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Heart-Stopping

Ian Hamilton

25 January 1996
Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary McAllister Story 
by Gary McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... eager-midfield-runner’ to ‘man-capable-of-magic-moments’. Without that goal, Platt may not have been so lucratively pursued by the Italians. He may not even have lasted in the England team. Graham Taylor, though, was always a Platt fan, and Platt owes a lot to Taylor. One of the most strenuous sections of Platt’s book is devoted to repairing Taylor’s reputation: a forlorn task, but rather ...

Cursing and Breast-Beating

Ross McKibbin: Manning Clark’s Legacy

23 February 2012
An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark 
by Mark McKenna.
Miegunyah, 793 pp., £57.95, May 2011, 978 0 522 85617 0
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... Manning Clark’s funeral, on 27 May 1991 at – to the surprise of many – St Christopher’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Canberra, was attended by much of Australia’s ‘progressive’ elite: the governor ...

The New Archaeology

Patrick Wormald

18 March 1982
A Short History of Archaeology 
by Glyn Daniel.
Thames and Hudson, 232 pp., £9.50, June 1981, 0 500 02101 5
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A Social History of Archaeology 
by Kenneth Hudson.
Macmillan, 197 pp., £20, March 1981, 0 333 25679 4
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Rites of the Gods 
by Aubrey Burl.
Dent, 258 pp., £12, September 1981, 0 460 04313 7
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... over long periods of time. The ‘invasion hypothesis’, which ascribed almost every significant change in British prehistory to new arrivals from overseas, was discredited in a seminal article by GrahamClark. But the New Archaeology flourished especially in America, where, as Professor Daniel says, the archaeological record was somewhat lacking in the spectacular monuments and artefacts that had ...
29 March 2017
... Square to Fulton, Missouri. So potent was his image in the early months of the Second World War that the sculptor Eric Kennington believed it could literally be a weapon. He suggested to Kenneth Clark, who chaired the War Artists Advisory Committee, that polished brass models of Churchill, filled either with propaganda leaflets or delayed-action explosives, might be dropped over Germany. Clark ...

Knobs, Dots and Grooves

Peter Campbell: Henry Moore

8 August 2002
Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations 
edited by Alan Wilkinson.
Lund Humphries, 320 pp., £35, February 2002, 0 85331 847 6
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The Penguin Modern Painters: A History 
by Carol Peaker.
Penguin Collectors’ Society, 124 pp., £15, August 2001, 0 9527401 4 1
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... in some cases excellent, livings being earned from room pictures, but big reputations are made by way of exhibitions and the publicity that accompanies them. Nearly half a century later, Kenneth Clark, writing to Eunice Frost at Penguin about the inclusion of Braque in the Modern Painters series, which had until then featured only British artists, said: The old scheme seemed to me valuable because ...

At the V&A

Rosemary Hill: Constable

22 October 2014
... but disagree about what the more is. Roger Fry admired the energy of the sketches, the aspect of Constable that flatters posterity by seeming to point to Post-Impressionism and abstraction. Kenneth Clark also thought that the sketches had a ‘force of sensation’, but found the finished oils a ‘bore’. John Berger took the opposite view, that the completed works were rich in brilliant light ...
7 January 1988
A Class Society at War: England 1914-18 
by Bernard Waites.
Berg, 303 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 907582 65 6
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Working for Victory? Images of Women in the First World War 
by Diana Condell and Jean Liddiard.
Routledge, 201 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7102 0974 6
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The Countryside at War 1914-18 
by Caroline Dakers.
Constable, 238 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 468060 4
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When Jim Crow met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War Two Britain 
by Graham​ Smith.
Tauris, 265 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 9781850430391
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... from-neglected war poets: nevertheless, the author has dug up some curious new material. Not surprisingly, she has been drawn to the recently published memoirs of the Essex clergyman, the Rev. Andrew Clark, and quotes extensively from that admirable record (Echoes of the Great War). One chapter deals with the unhappy French countryside, which for four years was methodically (and, from the South Coast ...

Concierge

John Lanchester

16 November 1995
Sons of Ezra: British Poets and Ezra Pound 
edited by Michael Alexander and James McGonigal.
Rodopi, 183 pp., $23.50, July 1995, 90 5183 840 9
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‘In Solitude, for Company’: W.H. Auden after 1940 
edited by Katherine Bucknell and Nicholas Jenkins.
Oxford, 338 pp., £40, November 1995, 0 19 818294 5
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Auden 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Heinemann, 406 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 434 17507 2
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Wystan and Chester: A Personal Memoir of W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman 
by Thekla Clark.
Faber, 130 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 0 571 17591 0
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... d. 1979) are at an all-time high, helped by the timely publication of her letters; while shares in Philip Larkin (d. 1985) are at an all-time low, helped by the untimely publication of his ditto. Graham Greenes (d. 1991) are on the way down, Robert Lowells (d. 1977, with the Collected Poems coming next year) are a good buy; stock in Anthony Burgess (d. 1993) should probably be held for a year or two ...

World’s End

John Sutherland

1 October 1987
The Day of Creation 
by J.G. Ballard.
Gollancz, 254 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 575 04152 8
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The Playmaker 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 310 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 340 34154 8
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In the Skin of a Lion 
by Michael Ondaatje.
Secker, 244 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 436 34009 7
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The House of Hospitalities 
by Emma Tennant.
Viking, 184 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 670 81501 2
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... As Paul Theroux’s The Mosquito Coast and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now suggest, its invoked presence can leach the life out of any presumptuous rewriting, converting it into so much anaemic homage. Graham Greene tells us that in his apprentice days he found The Heart of Darkness so overwhelming an influence that he had to give up reading Conrad altogether. Nevertheless, Greene went on to write The ...

Vibrating to the Chord of Queer

Elaine Showalter: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

6 March 2003
Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity 
by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.
Duke, 216 pp., £14.95, March 2003, 0 8223 3015 6
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Regarding Sedgwick: Essays on Queer Culture and Critical Theory 
edited by Stephen Barber and David Clark.
Routledge, 285 pp., £55, September 2002, 0 415 92818 4
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... Brook, pieces of textile and fibre art were displayed on which Sedgwick had scanned computer images of her body, an X-ray and CAT-scan images of her spine. Interviewed by Stephen Barber and David Clark, the editors of Regarding Sedgwick, she said that she was finding it hard to ‘take pleasure in writing’, and was much more drawn to the visual than the verbal, to texture rather than texts. In ...

Bypass Variegated

Rosemary Hill: Osbert Lancaster

21 January 2016
Osbert Lancaster’s Cartoons, Columns and Curlicues: ‘Pillar to Post’, ‘Homes Sweet Homes’, ‘Drayneflete Revealed’ 
by Osbert Lancaster.
Pimpernel, 304 pp., £40, October 2015, 978 1 910258 37 8
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... one illustration. Pillar to Post deals with exteriors, Homes Sweet Homes with interiors. Otherwise there is no attempt at fairness, which is fatal to humour. Like his friend and contemporary Kenneth Clark, Lancaster felt the Edwardians’ horrified fascination with the Victorians in general and the Gothic Revival in particular, that ‘crazy antiquarianism’ which began with Ruskin, ‘whose ...

How did we decide what Christ looked like?

Frank Kermode: How Jesus Got His Face

27 April 2000
The Image of Christ 
edited by Gabriele Finaldi.
National Gallery, 224 pp., £14.95, February 2000, 1 85709 292 9
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... the Arma Christi, the hammer and nails and spear – devotional objects capable of suggesting the whole Passion. The emblematic habit persisted, and perhaps survives or is revived in such works as Graham Sutherland’s tapestry for Coventry Cathedral. The exhibition demonstrates new ways of mounting exhibitions, and provides some striking juxtapositions. Watching the television series I couldn’t ...

Getting on

Humphrey Carpenter

18 July 1985
In the Dark 
by R.M. Lamming.
Cape, 230 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 9780224022927
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A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory 
by Isabel Colegate.
Hamish Hamilton, 153 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 241 11532 9
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Midnight Mass 
by Peter Bowles.
Peter Owen, 190 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 7206 0647 0
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The Silver Age 
by James Lasdun.
Cape, 186 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 0 224 02316 0
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The House of Kanze 
by Nobuko Albery.
Century, 307 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 7126 0850 8
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... the curiosity of the local newspaper (‘Grand Old Eccentric Comes to Woodburn’). Lawson is a miser, hoarding books rather than cash, and the novel’s excellent jacket-picture by Emma Chichester Clark has a promising glimpse of him peering at a tome, surrounded by towers of unsorted volumes which wait their places on the empty shelves in the gloom beyond. Unfortunately Lamming’s prose never ...
10 November 1988
MacDiarmid 
by Alan Bold.
Murray, 482 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 7195 4585 4
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A Drunk Man looks at the Thistle 
by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Kenneth Buthlay.
Scottish Academic Press, 203 pp., £12.50, February 1988, 0 7073 0425 3
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The Hugh MacDiarmid-George Ogilvie Letters 
edited by Catherine Kerrigan.
Aberdeen University Press, 156 pp., £24.90, August 1988, 0 08 036409 8
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Hugh MacDiarmid and the Russian 
by Peter McCarey.
Scottish Academic Press, 225 pp., £12.50, March 1988, 0 7073 0526 8
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... as its wealth of definitions and citations affords him not just words but also whole lines and phrases. In a sense, MacDiarmid’s work parallels the question asked by his Scottish contemporary, W.S. Graham: ‘What is the language using us for?’ Buthlay stresses in his introduction the importance of Gregory Smith’s Caledonian antisyzygy as a paramount interpretative tool in A Drunk Man. We might ...

Happy Knack

Ian Sansom: Betjeman

20 February 2003
John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 736 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7195 5002 5
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... well, what can one say? The pain may be nothing, in the Perspective of Eternity, but ah god, in Time. Oh, and he also called his wife ‘Filth’, or ‘Philth’. ‘She’s hipposexual,’ he told Graham Greene. You can make your own judgment about all this. Actually, if you’ve read the poems, you probably will already have made your own judgment. To crack open Betjeman’s famously bestselling ...

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