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Fundamental Brainwork

Jerome McGann, 30 March 2000

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Collected Writings 
edited by Jan Marsh.
Dent, 531 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 460 87875 1
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Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Painter and Poet 
by Jan Marsh.
Weidenfeld, 592 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 297 81703 5
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... like Blake, Poe, Browning and many others; those he brought to self-attention, like Swinburne, Morris, Burne-Jones; and everyone from Whistler to Yeats – there were many – whose imaginations were shifted or shaped by his ideas and practice. Though not much now remembered, between approximately 1848 and 1912 Rossetti was, in Whistler’s phrase, ‘a ...

Iraq Must Go!

Charles Glass: The Making and Unmaking of Iraq, 3 October 2002

... independence and unity. In the event of their having to accept a mandate – a term invented by Jan Smuts at Paris to disguise what would in fact be protectorates or colonies – the Syrians asked that the mandatory be the United States. Syria was actually carved into four mandate territories – mini-Syria and Lebanon under the French, Transjordan and ...

How did we decide what Christ looked like?

Frank Kermode: How Jesus Got His Face, 27 April 2000

The Image of Christ 
edited by Gabriele Finaldi.
National Gallery, 224 pp., £14.95, February 2000, 1 85709 292 9
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... coins are placed in the same tradition, the same gallery, as Philip Webb’s beautiful William Morris-inspired Cross of 1897. Other sections on ‘The Dual Nature’ and ‘The True Likeness’ offer similar comparisons between works far apart in time. Yet one cannot help seeing the show chronologically. For example, there is a clear temporal divide ...


R.W. Johnson, 8 February 1990

Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism 
by Raymond Williams, edited by Robin Gable.
Verso, 334 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 86091 229 9
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The Alien Mind of Raymond Williams 
by Jan Gorak.
Missouri, 132 pp., $9.95, December 1988, 0 8262 0688 3
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Raymond Williams: Writing, Culture, Politics 
by Alan O’Connor.
Blackwell, 180 pp., £27.50, June 1989, 0 631 16589 4
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Raymond Williams on Television: Selected Writings 
edited by Alan O’Connor.
Routledge, 223 pp., £7.95, April 1989, 9780415026277
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News from Nowhere: No 6. Raymond Williams: Third Generation 
edited by Tony Pinkney.
Oxford English Limited, 108 pp., £3.50, February 1989
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Raymond Williams: Critical Perspectives 
edited by Terry Eagleton.
Polity, 235 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 9780745603841
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... his wife edited (and which, just as predictably, soon got on the wrong side of Transport House). Jan Gorak, in his excellent little book, notes an obsessive quality in much of Williams’s work: obsession with Orwell, with fighting ‘official culture’, with Ibsen, and, perhaps most of all, with his own immense literary ambition. The great drawback of this ...

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett: A Story, 8 March 2007

... is so cheeky. Now we’ve read Dylan Thomas, haven’t we, and some John Cowper Powys. And Jan Morris we’ve read. But who else is there?’ ‘You could try Kilvert, maam,’ said Norman. ‘Who’s he?’ ‘A vicar, maam. Nineteenth century. Lived on the Welsh borders and wrote a diary. Fond of little girls.’ ‘Oh,’ said the ...

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