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Misunderstandings

J.H. Burns

20 March 1986
Henry Brougham 1778-1868: His Public Career 
by Robert Stewart.
Bodley Head, 406 pp., £18, January 1986, 0 370 30271 0
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Rethinking the Politics of Commercial Society: The ‘Edinburgh Review’ 1802-1832 
by Biancamaria Fontana.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £22.50, December 1985, 0 521 30335 4
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... interest in knowledge and ideas over a wide range of subjects. None of this, however, makes him ‘an intellectual in politics’ in the sense in which that description applies, for instance, to John Stuart Mill (or even perhaps to Arthur Balfour). Brougham’s intellect could serve him superbly in political life, especially perhaps in the mastery of complex subjects displayed in some of his ...

Whiggeries

J.H. Burns

2 March 1989
Whigs and Liberals: Continuity and Change in English Political Thought 
by J.W. Burrow.
Oxford, 159 pp., £17.50, March 1988, 0 19 820139 7
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... and liberalism have perhaps done rather better in terms of general esteem, though they suffer more than the Whigs from the intolerable rectitude of the bien pensant. The austere righteousness of a John Stuart Mill, for example – the governess-figure of ‘Miss Mill’ in Judy’s Mid-Victorian caricatures – must have alienated many who clung to the belief that virtue need not debar one from all ...
7 January 1993
The Cambridge History of Political Thought: 1450-1700 
edited by J.H. Burns and Mark Goldie.
Cambridge, 798 pp., £60, August 1991, 0 521 24716 0
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... This volume is one of a series. Professor Burns has already edited the Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought: c. 250-c. 1450 (1988), Dr Goldie is to join with Robert Wokler in editing the Cambridge History of 18th-Century Political ...
4 November 1993
Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain 
edited by Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 444 pp., £35, March 1993, 9780521392426
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... as the motor of modernity, Pocock challenged the rival and more traditional claims which emphasised theories of natural law and natural rights and which centred on the political thought of John Locke. Here his arguments have encountered strong resistance, though the battle between the two positions can be unreal. James Tully’s essay tactfully demonstrates how often republican and Lockean ...
22 December 1983
The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Vol. II: Party, Parliament and the American Crisis, 1766-1774 
edited by Paul Langford.
Oxford, 508 pp., £40, April 1981, 0 19 822416 8
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The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Vol. V: India: Madras and Bengal, 1774-1785 
edited by P.J. Marshall.
Oxford, 667 pp., £55, July 1983, 0 19 822417 6
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The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: Constitutional Code, Vol. I 
edited by F. Rosen and J.H. Burns.
Oxford, 612 pp., £48, April 1983, 9780198226086
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The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: Deontology, together with a Table of the Springs of Action and Article on Utilitarianism 
edited by Amnon Goldworth.
Oxford, 394 pp., £38, July 1983, 0 19 822609 8
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The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: Chrestomathia 
edited by M.J. Smith and W.H. Burston.
Oxford, 451 pp., £40, November 1983, 0 19 822610 1
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Bentham and Bureaucracy 
by L.J. Hume.
Cambridge, 320 pp., £22.50, September 1981, 0 521 23542 1
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Jeremy Bentham and Representative Democracy: A Study of the Constitutional Code 
by Frederick Rosen.
Oxford, 255 pp., £19.50, May 1983, 9780198226567
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Bentham 
by Ross Harrison.
Routledge, 286 pp., £14.95, September 1983, 0 7100 9526 0
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... the two approaches are really complementary: the first looking forward and the second backward from the text of the Constitutional Code, of which the first volume (1830) is now edited by Professor Burns and Mr Rosen. Although Bentham’s redefinition of sovereignty is far from Burke’s return to natural law, both were born of dissatisfaction – for very different reasons – with the concept of ...
27 October 1988
The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe 
edited by George Holmes.
Oxford, 398 pp., £17.50, March 1988, 0 19 820073 0
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A History of 12th-century Western Philosophy 
edited by Peter Dronke.
Cambridge, 495 pp., £37.50, April 1988, 0 521 25896 0
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The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought c.350-c.1450 
edited by J.H. Burns.
Cambridge, 808 pp., £60, May 1988, 0 521 24324 6
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Medieval Popular Culture: Problem of Belief and Perception 
by Aron Gurevich, translated by Janos Bak and Paul Hollingsworth.
Cambridge, 275 pp., £27.50, May 1988, 0 521 30369 9
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A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World 
edited by George Duby, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 650 pp., £24.95, April 1988, 0 674 39976 5
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... A captious person might mutter that The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe is a little ‘hobbitical’: it reminds one of Professor Tolkien’s hobbits, who ‘liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions’. This would be unfair, in that it is a splendid volume, presenting contemporary scholarship to the general reader with ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945

1 April 1999
The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... restoring a seminal poet to rightful prominence. There are omissions, especially of poets who challenge received opinions, particularly about the Forties and Fifties. We won’t find, for instance, Burns Singer, one of the most original poets of the Fifties, or David Wright and John Heath-Stubbs. All three were friends of Graham, and their inclusion might have helped the Forties and Fifties out of ...
5 April 2007
... or San Francisco. If the blueprint in the Stern Review, commissioned by the Treasury, is followed globally – a big if – we will before long be able to trade carbon anywhere in the world. As John Lanchester noted in the last issue of the LRB, the science of global warming is not straightforward. The basic physics has been clear since the 19th century. What’s been harder to understand in ...
11 April 2013
Collected Poems 
by Edward Dorn.
Carcanet, 995 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84777 126 1
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... living spirit and the slick specs that were the signature of the poet’s transit through the noise of the white world: ‘For Edward Dorn, his brilliant luminous shade.’ The after-image flares and burns like the night the atom-bomb test in the Nevada desert overwhelmed the insolent rococo of the neon waterfalls of Las Vegas. Edward Dorn by Philip Behymer Dorn died of pancreatic cancer, on the ...

Diary

Matthew Hughes: The Man Who Killed Hammarskjöld?

9 August 2001
... might have survived for a time after the crash. It was somewhat surprising that Julian, exposed to the tropical sun, was still alive. The police took him to Ndola hospital suffering from 50 per cent burns, a fractured, dislocated right ankle, skull injuries and uraemia. Before he died a few days later, Julian told Inspector Trevor Wright of the Rhodesian police of sparks in the sky, and an explosion ...

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