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England’s End

Peter Campbell

7 June 1984
English Journey 
by J.B. Priestley.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 434 60371 6
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English Journey, or The Road to Milton Keynes 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth/BBC, 158 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 563 20299 8
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Crisis and Conservation: Conflict in the British Countryside 
by Charlie Pye-Smith and Chris Rose.
Penguin, 213 pp., £3.95, March 1984, 0 14 022437 8
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Invisible Country: A Journey through Scotland 
by James Campbell.
Weidenfeld, 164 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 297 78371 8
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Literary Britain 
by Bill Brandt.
Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Hurtwood Press, 184 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 905209 66 4
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... reaches the bottom of its downward swing, the BBC send out Bainbridge to follow Priestley, and James Campbell records travels which were in the spirit, if not the footsteps of Muir. Why novelists? Perhaps because it is reckoned that they will give a human dimension to the changes documented in unemployment statistics and land-use maps. Connoisseurs of ...
17 November 1983
The Anglo-Saxons 
edited by James Campbell.
Phaidon, 272 pp., £16.50, July 1982, 0 7148 2149 7
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Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective 
by C.R. Dodwell.
Manchester, 353 pp., £35, October 1982, 0 7190 0861 1
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Anglo-Saxon Poetry 
edited by S.A.J. Bradley.
Dent, 559 pp., £10.95, August 1982, 0 460 10794 1
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The Anglo-Saxon World 
edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Boydell and Brewer, 275 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85115 169 8
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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The Authentic Voices of England, from the Times of Julius Caesar to the Coronation of Henry II 
by Anne Savage.
Heinemann, 288 pp., £14.95, March 1983, 0 434 98210 5
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... long history indeed – more than a thousand years of continuous existence, so far. This, writes James Campbell, is the defining contrast between England and the other great European states. Despite some redrawing of county boundaries in 1974, most of the administrative geography of England remains today much as it was in the tenth and 11th ...

Answering back

James Campbell

11 July 1991
The Intended 
by David Dabydeen.
Secker, 246 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 436 20007 4
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Cambridge 
by Caryl Phillips.
Bloomsbury, 185 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 0 7475 0886 0
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Lucy 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Cape, 176 pp., £11.99, April 1991, 0 224 03055 8
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... Scottish writers have been insisting on it for years. Adherents of a politics of language such as James Kelman and the poet Tom Leonard (actually the midwife of the Glasgow ‘renaissance’, though less frequently mentioned than his novelist colleagues) do not group together on exclusively nationalist lines: they see themselves as part of a school which has ...

Sweet Fifteen

James Campbell

3 November 1983
Bad Blood: A Family Murder 
by Richard Levine.
Hutchinson, 351 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 09 152360 5
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The Glasgow Rape Case 
by Ross Harper and Arnot McWhinnie.
Hutchinson, 259 pp., £5.95, June 1983, 0 09 151731 1
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Notes from a Waiting-Room 
by Alan Reeve.
Heretic Books, 203 pp., £3.50, May 1983, 0 946097 09 7
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... I couldn’t get in touch with my feelings,’ Marlene Olive remarked one day after it was all over. ‘Lots of times I thought my dad was still alive.’ This must be deemed a serious failure of perception on her part, since with Chuck Riley, her teenage boyfriend and co-star in the true story of Bad Blood, Marlene murdered her parents in an act of astounding brutality ...
7 February 1991
Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin 
by James Campbell.
Faber, 306 pp., £14.99, January 1991, 0 571 15391 7
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James Baldwin: Artist on Fire 
by W.J. Weatherby.
Joseph, 412 pp., £17.99, June 1990, 0 7181 3403 6
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... It may be an accident of rereading that makes me want to put James Baldwin’s essays and novels together, to see The Fire Next Time and Giovanni’s Room, for example, as versions of each other. But the matched books do make interesting sense: more thoughtful sense, perhaps, than the already powerful separate stories ...

Knights of the Road

Tom Clark: The Beat generation

6 July 2000
This is the Beat Generation: New York, San Francisco, Paris 
by James Campbell.
Vintage, 320 pp., £7.99, May 2000, 0 09 928269 0
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... of William Blake intoning ‘Ah, Sunflower’ to him ‘like God had a human voice’. James Campbell, who introduces a note of irony into his reworking of twice-told Beat tales, refers to Ginsberg’s historic undergraduate illumination as ‘hand-held’ – perhaps an allusion to a key detail in what he had said to me: the fact that an act ...

Angela and Son

Dan Jacobson

2 August 1984
Inside Outsider: The Life and Times of Colin MacInnes 
by Tony Gould.
Chatto, 261 pp., £12.50, September 1983, 0 7011 2678 7
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... must be admitted); and the son of Angela Thirkell, the novelist of upper-class English life, and James Campbell McInnes, a man of working-class origins who became the foremost British lieder-singer of his generation. Unfortunately for this marriage of the muses and the classes, Campbell McInnes was also ...

Tears in the Café Select

Christopher Prendergast

9 March 1995
Paris Interzone: Richard Wright, Lolita, Boris Vian and Others on the Left Bank 1946-1960 
by James Campbell.
Secker, 305 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 436 20106 2
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Foreign Correspondent: Paris in the Sixties 
by Peter Lennon.
Picador, 220 pp., £16.99, April 1994, 0 330 31911 6
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The Good Ship Venus: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press 
by John de St Jorre.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 09 177874 3
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... Paris figures in the titles of both James Campbell’s and Peter Lennon’s books, but this is a restricted, specialised Paris. Campbell takes us into something called the ‘Interzone’ (the term is odd, and troublesome), inhabited by assorted exiles, misfits and drop-outs during the Fifties and late Forties ...

Sutton who?

J.A. Burrow

21 January 1988
Old English Meter and Linguistic Theory 
by Geoffrey Russom.
Cambridge, 178 pp., £25, August 1987, 0 521 33168 4
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... historians of Anglo-Saxon England – witness a Phaedon book, The Anglo-Saxons, edited by James Campbell (1982) – but the history of the period figures little in most school curricula. So far as the general public is concerned, it is only the archaeologists who have succeeded in striking a spark of interest. It would be hard, after all, to walk ...

Year of the Viking

Patrick Wormald

17 July 1980
The Vikings 
by James Graham-Campbell and D. Kidd.
British Museum, 192 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 7141 1352 2
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The Viking World 
edited by James Graham-Campbell.
Weidenfeld, 220 pp., £11.95, March 1980, 0 906459 04 4
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The Northern World 
edited by David Wilson.
Thames and Hudson, 248 pp., £15, February 1980, 0 500 25070 7
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Vikings! 
by Magnus Magnusson.
Bodley Head, 320 pp., £10, May 1980, 0 370 30272 9
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The Vikings 
by Johannes Bronsted.
Penguin, 347 pp., £1.95, April 1980, 0 14 020459 8
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Viking Age Sculpture 
by Richard Bailey.
Collins, 288 pp., £10.95, February 1980, 0 00 216228 8
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The Viking Age in Denmark 
by Klaus Randsborg.
Duckworth, 206 pp., £7.95, February 1980, 0 7156 1466 5
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... surprising, because they involve much the same authors. David Wilson contributes forewords to both James Graham-Campbell’s volumes, and James Graham-Campbell writes for David Wilson’s, while Christine Fell is, as it were, the religious affairs ...

Like Steam Escaping

P.N. Furbank: Denton Welch

17 October 2002
Denton Welch: Writer and Artist 
by James Methuen-Campbell.
Tartarus, 268 pp., £30, March 2002, 1 872621 60 0
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... have never belonged to the living world, and lacking in the energy and discipline of his writing. James Methuen-Campbell, as the title of his biography of Welch implies, holds a higher opinion of the paintings; and one of the valuable features of his book is a detailed catalogue of them. His is certainly a sober and ...
6 December 1979
... makes that clear. It sensibly concentrates on the work of a few photographers in particular, James Jarché, Edward Malindinc and Reuben Saidman, who worked for the picture papers that supplied Britain with a serial documentary self-portrait. Their work was often reproduced in the interlocking boxes and circles of composite picture pages, and the ...
3 May 1984
The Unsinkable Aircraft-Carrier: American Military Power in Britain 
by Duncan Campbell.
Joseph, 351 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 7181 2289 5
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... the United States presence.’ I doubt whether Government sources will be able to deny much that Campbell says, since as Field Marshal Lord Carver has put it, ‘Campbell does not rely on emotion or distortion.’ I have reservations about only one point of fact. At the beginning of his book, he says: In June/July ...

Short is sharp

John Sutherland

3 February 1983
Firebird 2 
edited by T.J. Binding.
Penguin, 284 pp., £2.95, January 1983, 0 14 006337 4
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Bech is Back 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 195 pp., £6.95, January 1983, 0 233 97512 8
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The Pangs of Love 
by Jane Gardam.
Hamish Hamilton, 156 pp., £7.50, February 1983, 0 241 10942 6
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The Man Who Sold Prayers 
by Margaret Creal.
Dent, 198 pp., £7.95, January 1983, 9780460045926
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Happy as a Dead Cat 
by Jill Miller.
Women’s Press, 120 pp., £2.50, January 1983, 9780704338982
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... with more fillers than prizes. The best things are from the youngest contributors, such as James Campbell and Alan Hollinghurst, and the less youthful A.E. Ellis. Each here performs the same narrative trick, telling some resonant or portentous tale through more or less awkward or impercipient or blindly obsessive observers. In Hollinghurst’s ...

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