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Provincialism

Denis Donoghue: Karlin’s collection of Victorian verse, 4 June 1998

The Penguin Book of Victorian Verse 
edited by Danny Karlin.
Allen Lane, 851 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780713990492
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... whole. His major precursors are Quiller-Couch, Yeats, Auden, George MacBeth, Christopher Ricks and Ian Fletcher. I don’t intend a Shopper’s Guide, but I’ll start with two small complaints. Unlike Fletcher, Karlin doesn’t give explanatory notes, except for a few dialect words and phrases in foreign ...

Symbolism, Expressionism, Decadence

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1980

Romantic Roots in Modern Art 
by August Wiedmann.
Gresham, 328 pp., £8.50, July 1980, 0 905418 51 4
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Symbolism 
by Robert Goldwater.
Allen Lane, 286 pp., £12.95, November 1980, 9780713910476
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Decadence and the 1890s 
edited by Ian Fletcher.
Arnold, 216 pp., £9.95, July 1980, 0 7131 6208 2
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... row of books that try to say what the term meant and means. To this shelf one is happy to add Ian Fletcher’s collection of essays. It is London-based, so I hope it will not sound parochial to call it much the best of the books under review. Fletcher, by now I suppose the doyen of Nineties studies, contributes a ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster, 18 March 2004

... on loan at Bristol University library, in recognition of Allen Lane’s birthplace. In the 1970s Ian Fletcher and Jim Edwards at Reading University had the bright idea of offering publishers what was in effect curatorship in return for deposit. Reading took on the Macmillan and Longman business materials, which would have been unattractive to more ...

How much?

Ian Hamilton: Literary pay and literary prizes, 18 June 1998

Guide to Literary Prizes, 1998 
edited by Huw Molseed.
Book Trust, 38 pp., £3.99, May 1998, 0 85353 475 6
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The Cost of Letters: A Survey of Literary Living Standards 
edited by Andrew Holgate and Honor Wilson-Fletcher.
W Magazine, 208 pp., £2, May 1998, 0 9527405 9 1
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... One of the most amusing – or, if you prefer it, one of the most heartwarming – episodes in the history of early Modernism centres on Ezra Pound’s attempt to ‘liberate’ T.S. Eliot from his clerk’s job at Lloyds Bank. In 1921, Pound started up a fund called Bel Esprit and set about trying to persuade 30 subscribers to fork out ten pounds each: £300 p ...

Success

Benjamin Markovits: What It Takes to Win at Sport, 7 November 2013

... account of his world cup victory was ghostwritten or co-authored by an American called Fletcher Potanin. ‘He came to this story with no preconceived notions of the tradition of England rugby or of the game in general. As such we were able to give the rise of England’s success a new perspective. He is a businessman specialising in the ...

Howl

Adam Mars-Jones, 21 September 1995

Fullalove 
by Gordon Burn.
Secker, 231 pp., £14.99, August 1995, 0 436 20059 7
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... of masculine implosion have been concerned with redemption (Alasdair Gray’s 1982, Janine, Ian McEwan’s The Child in Time), while others (like Fawlty Towers and several of Martin Amis’s novels) are satisfied with their central character’s disintegration. What is odd about Fullalove is that collapse is its anti-hero’s point of departure as well ...

The Great Scots Education Hoax

Rosalind Mitchison, 18 October 1984

The Companion to Gaelic Scotland 
edited by Derick Thomson.
Blackwell, 363 pp., £25, December 1983, 0 631 12502 7
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Experience and Enlightenment: Socialisation for Cultural Changes in 18th-Century Scotland 
by Charles Camic.
Edinburgh, 301 pp., £20, January 1984, 0 85224 483 5
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Knee Deep in Claret: A Celebration of Wine and Scotland 
by Billy Kay and Cailean Maclean.
Mainstream, 232 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 45 8
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Education and Opportunity in Victorian Scotland: Schools and Universities 
by R.D. Anderson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, July 1983, 0 19 822696 9
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Scotland: The Real Divide 
edited by Gordon Brown and Robin Cook.
Mainstream, 251 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 18 0
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Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £35, November 1983, 0 521 23397 6
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... bring out a comparison or illustrate a point but set out in such a way that the point is missed. Ian Levitt claims that ‘lagging health indicators show poverty,’ but the only figures he advances, the number of hospital in-patients per year, expanding from 1890 to 1960, are mainly a sign of the increase in hospital provision. There is a failure to ...

Bastard Foreigners

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare v. the English, 2 July 2020

Shakespeare’s Englishes: Against Englishness 
by Margaret Tudeau-Clayton.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £75, October 2019, 978 1 108 49373 4
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... as an idyllic apogee of national self-definition. By the time Shakespeare and his apprentice John Fletcher co-wrote All Is True (printed as Henry VIII) in 1613, wistfulness for the previous reign was already growing, despite what the playwrights and others may have recalled about Tudor rule: agricultural depression, enclosure, the plague, the poor law and the ...

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