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Whig Dreams

Margaret Anne Doody

27 February 1992
A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain 
by Daniel Defoe, edited by P.N. Furbank and W.R. Owens.
Yale, 423 pp., £19.95, July 1991, 0 300 04980 3
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James​ Thomson: A Life 
by James Sambrook.
Oxford, 332 pp., £40, October 1991, 0 19 811788 4
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... revelling at once in the period’s quaintness and its sense of opportunity. At the same time that Defoe was travelling on the muddy highways and muddier byways of England and Scotland, a young poet, James Thomson (b. 1700), was roaming the cold hills of Scotland. Defoe, who toured through the area where James Thomson was born, thought little of it: agriculture in Roxburghshire was in a pitiful state ...

Heroes

Pat Rogers

6 November 1986
Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... importance of West’s picture of the death of Wolfe. We knew well enough that this was a watershed in art history, but Wind shows us why, in much greater detail and in a richer historical context. James Thornhill’s comparatively little-known versions of ‘modern’ life are tellingly invoked. Then there is an amazingly learned search for the sources of David’s Oath of the Horatii. The trail ...

At least that was the idea

Thomas Keymer: Johnson and Boswell’s Club

10 October 2019
The Club: Johnson, Boswell and the Friends who Shaped an Age 
by Leo Damrosch.
Yale, 488 pp., £20, April, 978 0 300 21790 2
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... political orator and thinker was yet to take off. Other heavyweights joined a few years later: Edward Gibbon was made a member in 1774 and Adam Smith in 1775. The importance of other members, such as James Boswell and the pioneering linguistician William Jones, was recognised only posthumously. Alongside Johnson himself (and before one even gets to Garrick or Reynolds), their involvement supports Leo ...

At The Hutton Enquiry

Daniel Soar: Hutton’s Big Top

11 September 2003
... t always fully legible to the scribbler being questioned; conversely, and entertainingly, some of the excised sections of evidence aren’t very well blacked out). And here is a question put by James Dingemans QC (Lord Hutton’s chief – and, currently, chiefly benign – inquisitor) to Alastair Campbell: ‘Mr Powell told us yesterday that you had told him that Mr Baldwin had told you that the ...

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