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Raining

Donald Davie

5 May 1983
Later Poems 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 224 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 333 34560 6
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Thomas Hardy Annual, No 1 
edited by Norman Page.
Macmillan, 205 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 333 32022 0
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Tess of the d’Urbervilles 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Juliet Grindle and Simon Gatrell.
Oxford, 636 pp., £50, March 1983, 0 19 812495 3
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Hardy’s Love Poems 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Carl Weber.
Macmillan, 253 pp., £3.95, February 1983, 0 333 34798 6
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. I: Wessex Poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, Time’s Laughingstocks 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 403 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 19 812708 1
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... pages listing ‘Punctuation and Styling Variants’), I have no difficulty in deciding that it hasn’t been long-needed by me. The other Oxford book is more curious. In 1979 appeared in one volume JamesGibson’s Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy: A Variorum Edition. And this Richard Taylor calls ‘a major publishing event ... carried out with meticulous care and loving exactness ...’ That is ...

Cheeky

Norman Page

16 March 1989
Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VI, 1920-1925 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 379 pp., £27.50, March 1987, 0 19 812623 9
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Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Vol. VII, 1926-1927 
edited by Richard Little Purdy and Michael Millgate.
Oxford, 304 pp., £29.50, October 1988, 0 19 812624 7
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Thomas Hardy: The Offensive Truth 
by John Goode.
Blackwell, 184 pp., £17.95, September 1988, 0 631 13954 0
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The Thomas Hardy Journal. Vol. IV: October 1988 
edited by James Gibson.
Thomas Hardy Society, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1988, 0 00 268541 8
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Hardy’s Metres and Victorian Prosody 
by Dennis Taylor.
Oxford, 297 pp., £32.50, December 1988, 9780198129677
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Collected Short Stories 
by Thomas Hardy.
Macmillan, 936 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 47332 9
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... Inside most collections of letters is another ghostly volume we are unable to read, for it contains all those letters that have been lost or destroyed. Hence a scholarly enterprise such as the Purdy/Millgate edition, now complete, of Hardy’s letters, handsomely produced and impeccably edited though it is – or perhaps precisely because it has such a finished and monumental look – can inadvertently ...

Waldorf’s Birthday Present

Gabriele Annan: The Lovely Langhornes

7 January 1999
The Langhorne Sisters 
by James​ Fox.
Granta, 612 pp., £20, November 1998, 1 86207 071 7
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... Langhorne was 22 and had had 62 proposals. Getting proposals was what Southern belles were brought up to do. Irene was the second of the five Langhorne sisters of Richmond, Virginia. She married Dana Gibson, the inventor of the Gibson girl. Famous for her beauty from coast to coast, she never got divorced and never gave any trouble, so she doesn’t come into James Fox’s story much; and neither does ...

Thin Ayrshire

Andrew O’Hagan

25 May 1995
... David Gibson was a man stiff and parsonical; by all accounts the sort of man who got things done. You could say he was obsessed with ridding Glasgow of its slums, with turning them into something bright and high ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Successive John Murrays

8 November 2018
... months later to the famous debate on evolution between Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley at the Oxford Museum, appeared in the Quarterly Review, which was published by Murray’s. The editor was John Gibson Lockhart, but we aren’t told why he chose to commission what was guaranteed to be a savage review. The Quarterly was founded by Murray II in 1809 when publishers’ operations in the last Georgian ...
9 May 1996
John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James​ Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... Now we don’t want to see no John Wayne performances out here,’ a sergeant tells his platoon in Vietnam. We see them anyway, collected in Slotkin’s book and in Warrior Dreams (1994) by James William Gibson. When Philip Caputo joined the Marines, he saw himself ‘charging up some distant beachhead, like John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima’. ‘War movies with John Wayne’ sent Ron Kovic ...

Northern Laughter

Karl Miller: Macrone on Scott

9 October 2013
The Life of Sir Walter Scott 
by John Macrone, edited by Daniel Grader.
Edinburgh, 156 pp., £65, February 2013, 978 0 7486 6991 2
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... Students of the life and works of Walter Scott and James Hogg may have glimpsed the shadowy, not to say meteoric, not to say dubious presence of the publisher John Macrone, and learned of his prompt desire, after Scott’s death in September 1832, to write ...
5 February 1987
Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction 
by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove.
Gollancz, 511 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 575 03942 6
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Eon 
by Greg Bear.
Gollancz, 504 pp., £10.95, October 1986, 0 575 03861 6
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts 
by Douglas Adams.
Heinemann, 590 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 434 00920 2
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland 
by Philip K. Dick.
Gollancz, 199 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 575 03875 6
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The Watcher 
by Jane Palmer.
Women’s Press, 177 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4038 0
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I, Vampire 
by Jody Scott.
Women’s Press, 206 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4036 4
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... of A.E. van Vogt’s Voyage of the Space Beagle. The presence of Darwinism can then be felt everywhere, from Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids (very clearly a novel about conflict between species) to James Blish’s A Case of Conscience (surely the only novel ever to have been based on a thorough reading of George Gosse’s Omphalos, his totally discredited reconciliation of Darwin and the Book of ...

Diary

McGuire Gibson: The Theft of Iraq’s Antiquities

1 January 2009
... soldiers, commercial officers and diplomats began to explore the area and map it. In the process, they often made attempts to identify cities known from biblical and classical sources. Claudius James Rich, of the East India Company, correctly identified, explored and mapped Babylon and Nineveh, and visited many other sites. Excavation and extraction began in earnest in 1842, when Paul-Emile Botta ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters

2 August 2007
The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... had been a mix-up or tampering of some kind. Even the most principled rationalists are reluctant to abandon a crusade in which they have invested so much. After a lifetime’s campaigning to prove James Hanratty’s innocence, the incorruptible Paul Foot refused to accept the DNA evidence that after all Hanratty had raped Valerie Storie and therefore must have been guilty of the A6 murder ...

Binarisms

John Sutherland

18 November 1993
Complicity 
by Iain Banks.
Little, Brown, 313 pp., £15.99, September 1993, 0 316 90688 3
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Against a Dark Background 
by Iain M. Banks.
Orbit, 496 pp., £8.99, January 1994, 1 85723 185 6
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... author to make them otherwise. His science fiction is not visionary but gamesome. It has more in common with Nintendo than H.G. Wells or Hugo Gernsback. But Banks does not (like the cyberpunk William Gibson) mock the great traditions of the genre; there are moments when Against a Dark Background, for instance, recalls the kitsch utopianism of Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ series. Philip Marlowe used to ...

Madder Men

Hal Foster: Richard Hamilton on Richard Hamilton

24 October 2019
Richard Hamilton: Introspective 
by Phillip Spectre.
König, 408 pp., £49, September, 978 3 88375 695 0
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... in new ways; even as Hamilton acknowledged the breakdown of academic figuration, he couldn’t accept the limitations of pure abstraction. A third text, The Perception of the Visual World (1950) by James J. Gibson, ‘a study of how motion affects a viewer in a three-dimensional space’, also played an important role in his art-making (Duchamp was interested in such questions too). During this ...

Burying Scott

Marilyn Butler

7 September 1995
The Life of Walter Scott: A Critical Biography 
by John Sutherland.
Blackwell, 386 pp., £19.99, January 1995, 1 55786 231 1
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... streetwise, set foursquare in a ‘real world’ in which careers achieve money and power and character is at least 51 per cent image. In its worldly wisdom it resembles the first of its kind, John Gibson Lockhart’s pioneering five-volume Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (1837-8), though the drift of the two Lives is in opposite directions. Sutherland has come to bury Scott, while Lockhart ...
27 June 1991
The Burn 
by James​ Kelman.
Secker, 244 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 436 23286 3
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Blood 
by Janice Galloway.
Secker, 179 pp., £12.99, March 1991, 0 436 20027 9
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... James Kelman was born in Glasgow in 1946. After spells in the US as a teenager, London as a young adult, he returned to Glasgow, where he now lives and works. Janice Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1956 ...
2 March 1989
Erasmus’s Annotations on the New Testament. The Gospels: Facsimile of the final Latin text with all earlier variants 
edited by Anne Reeve.
Duckworth, 284 pp., £35, March 1986, 9780715619902
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Erasmus’s Annotations on the New Testament: From Philologist to Theologian 
by Erika Rummel.
Toronto, 234 pp., £24.50, January 1987, 0 8020 5683 0
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A New Rabelais Bibliography: Editions of Rabelais before 1626 
by Stephen Rawles and M.A. Screech.
Droz, 691 pp.
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The Library of Robert Burton 
by Nicholas Kiessling.
Oxford Bibliographic Society, 433 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 901420 42 5
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... as well as his own. He entered the prices in 242 books; in over a hundred of these he added the date of purchase. An Appendix to Kiessling’s new catalogue, which supersedes that of Strickland Gibson and F.R.D. Needham (1926), lists these former owners, along with others subsequently associated with Burton’s books. The introduction and description are admirably done. To historians, the ...

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