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Clever, or even Clever-Clever

Adam Kuper: Edmund Leach

23 May 2002
Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life 
by Stanley Tambiah.
Cambridge, 517 pp., £60, February 2002, 0 521 52102 5
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The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. I: Anthropology and Society 
by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw.
Yale, 406 pp., £30, February 2001, 0 300 08124 3
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The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. II: Culture and Human Nature 
by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw.
Yale, 420 pp., £30, February 2001, 0 300 08508 7
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... in Cambridge in the 1960s I was of the school of Fortes, but that was a pretty dull school. Leach’s arguments seemed much more exciting, and I devoured everything he wrote. Stephen Hugh-Jones and JamesLaidlaw have made an excellent selection from his writings, filling two large volumes, and contribute well-informed and perceptive commentaries. Ploughing one’s way through the later pieces is a ...

Dream Leaps

Tessa Hadley: Alice Munro

25 January 2007
The View from Castle Rock 
by Alice Munro.
Chatto, 349 pp., £15.99, November 2006, 0 7011 7989 9
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... Without ever losing her focus on these other, past lives, she also seems to be giving us a magical account of her own life in writing, tracing a history for her imagination. Munro follows her Laidlaw family history back to the Ettrick Valley, fifty miles south of Edinburgh and thirty miles north of the English border, which her great-great-great-grandfather James and his family left in 1818. Much ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers

16 July 2014
... before her arrest, she got friendly texts from Tony Blair (‘I’m no use on police stuff but call me after that because I may be some help on Commons’). Blair also offered advice to Rupert and James Murdoch. Peter Mandelson offered to prep Brooks for an appearance before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Two Conservative peers gave glowing character references: Baron Black ...
10 November 1988
MacDiarmid 
by Alan Bold.
Murray, 482 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 7195 4585 4
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A Drunk Man looks at the Thistle 
by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Kenneth Buthlay.
Scottish Academic Press, 203 pp., £12.50, February 1988, 0 7073 0425 3
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The Hugh MacDiarmid-George Ogilvie Letters 
edited by Catherine Kerrigan.
Aberdeen University Press, 156 pp., £24.90, August 1988, 0 08 036409 8
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Hugh MacDiarmid and the Russian 
by Peter McCarey.
Scottish Academic Press, 225 pp., £12.50, March 1988, 0 7073 0526 8
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... Diarmid’, he was already editing the magazine under his own name, reviewing for it as ‘Martin Gillespie’, and employing himself as its Advertising Manager (and occasional contributor), ‘A.K. Laidlaw’. We tend to think of the subject of this biography as the greatest voice of modern Scottish literature; more accurately, he is the greatest chorus. Born in 1892 in the Scottish Border mill-town of ...

About Myself

Liam McIlvanney: James​ Hogg

18 November 2004
The Electric Shepherd: A Likeness of James​ Hogg 
by Karl Miller.
Faber, 401 pp., £25, August 2003, 0 571 21816 4
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Altrive Tales 
by James​ Hogg, edited by Gillian Hughes.
Edinburgh, 293 pp., £40, July 2003, 0 7486 1893 7
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... On a winter’s evening in 1803, James Hogg turned up for dinner at the home of Walter Scott. The man his host liked to call ‘the honest grunter’ was shown into the drawing-room, where a pregnant Mrs Scott was resting on a sofa ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden

7 January 2016
... evidence about corruption at the Sun, which hadn’t even been under investigation. Among the first officials to be arrested were Richard Trunkfield, a prison officer who had sold details about James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables; Alan Tierney, a Surrey police constable who was paid £1250 for passing information that John Terry’s mother had been cautioned for shoplifting, and Ronnie Wood for ...

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