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Cockneyism

Gregory Dart: Leigh Hunt

18 December 2003
The Selected Writings of Leigh Hunt 
edited by Robert Morrison and Michael Eberle-Sinatra.
Pickering & Chatto, £495, July 2003, 1 85196 714 1
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... At first Dickens tried to deny that Harold Skimpole, the parasitical aesthete of Bleak House, had been based on his friend Leigh Hunt; but later he confessed, not a little proudly, that the character was ‘the most exact portrait that was ever painted in words . . . it is an absolute reproduction of a real man.’ Skimpole is a corrosive presence in the novel, a serene-faced sponger who claims to know nothing of ‘the world ...

Metropolitan Miscreants

Matthew Bevis: Victorian Bloomsbury

4 July 2013
Victorian Bloomsbury 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, July 2012, 978 0 300 15447 4
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Metropolitan Art and Literature, 1810-40: Cockney Adventures 
by Gregory Dart.
Cambridge, 297 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 1 107 02492 2
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... he cried, and flung himself vigorously, violently down onto Mrs Filmer’s area railings.’ Gregory Dart’s Metropolitan Art and Literature, 1810-40: Cockney Adventures charts, not the consolidation of a district, but the restless motion of a figure. London becomes the place where it’s difficult to know one’s place. In the relatively short ...

May I come to your house to philosophise?

John Barrell: Godwin’s Letters

8 September 2011
The Letters of William Godwin Vol. I: 1778-97 
by Pamela Clemit.
Oxford, 306 pp., £100, February 2011, 978 0 19 956261 9
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... makes, whether to friends or to those he does not know at all personally. In a brilliant insight Gregory Dart has pointed out how much Godwin resembled Robespierre, both of them committed to an ethics of perfect transparency. Letters to Joseph Gerrald, on trial for sedition in Edinburgh at the start of 1794, and to John Thelwall, on trial at the end of ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene Halleck

16 November 2000
The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... veering off uneasily into the tones of Alexander Pope (‘And I – a victim to love’s cruel dart,/Went – to the Opera – with a broken heart!’) – in this case, the satirical invasion saves the poem from drowning in its own reserves of treacle. As soon as the lad wakes up we are shown that he does have some of the attributes of a real ...

Bad News

Iain Sinclair

6 December 1990
Weather 
by John Farrand.
Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 239 pp., $40, June 1990, 1 55670 134 9
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Weather Watch 
by Dick File.
Fourth Estate, 299 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 1 872180 12 4
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Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment 
edited by J.T. Houghton, G.J. Jenkins and J.J. Ephraums.
Cambridge, 365 pp., £40, September 1990, 9780521403603
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Crop Circles: The Latest Evidence 
by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews.
Bloomsbury, 80 pp., £5.99, October 1990, 0 7475 0843 7
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The Stumbling Block, Its Index 
by B. Catling.
Book Works, £22, October 1990, 9781870699051
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... bank. His rapid spiel picks out, for the benefit of tourists ploughing resignedly from Totnes to Dartmouth, the celebrities who have made their homes, or pitched their weekend cottages, within sight of the Dart. His list climbs, in order of precedence, through the ranks of the famous and infamous, the recently notorious ...

Always the Bridesmaid

Terry Castle: Sappho

30 September 1999
Victorian Sappho 
by Yopie Prins.
Princeton, 278 pp., £40, May 1999, 0 691 05918 7
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... both she and her work were largely forgotten. (According to one legend, the Christian patriarch Gregory of Nazianzos, offended by the licentiousness of her subject-matter, put her books to the torch in 380 AD.) Neither Dante nor Chaucer refers to her. Only with the recovery and translation of certain ancient texts in the Renaissance – Longinus’ On the ...

Wild Horses

Claude Rawson

1 April 1983
‘The Bronze Horseman’ and Other Poems 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by D.M. Thomas.
Penguin, 261 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 14 042309 5
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Alexander Pushkin: A Critical Study 
by A.D.P. Briggs.
Croom Helm, 257 pp., £14.95, November 1982, 0 7099 0688 9
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‘Choiseul and Talleyrand’: A Historical Novella and Other Poems, with New Verse Translations of Alexander Pushkin 
by Charles Johnston.
Bodley Head, 88 pp., £5.25, July 1982, 0 370 30924 3
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Mozart and Salieri: The Little Tragedies 
by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Antony Wood.
Angel, 94 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 946162 02 6
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I have come to greet you 
by Afanasy Fet, translated by James Greene.
Angel, 71 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 946162 03 4
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Uncollected Poems 
by John Betjeman.
Murray, 81 pp., £4.95, September 1982, 0 7195 3969 2
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Travelling without a Valid Ticket 
by Howard Sergeant.
Rivelin, 14 pp., £1, May 1982, 0 904524 39 6
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... form. ‘19 October’ is a dignified and elegiac coterie poem, inviting comparison with Yeats’s Gregory elegy, though the poet’s separation from his friends is due to his exile at Mikhailovskoye and not mainly, as in Yeats, to their death. Thomas uses a stanza in some respects reminiscent of Yeats’s, more subdued in tone and more sparing of proud ...

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