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The Whole Orang

Paul Smith, 12 March 1992

Darwin 
by Adrian Desmond and James Moore.
Joseph, 808 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 7181 3430 3
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... any individual could singlehandedly precipitate a major shift in human thought. Adrian Desmond and James Moore place Darwin above Marx and Freud. It is hard to think of successors to that trinity of lone rangers in an age when research is financed by foundations and carried on by teams and generally mounted on the kind of scale where the capacity of ...

The Kentish Hog

Adrian Desmond, 15 October 1987

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol. II: 1837-1843 
edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith.
Cambridge, 603 pp., £30, March 1987, 0 521 25588 0
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The Works of Charles Darwin 
edited by Paul Barrett and R.B. Freeman.
Pickering & Chatto, 10 pp., £470, March 1987, 1 85196 002 3
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The Darwinian Heritage 
edited by David Kohn.
Princeton, 1138 pp., £67.90, February 1986, 0 691 08356 8
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Western Science in the Arab World: The Impact of Darwinism, 1860-1930 
by Adel Ziadat.
Macmillan, 162 pp., £27.50, October 1986, 0 333 41856 5
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Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate 1844-1944 
by Peter Bowler.
Blackwell, 318 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 631 15264 4
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Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute 
by James Secord.
Princeton, 363 pp., £33.10, October 1986, 0 691 08417 3
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Darwin’s Metaphor: Nature’s Place in Victorian Culture 
by Robert Young.
Cambridge, 341 pp., £30, October 1985, 0 521 31742 8
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... even lowering the lane outside his house to protect himself from view. It’s a subject that James Moore has made particularly his own, providing the definitive account of Darwin’s fears, phobias and life options in his lynchpin essay in The Darwinian Heritage. The Darwinian Heritage is a richly-detailed volume, daunting in size. It contains 31 ...

Desmondism

John Sutherland, 23 March 1995

Huxley: The Devil’s Disciple 
by Adrian Desmond.
Joseph, 474 pp., £20, November 1994, 0 7181 3641 1
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... and Ancestors (1982), The Politics of Evolution (1989) and, most successfully, Darwin (1991, with James Moore). Desmond’s literary technique has itself undergone evolution and, with his last two works, is now perfectly adapted to his purposes. Biography (currently the best-paid and best-selling of genres) is Desmond’s preferred form despite the fact ...

Pushy Times

David Solkin, 25 March 1993

The Great Age of British Watercolours 1750-1880 
by Andrew Wilton and Anne Lyles.
Prestel, 339 pp., £21.50, January 1993, 3 7913 1254 5
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... brief career, Girtin had quite willingly accepted a commission from the publisher-cum-antiquarian James Moore to produce an extensive series of finished watercolours of castles and monastic ruins; these drawings were based on rough sketches done by Moore himself, who subsequently arranged for several of the Girtins to ...

Lucky’s Dip

James Fox, 12 November 1987

Trail of Havoc: In the Steps of Lord Lucan 
by Patrick Marnham.
Viking, 204 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 670 81391 5
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Lucan: Not Guilty 
by Sally Moore.
Sidgwick, 271 pp., £12.95, October 1987, 9780283995361
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... what an unsympathetic appearance they gave to the rest of the world,’ writes Marnham. Sally Moore began her book in 1975, had a manuscript ready by 1980 and has been struggling for publication ever since. Hers is a crusade to exonerate Lucan, with the help of his family, and with the piling-on of a mass of detail, as if the sheer weight of her ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Skyfall’, 22 November 2012

Skyfall 
directed by Sam Mendes.
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... When Daniel Craig took on the role of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), there was much talk of the real thing. Here at last was the mean, lethal, almost banter-free figure we thought Ian Fleming had invented, the ruthless, funless fellow we imagined we had always wanted. He had a licence to kill but his real licence was his angry work ethic ...

Dipper

Jason Harding: George Moore, 21 September 2000

George Moore, 1852-1933 
by Adrian Frazier.
Yale, 604 pp., £29.95, May 2000, 0 300 08245 2
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... In February 1932, on the occasion of George Moore’s 80th birthday, a group of distinguished London literati published an encomium in the Times paying homage to ‘a master of English letters’. Today there are few critics who would find a place for him in a pantheon of English novelists – of his 16 novels and numerous short stories, only Esther Waters counts as a ‘Penguin Classic ...

Pioneers

Christopher Reid, 3 September 1981

Some Americans: A Personal Record 
by Charles Tomlinson.
California, 134 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 520 04037 6
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... them.’ The innovators to whom he refers are those American poets – Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams and others – whose work and moral example have been of importance to his own growth as a writer. The sentence quoted above, with its tinge of elegy and irony, occurs in the fourth and final chapter of Tomlinson’s new, brief book ...

Gains in Clarity

P.F. Strawson, 4 November 1982

Philosophy in the 20th Century 
by A.J. Ayer.
Weidenfeld, 283 pp., £12.50, September 1982, 0 297 78179 0
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... American pragmatism from ‘the analytic movement’ and assigns Goodman and Quine as well as James and Lewis to the former, while the coverage of the latter runs from Russell to Dummett via the members of the Vienna Circle and a number of familiar English and American names. But if Lewis, Quine and Goodman were, or are, content to call themselves ...

Half Snake, Half Panther

James Davidson: Nijinsky, 26 September 2013

Nijinsky 
by Lucy Moore.
Profile, 324 pp., £25, May 2013, 978 1 84668 618 4
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... I would starve to death.’ Following the Paris season Diaghilev took him to Venice, for what Lucy Moore in her new biography describes as ‘an unconventional honeymoon’. In 1910, the god of the dance returned to Paris. This time he starred in Schéhérazade. The fun-loving Queen Zobéide, played by the extraordinary-looking Ida Rubinstein, cajoles the ...

Henry James and Romance

Barbara Everett, 18 June 1981

Henry James Letters. Vol. III: 1883-1895 
edited by Leon Edel.
Macmillan, 579 pp., £17.50, March 1981, 0 333 18046 1
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Culture and Conduct in the Novels of Henry James 
by Alwyn Berland.
Cambridge, 231 pp., £17.50, April 1981, 0 521 23343 7
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Literary Reviews and Essays, A London Life, The Reverberator, Italian Hours, The Sacred Fount, Watch and Ward 
by Henry James.
Columbus, 409 pp., £2.60, February 1981, 0 394 17098 9
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... Edith Wharton once asked Henry James why it was that his novels so curiously lacked real life. James’s private name for her was the ‘Angel of Devastation’, and the fact that she not only perpetrated this remark but went on to record it expressionlessly in her memoirs shows just what he meant ...

I’m a Cahunian

Adam Mars-Jones: Claude Cahun, 2 August 2018

Never Anyone But You 
by Rupert Thomson.
Corsair, 340 pp., £18.99, June 2018, 978 1 4721 5350 0
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... partner, Suzanne Malherbe, born in 1892, who also took a name with a masculine implication, Marcel Moore. ‘Life partner’ seems a defensible term despite the element of euphemism, since it acknowledges an element of the familial in what was presumably a sexual relationship. The two knew each other in childhood, and in 1917 became stepsisters when ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore, 10 August 2000

Brian MooreThe Chameleon Novelist 
by Denis Sampson.
Marino, 344 pp., IR£20, October 1998, 1 86023 078 4
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... In the second chapter of Brian Moore’s first novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, Miss Hearne gets to know her fellow boarders, especially the landlady’s brother, the returned Yank, Mr Madden. They discuss the difference between men and women in Ireland and America. ‘Guys beating their brains out to keep their wives in mink,’ Mr Madden complains ...

Gender Distress

Elaine Showalter, 9 May 1996

In the Cut 
by Susanna Moore.
Picador, 180 pp., £12.99, April 1996, 0 330 34452 8
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The End of Alice 
by A.M. Homes.
Scribner, 271 pp., $22, March 1996, 0 684 81528 1
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... masochist, male and female, that have become central obsessions of contemporary culture. Susanna Moore’s novel In the Cut, which laconically describes a ‘liberated’ woman’s fascination with sexual danger, ends in a gruesome encounter between knifer and knifed. ‘This dress is a mess,’ the killer says to his victim in distaste. ‘I don’t like ...

I myself detest all Modern Art

Anne Diebel: Scofield Thayer, 9 April 2015

The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer 
by James Dempsey.
Florida, 240 pp., £32.50, February 2014, 978 0 8130 4926 7
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... partly because he did so little to promote himself. Before he took over the Dial, he wrote James Joyce a cheque for $700; it came to Joyce from his publisher with a note that read: ‘Please don’t imagine that America is full of rich young men of that kind!’ Thayer wasn’t modest, but he was discreet, especially compared to the most prominent New ...

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