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Tough Guy

Ian Hamilton: Keith Douglas, 8 February 2001

Keith Douglas: The Letters 
edited by Desmond Graham.
Carcanet, 369 pp., £14.95, September 2000, 1 85754 477 3
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... Douglas kept his distance from literary company, allowing friends like Edmund Blunden and J.C. Hall to push his work, and when successes came his way, he tended to respond to them with a theatrical offhandedness. Talking further of Eight Oxford Poets, he offered a grim picture of the current poetry scene:Their attitude to the war is that of the homosexual ...

Received Accents

Peter Robinson, 20 February 1986

Collected Poems 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 351 pp., £15, September 1985, 0 19 211974 5
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Selected and New Poems: 1939-84 
by J.C. Hall.
Secker, 87 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 436 19052 4
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Burning the knife: New and Selected Poems 
by Robin Magowan.
Scarecrow Press, 114 pp., £13.50, September 1985, 0 8108 1777 2
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Englishmen: A Poem 
by Christopher Hope.
Heinemann, 41 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 434 34661 6
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Selected Poems: 1954-1982 
by John Fuller.
Secker, 175 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 436 16754 9
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Writing Home 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 70 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 19 211970 2
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... commitment. Though these should be reckoned with, gratitude and thanks are what I most owe. J.C. Hall started by expressing high faith in poetry. ‘The Poem’, the first of his works kept in print, concludes: In the moment and in the swarming acre A thing is seen and gathered like a flower. Here in this room I emulate its maker And though remote I still ...

The Powyses

D.A.N. Jones, 7 August 1980

After My Fashion 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 286 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 330 26049 9
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Weymouth Sands 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 567 pp., £2.95, June 1980, 0 330 26050 2
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Recollections of the Powys Brothers 
edited by Belinda Humfrey.
Peter Owen, 288 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 7206 0547 4
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John Cowper Powys and David Jones: A Comparative Study 
by Jeremy Hooker.
Enitharmon, 54 pp., £3.75, April 1979, 0 901111 85 6
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The Hollowed-Out Elder Stalk 
by Roland Mathias.
Enitharmon, 158 pp., £4.85, May 1979, 0 901111 87 2
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John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest 
by Morine Krissdottir.
Macdonald, 218 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 354 04492 3
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... in 20th-century Britain: ‘Our clearest lyric measures are almost confined to the music-hall.’ C.M. Bowra supported him, remarking that ‘Oh, oh, oh, what a lovely war!’ was very like a Greek chorus. (See The Oxford Book of Greek Verse in Translation). Aside from the Welsh interest, we turn to the Occult. John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest ...

The Whole Bustle

Siobhan Kilfeather, 9 January 1992

The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing 
edited by Seamus Deane.
Field Day Publications/Faber, 4044 pp., £150, November 1991, 0 946755 20 5
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... to turn to Shaw’s piece from The Irish Statesman (1928) to read that Marie Stopes and Radclyffe Hall are exemplary of the demons from which censorship sought to defend the Southern Irish. Where lesbian and gay writers appear in the anthology their sexual identities are occluded. The major sex scandals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries involving ...

Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill

Jonathan Raban: Sarah Palin’s Cunning, 9 October 2008

... September, she was temporarily released from the crammers and allowed to take questions at a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where someone in the crowd said that there was in certain circles a ‘perception’ that foreign policy was not her forte. Palin replied: Well, I think because I am a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be ...

Astral Projection

Alison Light: The Case of the Croydon Poltergeist, 17 December 2020

The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story 
by Kate Summerscale.
Bloomsbury, 345 pp., £18.99, October, 978 1 4088 9545 0
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... she is holding a glass of water. Breezes blow. The scent of violet wafts inexplicably across the hall. Like a proper medium, Alma soon produces a spirit guide or ‘control’, Bremba, a dead Persian, who speaks for her in a deep voice. The institute’s members are impressed. Countess Nora Wydenbruck sees Alma’s apports as miracles like those produced by ...

Medieval Fictions

Stuart Airlie, 21 February 1985

by Maurice Keen.
Yale, 303 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 300 03150 5
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The Rise of Romance 
by Eugène Vinaver.
Boydell, 158 pp., £12, February 1984, 0 85991 158 6
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War in the Middle Ages 
by Philippe Contamine, translated by Michael Jones.
Blackwell, 387 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 631 13142 6
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War and Government in the Middle Ages 
edited by John Gillingham and J.C. Holt.
Boydell, 198 pp., £25, July 1984, 0 85115 404 2
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Prussian Society and the German Order 
by Michael Burleigh.
Cambridge, 217 pp., £22.50, May 1984, 9780521261043
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... forged in battle and further reinforced by the rituals of the aristocracy. Carousing together in a hall, young warriors would be regaled with stories of the deeds of their ancestors and their heroes, stories that confirmed their perception of themselves as a group. In this respect 12th-century Flanders was not so different from the world of Beowulf and ...

Mmmm, chicken nuggets

Bee Wilson: The Victorian Restaurant Scene, 15 August 2019

The London Restaurant: 1840-1914 
by Brenda Assael.
Oxford, 239 pp., £60, July 2018, 978 0 19 881760 4
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... Waiters were also expected to tip the porter, the plateman and the attendant in the servant’s hall, and often to pay for their board. Through it all, they had to smile and scrape and bow and give the impression that there was nowhere they would rather be than here in this smoky room serving chops and sauce to City gentlemen. German waiters (and French and ...
The John Marsh Journals: The Life and Times of a Gentleman Composer (1752-1828) 
edited by Brian Robins.
Pendragon, 797 pp., $76, December 1998, 0 945193 94 7
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... In the West, the analogous world of sound and silence can now be experienced only in the concert hall, and this perhaps partly explains the extreme attentiveness of audiences at concerts of classical music. At the Festival Hall, recently, three thousand people sat devoutly through a recital of the second book of Bach’s ...

The Chase

Inigo Thomas: ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’, 20 October 2016

... a pond with fish he’d caught from the Thames. ‘J.M.W. Turner and Walter Fawkes at Farnley Hall’ by John Wildman (c.1822) When Turner stayed with his patron and friend Walter Fawkes at Farnley Hall, north of Leeds, he fished on the River Wharfe and shot on the moors. He painted or drew what he caught or killed ...

Cardenio’s Ghost

Charles Nicholl: The Bits Shakespeare Wrote, 2 December 2010

The Arden Shakespeare: Double Falsehood 
edited by Brean Hammond.
Arden Shakespeare, 443 pp., £16.99, March 2010, 978 1 903436 77 6
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... the Stage By Mr Theobald’. The 40-year-old Theobald was an attorney by training, and a literary jack-of-all-trades by profession, but his standing as a Shakespeare expert was high. The previous year he had published an impressive book, Shakespeare Restored, challenging what he saw as the errors and complacencies of Alexander Pope’s 1725 edition of the ...

Walk on by

Andrew O’Hagan, 18 November 1993

... the end of a street full of small houses. It was one of the poorer centres: really just a charity-hall run by a few people who believed in God. It wasn’t full of driers and free condoms like some of the others. I walked in, returning the nods of some men playing dominoes at a folding table by the door. A man with red hair beckoned me over to a table in the ...

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