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It has burned my heart

Anna Della Subin: Lives of Muhammad

21 October 2015
The Lives of Muhammad 
by Kecia Ali.
Harvard, 342 pp., £22.95, October 2014, 978 0 674 05060 0
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... than a hundred years. It even took on a strange second life in the United States. After Matthew Lyon, a Congressman with a printing press, was sent to prison under President John Adams’s controversial Sedition Act of 1798, which prohibited citizens from criticising the government, his son James Lyon reprinted the ...

The Rat Line

Christopher Driver

6 December 1984
The Fourth Reich 
by Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 340 34443 1
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I didn’t say goodbye 
by Claudine Vegh.
Caliban, 179 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 904573 93 1
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... and cried out. As a reminder of what Klaus Barbie was about, not just at the Hotel Terminus in Lyon forty years ago but at the Bolivian Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters in La Paz as late as 1980, the moment served. An inkling of the more enduring wounds for which Barbie was proud to share responsibility can be gathered from Claudine Vegh’s I didn’t ...

Modern Brecht

Margot Heinemann

5 August 1982
Bertolt Brecht in America 
by James Lyon.
Princeton, 408 pp., £11, January 1981, 0 691 06443 1
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Bertolt Brecht: Political Theory and Literary Practice 
edited by Betty Webber and Hubert Heinen.
Manchester, 208 pp., £15, February 1981, 0 7190 0806 9
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by Jan Needle and Peter Thomson.
Blackwell, 235 pp., £9, February 1981, 0 631 19610 2
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... as we are ever likely to need about Brecht as a refugee there from 1941 to 1947. Professor Lyon has drawn on letters, archives and the FBI’s 1,000-page file on Brecht, as well as interviewing scores of his contemporaries. The ins and outs of his quarrels with producers and managers about the staging (or more often non-staging) of his plays are now of ...


Norman Page

8 January 1987
Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton 
by Flora Fraser.
Weidenfeld, 410 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 297 78895 7
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Loving Emma 
by Nigel Foxell.
Harvester, 201 pp., £8.95, March 1986, 0 7108 1056 3
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... illiterate, and died a few weeks after his daughter’s birth. The child began life as Emy Lyon; Emma, a more suitable name for a heroine, came much later. After a childhood spent at her grandparents’ home at Hawarden in Wales, and a very exiguous education, she became an under-nursemaid in the home of a Hawarden surgeon, and then moved to ...

Back home

Mary Warnock

1 September 1983
Cohabitation without Marriage 
by Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon.
Gower, 228 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 566 00455 0
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A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture 
by Steven Mintz.
New York, 234 pp., $32.50, May 1983, 0 8147 5388 4
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What is to be done about the family? 
edited by Lynne Segal.
Penguin, 237 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 006596 2
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‘Autistic’ Children: New Hope for a Cure 
by N. Tinbergen and E.A. Tinbergen.
Allen and Unwin, 362 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 04 157010 3
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Thicker than water? Adoption: Its Loyalties, Pitfalls and Joys 
by Alice Heim.
Secker, 211 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 436 19155 5
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The Artificial Family: A Consideration of Artificial Insemination by Donor 
by R. Snowden and G.D. Mitchell.
Counterpoint, 138 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 0 04 176002 6
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... is certain: the family is the norm. In Cohabitation without Marriage Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon argue that the law constantly assimilates non-marriage to marriage, the setting up of a ‘free’ non-marital household to the establishment of a regular legitimate family. The consequence is a tendency to impose on cohabitation the hierarchical relation ...
22 July 1993
The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales 
edited by Alison Luire.
Oxford, 455 pp., £17.95, May 1993, 0 19 214218 6
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The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales 
edited by Angela Carter.
Virago, 230 pp., £7.99, July 1993, 1 85381 616 7
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... but intrinsic to the medium. Angela Carter, one of whose jolliest tales, ‘The Courtship of Mr Lyon’, is included by Alison Lurie, had a lot of fun with menstrual blood and feminist resourcefulness, but the original Red Riding Hoods and Bluebeard’s wives were serenely unaware of meanings. For all the change in the message, Angela Carter’s tales are ...
17 July 1980
... are treated with equal care and sympathy: the Methodist. Dinah Morris; the Independent, Rufus Lyon; the more obscure little sects like those at Lantern Yard or Highbury, where Silas Marner and Nicholas Bulstrode were youthful members. Her treatment of the Jews in Daniel Deronda evoked their fervid gratitude. In her hands the novel, too long a trivial ...

At Tate Britain

Anne Wagner: ‘Salt and Silver’

20 May 2015
... South Devon Railway, Dawlish (1856) by J.W.G. Gutch. The Brady Studio’s Landing Supplies on the James River, Virginia (1863-64) was shot in a war zone regularly subject to Confederate sabotage; such a scene surely should be hectic, but only if you look very closely can you see the ghost of a horse-drawn wagon turning round. If early photography is possessed ...

Madame, vous fatiguez les singes

E.S. Turner: The Tower Menagerie

24 July 2003
The Tower Menagerie: Being the Amazing True Story of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts 
by Daniel Hahn.
Simon and Schuster, 260 pp., £15.99, March 2003, 0 7432 2081 1
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... who slaughtered five thousand wild beasts on the opening day of the Colosseum. It was left to James I to popularise baiting as an attraction at the Tower, thus promoting the sport from the disreputable status it enjoyed in the urban bear gardens. For better viewing, James refashioned the Lion Tower, but there was little ...
17 December 1992
‘L’Avenir dure longtemps’ suivi de ‘Les Faits’: Autobiographies 
by Louis Althusser.
Stock, 356 pp., frs 144, May 1992, 2 234 02473 0
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Louis Althusser: Une biographie. Vol. I: La Formation du mythe 
by Yann Moulier Boutang.
Grasset, 509 pp., frs 175, April 1992, 2 246 38071 5
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... were townspeople, the father a bank manager whose work took him from Algiers to Marseille to Lyon; the grandparents, on the other hand, were out-and-out country people, with a family name to prove it: Berger. Grandfather Berger was a forester who retired to a village in the Morvan and there inducted the boy Althusser into a savingly ...

Hm, hm and that was all

Rosemary Hill: Queen Mary

6 December 2018
The Quest for Queen Mary 
by James Pope-Hennessy, edited by Hugo Vickers.
Zuleika, 335 pp., £25, September 2018, 978 1 9997770 3 6
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... there like Queen Mary’ was to indicate that a terminal blight had been cast over the occasion. James Pope-Hennessy, born in 1916, belonged to that generation. He came from a distinguished Catholic and literary family and was a friend of many of his most interesting contemporaries, Cecil Beaton and James Lees-Milne among ...


Hugh Honour

13 November 1997
A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 
compiled by John Ingamells.
Yale, 1070 pp., £50, May 1997, 0 300 07165 5
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... of roast beef in the chaise will prove an excellent companion’), clothing (black velvet coat and Lyon silk waistcoat for winter), necessary medicines, company to be cultivated or avoided, and the perennial problems of changing money and disbursing tips. (This previously unpublished manuscript is printed as a Preface to the Dictionary.) The Tour ...
5 January 1989
The King’s Jaunt: George IV in Scotland, 1822 
by John Prebble.
Collins, 399 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 00 215404 8
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... with their entirely bogus link to the tribal names of Highland Scotland, described by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as ‘humbug’ and by Lt-Col. M. M. Haldane in the most closely-argued study of the matter as a ‘myth’. I owe this information to the Highlander magazine for August, published from Chicago and itself partly a catalogue of clannish ...

Calcutta in the Cotswolds

David Gilmour: What did the British do for India?

3 March 2005
Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India 
by Elizabeth Buettner.
Oxford, 324 pp., £25, July 2004, 0 19 924907 5
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... account of such an exile in his story ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’. But many others, Richard Rhodes James for example, have recorded their experiences as ‘orphans of the Raj, paying the price of empire by a separation from parents’. Parents, too, of course had to pay the price, especially mothers, who were forced to choose between living for years either ...

Further Left

R.W. Johnson

16 August 1990
Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Hogarth, 357 pp., £9.99, July 1990, 0 7012 0903 8
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Blood, Class and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 398 pp., £18, July 1990, 0 7011 3361 9
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... Faurisson is one of the nest of ‘revisionist’ historians to be found at the University of Lyon (which Hitchens insists on misspelling as Lyons) who believe that the Holocaust was a hoax got up to blacken Hitler’s good name. Not surprisingly, Faurisson and his friends are deeply unpopular, and Chomsky merely wrote ...

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