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Natural Learning

John Murray, 20 September 1984

... Logan stood outside the shop which looked like an English funeral parlour, black-painted and all its contents invisible. On the window was inscribed in English in impressive calligraphy LEGAL OPIUM AND GANJA SHOP FOR HOLY MEN. It lay along one of those relatively deserted back streets of central Calcutta, the only wayfarers being the trams and the cadaverous dogs who roamed like wolves in their desperate packs ...

Out of this World

David Armitage, 16 November 1995

Utopia 
by Thomas More, edited by George Logan, Robert M. Adams and Clarence Miller.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £55, February 1995, 0 521 40318 9
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Utopias of the British Enlightenment 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, July 1994, 0 521 43084 4
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... bloated empire imagined just after the Seven Years War for the early 20th century in The Reign of George VI (1763). If Mercier imagined away absolute monarchy and the established Church in favour of patriot kingship and natural religion, these English utopians reassured their readers that crown, church and state would still be flourishing three centuries ...

Not Dead Yet

Anthony Grafton: Latin, 8 January 2015

Latin: Story of a World Language 
by Jürgen Leonhardt, translated by Kenneth Kronenberg.
Harvard, 352 pp., £22.95, November 2013, 978 0 674 05807 1
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... On 22 May 1724​ James Logan, a wealthy Philadelphian fur trader, scientist and bibliophile, took a day trip with friends from London to Windsor. Big crowds accompanied them, and no wonder: they were making their way to a dramatic public occasion – a scientific counterpart to the hangings at Tyburn that drew enthusiastic spectators in droves in the same period ...

Destined to Disappear

Susan Pedersen: ‘Race Studies’, 20 October 2016

White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations 
by Robert Vitalis.
Cornell, 272 pp., $29.95, November 2015, 978 0 8014 5397 7
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... citizenship rights and colonial self-determination. All were, as the historian of anthropology George Stocking put it, ‘evolutionists’: that is, they assimilated ‘races’ to ‘stages’ of the human evolutionary past, and then assumed each had to develop separately and at its own pace. After all, these were the principles that governed race ...

A Bit of a Lush

Christopher Tayler: William Boyd, 23 May 2002

Any Human Heart 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 504 pp., £17.99, April 2002, 9780241141779
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... often someone available to explain this state of affairs. In Armadillo, for example, it’s George Hogg, an implausibly lyrical loss adjuster. ‘No, my friends,’ he tells his team, ‘life does not run smoothly along tracks that we have laid down . . . However much we seem to have it under control, to have every eventuality covered, all risks taken ...

Utopia in Texas

Glen Newey: Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, 19 January 2017

Utopia 
by Thomas More, edited by George M. Logan, translated by Robert M. Adams.
Cambridge, 141 pp., £9.99, August 2016, 978 1 107 56873 0
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Utopia 
by Thomas More, translated by Gilbert Burnet.
Verso, 216 pp., £8.99, November 2016, 978 1 78478 760 8
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... in utopian and dystopian writing – a world apart, for good or ill, as in Aldous Huxley’s Pala, George Orwell’s Airstrip One, the vivisectionist paradise of H.G. Wells’s Dr Moreau, Margaret Cavendish’s polymorphous freakshow in The Blazing World, or William Golding’s reworking of R.M. Ballantyne’s coral island as Beelzebub’s atoll ...

Newspapers of the Consensus

Neal Ascherson, 21 February 1985

The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. II: The 20th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 718 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 241 11181 1
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Lies, Damned Lies and Some Exclusives 
by Henry Porter.
Chatto, 211 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2841 0
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Garvin of the ‘Observer’ 
by David Ayerst.
Croom Helm, 314 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 7099 0560 2
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The Beaverbrook I Knew 
edited by Logan Gourlay.
Quartet, 272 pp., £11.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2331 1
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... of Tariff Reform was, or that Free Trade Unionism had nothing to do with the TUC, or how Lloyd George dished Asquith in 1915 and 1916, the sections of the book dealing with how the press treated these things will be incomprehensible. Koss has no time to stop and help you. Matters become easier as the book approaches the present day. This is partly, of ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... was asked to attend an interview by officers from the Sharples team, who wrote to Alastair Logan, Armstrong’s solicitor. The officers did not specify what they wanted to interview Armstrong about, and there was no mention of Attwell, Donaldson and Style. Logan replied, saying the request had come at a difficult ...
... domestic existence is shattered; in Enduring Love, Clarissa and Joe witness the death of John Logan as he falls from a balloon, are changed for ever, and spend the rest of the novel trying to absorb the consequences of the spectacle; Black Dogs is in part about how Bernard Tremaine, a politician, scientist and rationalist, drifts away from his wife, June ...
Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of ‘Horizon’ 
by Michael Shelden.
Hamish Hamilton, 254 pp., £15.95, February 1989, 0 241 12647 9
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Coastwise Lights 
by Alan Ross.
Collins Harvill, 254 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 00 271767 0
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William Plomer 
by Peter Alexander.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, March 1989, 0 19 212243 6
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... Mandarin Democracy. It reconciled the toughs with the aesthetes, proletarian writers with the Logan Pearsall Smith generation (Connolly had been for a time his secretary); Orwells with Sitwells; the new Continental heavyweights like Giono, Sartre and Camus with snugly parochial English eccentrics. It inaugurated a new society of letters, open and ...

The least you can do is read it

Ian Hamilton, 2 October 1997

Cyril Connolly: A Life 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 653 pp., £25, May 1997, 0 224 03710 2
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... a life-style and a work-style. Observing the dinner-table impact of lordly non-producers like Logan Pearsall Smith and Desmond MacCarthy, Connolly in his mid-twenties realised that failure, if worked on, could handsomely pay off. At worst, the notion of gifts wasted or withheld might lend a dark coherence to the most fragmentary output. At best, it might ...

When the Mediterranean Was Blue

John Bayley, 23 March 1995

Cyril Connolly: A Nostalgic Life 
by Clive Fisher.
Macmillan, 304 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 333 57813 9
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... away from the sea but not so far from his one-time prep school, St Cyprian’s. There he had met George Orwell and Cecil Beaton, and the three began to develop their characteristic talents: Orwell by reading Gulliver’s Travels and brooding satirically on the horrors to be enshrined later in Such, Such Were the Joys; Beaton by singing ‘If you were the ...

Z/R

John Banville: Exit Zuckerman, 4 October 2007

Exit Ghost 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 292 pp., £16.99, October 2007, 978 0 224 08173 3
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... due to the cancer, falls hopelessly and helplessly in love with the beautiful young woman, Jamie Logan, who wants to leave her New York apartment. For Z/R, the Eternal Feminine is a force as potentially redemptive as it was for Faust, and the account of Zuckerman’s impossible pursuit of Jamie is genuinely moving, as well as subversively funny. It reminds ...

Speaking well

Christopher Ricks, 18 August 1983

Cyril Connolly: Journal and Memoir 
by David Pryce-Jones.
Collins, 304 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 333 32827 2
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J.B. Yeats: Letters to His Son W.B. Yeats and Others, 1869-1922 
edited with a memoir by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 296 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 436 59205 3
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... of record, an exchange should crushingly compact several reputations into the smallest space. ‘Logan [Pearsall Smith] said of Hardy’s second wife that she had tried first to get off with George Moore – or so he said. “George Moore would have said that of the Virgin Mary,” said ...

Houses at the end of their tether

C.H. Sisson, 17 March 1983

Caves of Ice 
by James Lees-Milne.
Chatto, 276 pp., £12.95, February 1983, 0 7011 2657 4
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... Gascoigne and Timmie Buxton, her sister, get a mention, as do Emerald Cunard and Denis Rickett. Logan Pearsall Smith, aged 80, starts to tell a story of an American cousin of Henry James who ‘invited the novelist to sleep with him’ but he is overcome by a fit of coughing. By the end of the second page we have also met Kathleen Kennet, James ...

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