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Rosalind Mitchison on the history of Scotland

Rosalind Mitchison, 22 January 1981

Presbyteries and Profits: Calvinism and the Development of Capitalism in Scotland 1506-1707 
by Gordon Marshall.
Oxford, 406 pp., £18, September 1980, 0 19 827246 4
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The Jacobite Risings in Britain, 1689-1746 
by Bruce Lenman.
Eyre Methuen, 300 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 413 39650 9
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... sustained by a presbyterian church structure, but could equally well make use of episcopacy. Dr Marshall holds that the issue of Scottish economic development, or the lack of such development, is a red herring. The ‘medieval’ features of the economy, which prevented capital accumulation and deployment and the development of a skilled labour force, are ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: You had better look out, 10 December 1998

... now, by extension, included. Subsequently, in a similar conversation with the Oxford sociologist Gordon Marshall, Gordon (who is as authentically Scottish as Alastair) describes watching the 1966 World Cup Final on a flickering black and white TV in a pub in a West Highland village. He was one of perhaps a dozen out ...

A Bit of Ginger

Theo Tait: Gordon Burn, 5 June 2008

Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel 
by Gordon Burn.
Faber, 214 pp., £15.99, April 2008, 978 0 571 19729 3
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... Gordon Burn’s work takes place at a point where fact and fiction, public events and private lives, fame and death all meet. He began his career as a proponent of the non-fiction novel pioneered by Truman Capote and Norman Mailer; his first book, Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son (1984), was a painstaking re-creation of the life of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper ...

London Review of Crooks

Robert Marshall-Andrews, 15 July 1982

Rough Justice: The Extraordinary Truth about Charles Richardson and his Gang 
by Robert Parker.
Fontana, 352 pp., £1.95, October 1981, 0 00 636354 7
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Web of Corruption: The Story of John Poulson and T. Dan Smith 
by Raymond Fitzwalter and David Taylor.
Granada, 282 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 246 10915 7
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Inside Boss: South Africa’s Secret Police 
by Gordon Winter.
Penguin, 640 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 9780140057515
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Crime in Wartime: A Social History of Crime in World War II 
by Edward Smithies.
Allen and Unwin, 219 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 04 364020 6
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... The first of these books, Rough Justice, is 350 pages of documentary journalism on the rise and fall of the notorious Richardson gang, which operated a reign of terror, extortion and fraud in parts of London from the late 1950s to the famous torture trial of 1967. These operations were restored to topicality after Charles Richardson’s escape from prison in May 1980 and his subsequent letter to the Times ...

Exit Humbug

David Edgar: Theatrical Families, 1 January 2009

A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Families 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 620 pp., £25, September 2008, 978 0 7011 7987 8
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... Craig, had a career as a designer, director and producer of feminist plays; her brother, Edward Gordon Craig, acted with Irving, but became disillusioned with the English theatre and, like other maverick theatre visionaries since, moved to the Continent, where his (rare) productions and extensive theoretical writings are said to have revolutionised theatre ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... against Ward. Policemen and witnesses have since confessed to what went on. The judge, Sir Archie Marshall, is alleged to have said on the telephone: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get him on the immoral earnings charge.’ Stephen Ward committed suicide the day before the verdict because, as his letters reveal, it was clear to him, after the judge’s ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection, 1 January 2009

... ignoble at all. And today, 15 June, comes George Bush paying a courtesy call on the Queen and Gordon Brown before having a cheering conscience-free get-together with his old mate Tony Blair. And here are the helicopters flying over Regent’s Park to prove it. 26 June, Espiessac. I sit in the wicker rocking-chair in the shade of the willow by the ...

Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash, 9 March 2006

The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... and is extremely restricted in range. His band, The Tennessee Two (Luther Perkins on guitar and Marshall Grant on bass, later augmented by W.S. ‘Fluke’ Holland on drums) were mechanics, and they sounded like it. In his eponymous autobiography Cash claims that ‘Marshall and Luther limited me, it’s true, especially ...

Prada Queen

Elaine Showalter: Shopping, 10 August 2000

Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End 
by Erika Diane Rappaport.
Princeton, 323 pp., £21.95, January 2000, 0 691 04477 5
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... that ‘Shopland is my club,’ London was ripe for the shaking. The American merchant Harry Gordon Selfridge, who trained at Marshall Field in Chicago, had done careful research on the women’s clubs to find out what women wanted; he presented himself as a friend to women’s emancipation and ‘characterised the ...

The Imagined Market

Donald MacKenzie: Money Games, 31 October 2002

Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science 
by Philip Mirowski.
Cambridge, 670 pp., £24.95, February 2002, 0 521 77526 4
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... of economics didn’t cease with the arrival of Clinton and Blair, though it changed form. Gordon Brown has been a particularly important channel. His decision to delegate to the Bank of England the power to set interest rates – arguably the single most crucial and most successful decision Labour has made – was underpinned by academic work applying ...

Refuge of the Aristocracy

Paul Smith: The British Empire, 21 June 2001

Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 264 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9506 8
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... has hitherto been confined to the wings (though not unnoticed, as his opening quotation from P.J. Marshall acknowledges). But hierarchy as master imperial concept and organising principle runs into objections about the role of race, the realities of power, and, in the case of the white (or mainly white) Dominions, the force of rejection, which drastically ...

At the White House’s Whim

Tom Bingham: The Power of Pardon, 26 March 2009

... of union politics; and Ford was succeeded by Jimmy Carter, who commuted the 20-year sentence on Gordon Liddy, one of the Watergate conspirators, after four years and three months because of a perceived disparity between his sentence and that imposed on others. Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, pardoned two FBI officers who had authorised illegal ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... 30 April-1 May. To Essential Music in Great Chapel Street to record The Uncommon Reader, which Gordon House, former head of drama at BBC Radio, has adapted and is producing. What other readers are like I’ve no idea, but I always feel I am a sound editor’s nightmare, breaking off in the middle of a sentence to start again, redoing paragraphs when ...

The Great Fear

William Lamont, 21 July 1983

Charles I and the Popish Plot 
by Caroline Hibbard.
North Carolina, 342 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 8078 1520 9
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Charles I: The Personal Monarch 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 426 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 9780710094858
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The Puritan Moment: The Coming of Revolution in an English County 
by William Hunt.
Harvard, 365 pp., £24, April 1983, 0 674 73903 5
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... religious dimension? We still lack biographies in depth of key religious figure such as Stephen Marshall, Cornelius Burges, John Goodwin, Edmund Calamy, Henry Burton and others. They flit tantalisingly through the pages of Valerie Pearl’s valuable study of the London revolution of 1641, or Anthony Fletcher’s equally important analysis of petitioning on ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... infinitely renewable source of moral energy, and it comes from greed. Greed is not merely good, as Gordon Gecko had it; greed is not merely a matter for Nigel-and-Nigella runny honey on goat’s cheese. Greed is a huge force, savage and glorious and demiurgic. Greed is the very motor of the world. Objectivism is at least modern, with no harking back to ...

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