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My Dagger into Yow

Ian Donaldson: Sidney’s Letters, 25 April 2013

The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney 
edited by Roger Kuin.
Oxford, 1381 pp., £250, July 2012, 978 0 19 955822 3
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... Letters, Robert Lovelace remarks in Clarissa, are a way of ‘writing from the heart’. A brilliant letter-writer though a terrible etymologist, Lovelace finds warrant for this belief in the word correspondence: letters (so he thinks) touch the core, the coeur, of their senders’ being, revealing their innermost thoughts and sensations, showing their essential character ...

The Tribe of Ben

Blair Worden: Ben Jonson, 11 October 2012

Ben Jonson: A Life 
by Ian Donaldson.
Oxford, 533 pp., £25, October 2011, 978 0 19 812976 9
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TheCambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson 
edited by David Bevington, Martin Butler and Ian Donaldson.
Cambridge, 5224 pp., £650, July 2012, 978 0 521 78246 3
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... appearance of a major biography and a major edition is no accident, for the writing of Ian Donaldson’s Life became entwined with the seven-volume collection of Jonson’s writings, of which Donaldson has been one of the triumvirate of general editors. Frequently, the two enterprises echo each other’s ...

Dishonoured

Michael Wood, 5 May 1983

The Rapes of Lucretia: A Myth and Its Transformation 
by Ian Donaldson.
Oxford, 203 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 19 812638 7
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The Rape of Clarissa 
by Terry Eagleton.
Blackwell, 109 pp., £10, September 1982, 0 631 13031 4
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Samuel Richardson: A Man of Letters 
by Carol Houlihan Flynn.
Princeton, 342 pp., £17.70, May 1982, 0 691 06506 3
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... Is that what heroines have to do? This is perhaps the most troubling of the questions canvassed in Ian Donaldson’s cool and lucid tracing of what his subtitle calls ‘a myth and its transformations’. The book, which looks at paintings and works of philosophy as well as works of literature, is interested in the relations between ‘art and ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... assistance.’ Among those Protestants to whom O’Neill failed to get through was the young Ian Paisley, then making a name for himself as an anti-Catholic rabble-rouser. Paisley, a personal friend of District Inspector Nixon, began by denouncing O’Neill as a sell-out and a Lundy. To many, Paisley was a figure of ridicule, but as the political crisis ...

Out of Bounds

Ian Gilmour: Why Wordsworth sold a lot less than Byron, 20 January 2005

The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period 
by William St Clair.
Cambridge, 765 pp., £90, July 2004, 9780521810067
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... books that were no longer covered by copyright. The leader of the Edinburgh industry, Alexander Donaldson, even opened his own shop in London and there sold out-of-copyright books at prices about half those prevalent in England, whereupon the English publishers sued him in the English courts for ‘piratically’ reprinting a book. The legal chaos and the ...

Malvolio’s Story

Marilyn Butler, 8 February 1996

Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns 
by Ian McIntyre.
HarperCollins, 461 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 00 215964 3
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... Burns Night groupies, Scottish nationalists of the far left or right, and specialists in erotica. Ian McIntyre, a long-serving BBC producer and the biographer of Lord Reith, has no obvious prejudices but risks seeming too distanced from his subject. Unfortunately even this is a position well represented in the long history of Burns commentary. The standard ...

Sinking Giggling into the Sea

Jonathan Coe: Giggling along with Boris, 18 July 2013

The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson 
edited by Harry Mount.
Bloomsbury, 149 pp., £9.99, June 2013, 978 1 4081 8352 6
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... show opened with a huge nuclear explosion, following which, in the words of the producer William Donaldson, the audience was treated to a whole evening’s worth of ‘terrible gloomy stuff – the punchline of every sketch was people dying.’ Nonetheless, it was undoubtedly a strong influence on Peter Cook (one of the original cast members) and the other ...

High Priest of Mumbo-Jumbo

R.W. Johnson, 13 November 1997

Lord Hailsham: A Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... of Eton and Christ Church, to keep out of it: ‘Of course I pitched it strong,’ Hogg said to Ian Gilmour. ‘Alec and I have known each other for forty years. We are gentlemen, so we say what we think. If I had been talking to Ted Heath, I would have been more polite.’ As Lewis remarks, this is reminiscent of the Gerald Brenan character who claimed ...

An Escalation of Reasonableness

Conor Gearty: Northern Ireland, 6 September 2001

To Raise up a New Northern Ireland: Articles and Speeches 1998-2000 
by David Trimble.
Belfast Press, 166 pp., £5.99, July 2001, 0 9539287 1 3
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... of violence was itself problematic, though not all of them would have been as shameless as Ian Paisley was when the first ceasefire was announced, claiming that Protestants now faced ‘the worst crisis in Ulster’s history since the setting up of the state’. Trimble puts it well in one of the many excellent speeches and articles in this ...

The dogs in the street know that

Nick Laird: A Week in Mid-Ulster, 5 May 2005

... just a small team left to protect the core leadership from assassination.’ It looked as though Ian Paisley’s DUP and Sinn Féin were about to do a deal on decommissioning, and that Stormont, the Northern Irish Assembly, would be resumed. In October 2002 four Sinn Féin government officials (one of them the party’s chief administrator at Stormont, the ...

Joint-Stock War

Valerie Pearl, 3 May 1984

The Age of Elizabeth: England Under the Later Tudors 1547-1603 
by D.M. Palliser.
Longman, 450 pp., £13.95, April 1983, 0 582 48580 0
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After the Armada: Elizabethan England and the Struggle for Western Europe 1588-1595 
by R.B. Wernham.
Oxford, 613 pp., £32.50, February 1984, 0 19 822753 1
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The Defeat of the Spanish Armada 
by Garrett Mattingly.
Cape, 384 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 224 02070 6
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The First Elizabeth 
by Carolly Erickson.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 333 36168 7
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The Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland: Essays in Honour of Gordon Donaldson 
edited by Ian Cowan and Duncan Shaw.
Scottish Academic Press, 261 pp., £14.50, March 1983, 0 7073 0261 7
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... presented in The Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland express appreciation of Professor Gordon Donaldson. The collection covers a wide range of subjects including such diverse topics as the changing status and function of the early Scottish notary (J. Durkan), the financing of the royal household in the early 16th century (A.L. Murray) and the history of ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: Trimble’s virtues, 7 October 2004

... already acquiring respect both as its most intellectual member and as a potential counterweight to Ian Paisley, but it was Paisley who helped him win the Unionist leadership, when the two men clasped hands at chest level as they took the salute of the admiring throng, after the Orange Order defied a police ban and marched down the Garvaghy Road on 11 July ...

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