of Footnotes

Robert M. Adams, 17 November 1983

The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Vol. VII: ‘Biographia Literaria’ 
edited by James Engell and Walter Jackson Bate.
Routledge/Princeton, 306 pp., £50, May 1983, 0 691 09874 3
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... with which it engages, to become an active component in much modern critical thinking. From George Saintsbury through I.A. Richards to Kenneth Burke, it has exercised the active stimulus, not of a privileged book, but of one which in each generation earns afresh its own authority. For all its oddities – and certainly it is the oddest volume ever ...

Eden without the Serpent

Eric Foner, 11 December 1997

A History of the American People 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 925 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 297 81569 5
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... An excellent storyteller, he describes very well those figures from the past whom he admires, from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Those he dislikes, on the other hand, are little more than caricatures: Thomas Paine, for example, was ‘a man with a grudge against society, a spectacular grumbler’. No one seeking a fair-minded account of the American past ...

Strew the path with flowers

Bernard Porter: Cannabis and empire, 4 March 2004

Cannabis Britannica: Empire, Trade and Prohibition 1800-1928 
by James Mills.
Oxford, 239 pp., £25, September 2003, 0 19 924938 5
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... had come to them in this way. You could tell which they were simply by looking at them, Surgeon Hutchinson of the Patna asylum wrote in 1869: the bhang drinkers had ‘a peculiarly leery look which, when once seen is unmistakable’. Other ill-effects attributed to the drug were indolence, violent excitement (different constitutions obviously reacted ...

A University for Protestants

Denis Donoghue, 5 August 1982

Trinity College Dublin 1592-1952: An Academic History 
by R.B. McDowell and D.A. Webb.
Cambridge, 580 pp., £35, June 1982, 0 521 23931 1
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... to write about the dead. Of the Provosts, I find the most interesting, not Mahaffy, but George Salmon (1888-1904). McDowell and Webb write splendidly, with great narrative verve and far more wit than I thought their subject would provoke, but they are particularly lively on Salmon and on Humphrey Lloyd (1867-1881). There are a few pointless ...

Mrs Thatcher’s Spengler

Tom Nairn, 24 January 1980

An Unfinished History of the World 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hamish Hamilton, 700 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 241 10282 0
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... thinking which found ultimate expression in Aristotle and Plato. It would be ridiculous to say George Thomson’s ideas are refuted, or even contested, by such an argument (and he is unmentioned in the book’s bibliography). But the turn of thought is characteristic of An Unfinished History. Its writer emerges from his thickets of trivia only to muse like ...

Wordsworth and the Well-Hidden Corpse

Marilyn Butler, 6 August 1992

The Lyrical Ballads: Longman Annotated Texts 
edited by Michael Mason.
Longman, 419 pp., £29.99, April 1992, 0 582 03302 0
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Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession 
by Susan Eilenberg.
Oxford, 278 pp., £30, May 1992, 0 19 506856 4
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The Politics of Nature: Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries 
by Nicholas Roe.
Macmillan, 186 pp., £35, April 1992, 0 333 52314 8
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... Naming of Places’. In the second of the group, ‘To Joanna’, Wordsworth has allowed Joanna Hutchinson a joke against his nature-loving circle, Who look upon the hills with tenderness, And make dear friendships with the streams and groves. But Mason really doesn’t care for ‘a coterie keen on pathetic fallacy’, and a touch of self-satire on ...

Unreal Food Uneaten

Julian Bell: Sitting for Vanessa, 13 April 2000

The Art of Bloomsbury 
edited by Richard Shone.
Tate Gallery, 388 pp., £35, November 1999, 1 85437 296 3
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First Friends 
by Ronald Blythe.
Viking, 157 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 670 88613 0
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Bloomsbury in France 
by Mary Ann Caws and Sarah Bird Wright.
Oxford, 430 pp., £25, December 1999, 0 19 511752 2
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... authentically progressive – whoever you consider those to be, from Henry Moore to Gilbert and George – in an English art world that remained through the 20th century recalcitrantly retardataire, forever harking back to Victorian escapism and prettiness. On the contrary, goes the other voice, genuine innovation in England was stymied from the outset by ...

Gurney’s Flood

Donald Davie, 3 February 1983

Geoffrey Grigson: Collected Poems 1963-1980 
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 419 4Show More
The Cornish Dancer 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 64 pp., £4.95, June 1982, 0 436 18805 8
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 420 8
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses: A Critical Collection 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 437 2
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Collected Poems of Ivor Gurney 
edited by P.J. Kavanagh.
Oxford, 284 pp., £12, September 1982, 0 19 211940 0
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War Letters 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 271 pp., £12, February 1983, 0 85635 408 2
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... in particular, the indifference that greeted Blunden’s selection in 1954, published by Hutchinson, and also Leonard Clark’s Chatto selection of 1973, for which Clark himself put up some of the money. It’s true that Blunden, thinking his own poems didn’t fit the fashions of the early Fifties, tried to second-guess the reviewers by making an ...

I want to love it

Susan Pedersen: What on earth was he doing?, 18 April 2019

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Little, Brown, 800 pp., £35, February 2019, 978 1 4087 0741 8
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... Cambridge University Press; a second book on the rise of the wage-earner was contracted in 1954 to Hutchinson but rejected after submission. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Hobsbawm would apply for posts at Cambridge and Oxford but never secure one. He would go on to spend almost forty years at Birkbeck, the University of London’s college for mature ...

Feast of St Thomas

Frank Kermode, 29 September 1988

Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... seems never to have flagged. He had other friendships – for example, with Brigid Patmore, Mary Hutchinson and Sydney Schiff, people less involved in the literary struggle, and perhaps for that reason recipients of some of his most interesting letters. All in all, he seems to have made himself as much at home as it was in his nature to be. Yet the letters ...

Bumming and Booing

John Mullan: William Wordsworth, 5 April 2001

Wordsworth: A Life 
by Juliet Barker.
Viking, 971 pp., £25, October 2000, 9780670872138
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The Hidden Wordsworth 
by Kenneth Johnston.
Pimlico, 690 pp., £15, September 2000, 0 7126 6752 0
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Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth’s Poetry of the 1790s 
by David Bromwich.
Chicago, 186 pp., £9.50, April 2000, 0 226 07556 7
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... before leaving for the church – is strange enough. Barker also gives Mary’s sister, Sara Hutchinson, usually renowned only for being the object of Coleridge’s obsessive attentions, room to breathe and speak. After a stay at Rydal Mount in 1816, Henry Crabb Robinson told Mary Lamb that ‘he never saw a man so happy in three wives as Mr ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier, 4 January 2018

... garden, but she is much nearer the water. Not sure how common grey wagtails are, I knock on Timmy Hutchinson (Timmy the Twitcher)’s door to tell him so that he can put them in his bird column in the village bulletin.10 July. A programme currently said to be unexpectedly popular is Love Island, which is similar in format to Big Brother in that a dozen or so ...

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