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Mizzlers

Patrick Parrinder, 26 July 1990

The Sorrow of Belgium 
by Hugo Claus, translated by Arnold Pomerans.
Viking, 609 pp., £14.99, June 1990, 0 670 81456 3
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Joanna 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Virago, 260 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 1 85381 158 0
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A Sensible Life 
by Mary Wesley.
Bantam, 364 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 9780593019306
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The Light Years 
by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Macmillan, 418 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 333 53875 7
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... until the outbreak of war Louis has never set eyes on a Jew), anti-socialist, anti-French, anti-Protestant, anti-Brussels and anti-government. Their right-wing Flemish Nationalist sympathies are restrained only by Louis’s grandfather’s anxiety to protect his monopoly over the sale of school supplies to the local convents. After the defeat ...

We know it intimately

Christina Riggs: Rummaging for Mummies, 22 October 2020

A World beneath the Sands: Adventurers and Archaeologists in the Golden Age of Egyptology 
by Toby Wilkinson.
Picador, 510 pp., £25, October, 978 1 5098 5870 5
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... a myth to meet the needs of empire, which endured as empires fell.Like his one-time colleague Howard Carter, Weigall was a child when Britain invaded Egypt in 1882. But unlike Carter, who kept on digging through the First World War, Weigall had given up archaeology for a writer’s life in England. He produced books on ancient Egypt, a few adventure ...

The Thing

Michael Wood: Versions of Proust, 6 January 2005

In Search of Lost Time: Vol. I: The Way by Swann’s 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 496 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118031 5
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol.II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by James Grieve.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118032 3
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. III: The Guermantes Way 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Mark Treharne.
Penguin, 640 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118033 1
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by John Sturrock.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 9780141180342
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. V: ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Fugitive’ 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Carol Clark and Peter Collier.
Penguin, 720 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118035 8
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. VI: Finding Time Again 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Ian Patterson.
Penguin, 400 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118036 6
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The Proust Project 
edited by André Aciman.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., $25, November 2004, 0 374 23832 4
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... on them. There is nothing wrong with any of these versions, and there is no court of appeal in the French text. As Prendergast puts it, ‘no one has monopoly powers over the “correct”.’ We can prefer one version to another, but then we are choosing one understanding over another: either (mostly) the understanding we ourselves have, or (better) an ...

Citizen Hobbes

Noel Malcolm, 18 October 1984

De Cive: The Latin Version 
by Thomas Hobbes, edited by Howard Warrender.
Oxford, 336 pp., £35, March 1984, 0 19 824385 5
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De Cive: The English Version 
by Thomas Hobbes, edited by Howard Warrender.
Oxford, 300 pp., £35, March 1984, 0 19 824623 4
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... but they have usually shied away from the task of tackling them editorially. Now at long last Howard Warrender has produced what promises to be the first work in a new complete edition of Hobbes’s philosophical writings. The text he has tackled is one of the most complex of all, and it is not surprising to learn that his painstaking work on it took ...

Kiss me, Hardy

Humphrey Carpenter, 15 November 1984

Peeping Tom 
by Howard Jacobson.
Chatto, 266 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2908 5
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Watson’s Apology 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth, 222 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 7156 1935 7
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The Foreigner 
by David Plante.
Chatto, 237 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 7011 2904 2
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... Howard Jacobson’s first novel, Coming from Behind, was published last year, and made one think that a new exponent of the comic academic narrative had arrived. Jacobson’s hero, Sefton Goldberg, Jewish and highly suspicious of his Gentile surroundings, is aggressive towards the literature he’s supposed to be teaching, to a degree that makes Leavis seem like a nice auntie ...

Every club in the bag

Michael Howard, 10 September 1992

The Chiefs: The Story of the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff 
by Bill Jackson and Dwin Bramall.
Brassey, 508 pp., £29.95, April 1992, 0 08 040370 0
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... it necessary at all. The Navy, so it was hoped, would defend our shores (probably against the French) and the Army would police, and where necessary extend, the Empire. Both Services went their own ways to general public approval, so long as they made minimal demands on the taxpayer. Then the humiliations suffered by the Army in the Boer War, and the ...

UN in the Wars

Michael Howard, 9 September 1993

The Evolution of UN Peacekeeping: Case Studies and Comparative Analysis 
edited by William Durch.
St Martin’s, 509 pp., £29.95, May 1993, 0 312 06600 7
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... It was with these that the UN was initially called on to deal. In the Netherlands East Indies, in French Indochina, in the Indian subcontinent, above all in the former British mandate of Palestine, successor regimes fought the former colonial power or each other for international recognition and territorial control. When circumstances were propitious, they ...

Affronts he never forgave

Christina Riggs: ‘Mr Five Per Cent’, 18 April 2019

Mr Five Per Cent: The Many Lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the World’s Richest Man 
by Jonathan Conlin.
Profile, 402 pp., £25, January 2019, 978 1 78816 042 1
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... a collection which, like Gulbenkian’s own, had been shaped by the excellent eye of Howard Carter. Six weeks earlier Carter had opened the burial chamber of Tutankhamun in front of the world’s press, with Carnarvon, the expedition’s sponsor, in proud attendance. Gulbenkian suspected that if anyone knew the fate of Carnarvon’s ...

Righteous Turpitudes

Basil Davidson, 27 September 1990

British Intelligence in the Second World War. Vol. V: Strategic Deception 
by Michael Howard.
HMSO, 266 pp., £12.95, July 1990, 0 11 630954 7
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... far runs to four volumes by F.H. Hinsley and three collaborators, and now this volume by Michael Howard, the astonishing record is clear and long but also – strangely for a subject of such encrusted deviousness – entirely believable. With admirable skills of exposition and a truly awesome mastery of deception’s dodgy ambience and material, ...

Mid-Century Male

Christopher Glazek: Edmund White, 19 July 2012

Jack Holmes and His Friend 
by Edmund White.
Bloomsbury, 390 pp., £18.99, January 2012, 978 1 4088 0579 4
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... of heterosexual love. Jack figures the Kirkus reviewer must be a woman, probably studying French, unduly influenced by Will’s touched-up author photo. Then comes a review in the New York Times, which begins by commending the novel for its ‘exact’ and ‘shimmering’ prose and its ‘well-observed’ characters, but adds that ‘some readers may ...

Florey Story

Peter Medawar, 20 December 1979

Howard Florey: The Making of a Great Scientist 
by Gwyn Macfarlane.
Oxford, 396 pp., £7.95
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... Howard Walter Florey was a great man and nomistake. He devoted the more important partof his professional life to a single wholly admirable purpose which he pursued until he achieved it, showing, in spite of many setbacks and rebuffs, the magnanimity that is the minimal entry qualification for being considered ‘great ...

Charm with Menaces

Colin Burrow: ‘The Mirror and the Light’, 19 March 2020

The Mirror and the Light 
by Hilary Mantel.
Fourth Estate, 883 pp., £25, March, 978 0 00 748099 9
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... of the match, Thomas Cromwell, who is beheaded on the very day his king marries Katherine Howard, niece of Cromwell’s arch-enemy the reactionary Duke of Norfolk (who in Mantel’s version resembles an ungenial version of Sir Ector in T.H. White’s Sword in the Stone). As Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, puts it in The Mirror and the Light, ‘we ...

Nayled to the wow

Tom Shippey, 7 January 1993

The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer 
by Derek Pearsall.
Blackwell, 365 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 1 55786 205 2
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A Wyf ther was: Essays in Honour of Paule Mertens-Fonck 
edited by Juliette Dor.
University of Liège, 300 pp., June 1992, 2 87233 004 6
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Hochon’s Arrow: The Social Imagination of 14th-Century Texts 
by Paul Strohm.
Princeton, 205 pp., £27.50, November 1992, 0 691 06880 1
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... Suffolk, nicknamed ‘Blanche Rose’, was accepted as King of England – but, alas, only by the French, and only till he was killed in battle at Pavia. There is an irony, on which Derek Pearsall ends his book, in the extirpation of the Chaucer line around 1539 at virtually the same moment as the first printing of Chaucer’s Collected Works in 1532. But the ...

Bow. Wow

James Wolcott: Gore Vidal, 3 February 2000

Gore Vidal 
by Fred Kaplan.
Bloomsbury, 850 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 7475 4671 1
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... stage-manage his exit. He even invites his biographer to accompany him and his longtime companion Howard Austen as they stroll through Washington’s Rock Creek Park Cemetery to pick out burial plots. Kaplan accepts, crafting his own angle. If Vidal expires before he completes his book, he reasons, he can use this tour as material. ‘It is one of the rewards ...

Rules of the Game

Jon Elster, 22 December 1983

Mémoires 
by Raymond Aron.
Julliard, 778 pp., frs 120, September 1983, 9782260003328
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Clausewitz: Philosopher of War 
by Raymond Aron, translated by Norman Stone and Christine Booker.
Routledge, 418 pp., £15.95, October 1983, 0 7100 9009 9
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Clausewitz 
by Michael Howard.
Oxford, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 19 287608 2
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... on behalf of his friend Bertrand de Jouvenel, who had been violently attacked in a book on French Fascism. The case was not a simple one, as de Jouvenel had said and done some imprudent things in the Thirties. Yet Aron, painting truth in its grey on grey, had no difficulty showing that the attack was fundamentally anachronistic: that it imputed to de ...

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