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Friend to Sir Philip Sidney

Blair Worden, 3 July 1986

The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 
edited by John Gouws.
Oxford, 279 pp., £40, March 1986, 0 19 812746 4
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... Castle, a plain inscription remembering him as ‘Servant to Queen Elizabeth, Councillor to King James, and Friend to Sir Philip Sidney’. Greville’s life of Sidney, written in the earlier part of James’s reign, is a study in failure. ‘He never was magistrate, nor possessed of any fit stage for eminence to act ...

Little Bastard

Patrick Collinson: Learning to be Queen, 6 July 2000

Elizabeth: Apprenticeship 
by David Starkey.
Chatto, 339 pp., £20, April 2000, 0 7011 6939 7
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Elizabeth I: Collected Works 
edited by Leah Marcus and Janel Mueller.
Chicago, 436 pp., £25, September 2000, 0 226 50464 6
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... a declaration of innocent loyalty to her sister, dated 2 August 1556, to her reaction to the Bartholomew Massacre (‘a thing of a terrible and dangerous example’), to her rebuke to her favourite of favourites, the Earl of Leicester, for exceeding his powers in the Netherlands (‘we could never have imagined ... that a man raised up by ourself and ...

Clubs of Quidnuncs

John Mullan, 17 February 2000

The Dunciad in Four Books 
by Alexander Pope, edited by Valerie Rumbold.
Longman, 456 pp., £55, August 1999, 0 582 08924 7
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... standard Twickenham Edition of Pope’s poetry, the volume given over to The Dunciad, edited by James Sutherland, attempts to present both the 1729 and 1743 versions of the work. It is wonderfully scholarly and informative, and unreadable except by the most sedulous academic. Sutherland’s notes bewilderingly intertwine with Pope’s, and the annotations ...

A Solemn and Unsexual Man

Colin Burrow: Parson Wordsworth, 4 July 2019

Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years 
by Nicholas Roe.
Oxford, 352 pp., £25, November 2018, 978 0 19 881811 3
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Wordsworth’s Fun 
by Matthew Bevis.
Chicago, 264 pp., £22, September 2019, 978 0 226 65219 1
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... the first poet I fell in love with as a teenager. My English teacher (who preferred Pope and Henry James) mocked me for my taste, reminding me of Shelley’s description of Wordsworth in ‘Peter Bell the Third’ as ‘a solemn and unsexual man’. Never afraid of being thought either solemn or unsexual I persevered, and even persuaded my history teacher to ...


Jonathan Rée: Ventriloquists, 10 May 2001

Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism 
by Steven Connor.
Oxford, 449 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 19 818433 6
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... taken it over. In English tradition she came to be known as the Witch of Endor, and in the King James translation she is ‘one possessed of a familiar spirit’, while the Douai version endows her with ‘a divining spirit’; in the Jerusalem Bible she becomes a ‘necromancer’ and the Revised Standard Version makes her a tawdry ‘medium’. But ...

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