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Mythic Elements

Stephen Bann, 30 December 1982

Queen of Stones 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 160 pp., £6.95, November 1982, 0 224 02601 1
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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 
by William Kotzwinkle, based on a screenplay by Melissa Mathison.
Arthur Barker, 246 pp., £6.95, November 1982, 0 213 16848 0
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Tales of Afghanistan 
by Amina Shah.
Octagon Press, 128 pp., £6.50, November 1982, 0 900860 94 4
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The Masque of St Eadmundsburg 
by Humphrey Morrison.
Blond and Briggs, 228 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 85634 127 4
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A Villa in France 
by J.I.M. Stewart.
Gollancz, 206 pp., £6.95, October 1982, 0 575 03103 4
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Collected Stories: Vol. III 
by Sean O’Faolain.
Constable, 422 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 09 463920 5
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Work Suspended and Other Stories 
by Evelyn Waugh.
Penguin, 318 pp., £2.75, November 1982, 0 14 006518 0
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... very obscurely the additional richness that they have given to the tale. Such is the case with Humphrey Morrison’s The Masque of St Eadmundsburg, which begins by seeming like a rather tedious exercise in historical reconstruction, and yet succeeds eventually in drawing us into a resplendent and satisfying conclusion. How it achieves this is worthy ...

Dark and Deep

Helen Vendler, 4 July 1996

Robert Frost: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Constable, 424 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 09 476130 2
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Collected Poems, Prose and Plays 
by Robert Frost, edited by Richard Poirier and Mark Richardson.
Library of America, 1036 pp., $35, October 1995, 9781883011062
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... was 64, after the death of his wife, he had a long affair with his ‘secretary’, Kathleen (Kay) Morrison, the wife of Theodore (Ted) Morrison, a lecturer in the Department of English at Harvard. Since this fact (documented in Thompson’s ‘Notes’ and now further documented thanks to the co-operation of Kay ...

The Great NBA Disaster

John Sutherland, 19 October 1995

... had successfully, as it seemed, bombed the Serbs and blackmailed the Israelis to the peace table; Humphrey the missing Downing Street cat had been found. What the Times chose to lead with on Wednesday morning was BOOK PRICING AGREEMENT IS SHATTERED, with the explanatory sub-heading ‘Discount War Begins on Top Titles’ and an unflattering mugshot of Sir ...

My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock, 30 November 2000

King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... Cromwell’, the narrator will let rip with a great urban set-piece, like something out of Arthur Morrison, Jack London or George Gissing: a bare-knuckle boxing contest (‘happy unhealthy faces glowing with meaty grease, panatella smoke’), breakfast in a Formica-table caff, a phantasmagoric binge in a Tufnell Hill windmill – which becomes an encore for ...

Too Obviously Cleverer

Ferdinand Mount: Harold Macmillan, 8 September 2011

Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan 
by D.R. Thorpe.
Pimlico, 887 pp., £16.99, September 2011, 978 1 84413 541 7
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The Macmillan Diaries Vol. II: Prime Minister and After 1957-66 
edited by Peter Catterall.
Macmillan, 758 pp., £40, May 2011, 978 1 4050 4721 0
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... at Hugh Gaitskell for not having any medals to wear on Remembrance Day and he loathed Herbert Morrison, his first boss in the wartime coalition, for having been a conscientious objector in the First World War, calling him ‘a dirty little cockney guttersnipe’. Macmillan’s diary is spattered with abuse of other public figures, often tinged with ...

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