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7 October 1993
Maximilian and Juárez 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 353 pp., £16.95, March 1993, 0 09 472070 3
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Maximilian’s Lieutenant: A Personal History of the Mexican Campaign, 1864-7 
by Ernst Pitner, translated and edited by Gordon Etherington-Smith.
Tauris, 256 pp., £35, October 1993, 9781850435600
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... imperialism was the unique global mission of France to spread ‘the values of 1789’, if possible by example, but if necessary by the force of what Michelet called her ‘sacred bayonets’. As JasperRidley shows, Archduke Maximilian lent himself to this risky venture with a characteristic mixture of eagerness and indecision. When he first met Napoleon III in 1856, he was rightly suspicious, but ...
19 July 1984
Faces of Philip: A Memoir of Philip Toynbee 
by Jessica Mitford.
Heinemann, 175 pp., £9.95, July 1984, 0 434 46802 9
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... novel: his early novel about a prep school still seems to me the best and most desolating evocation of the feelings of masters and boys that I have read. His relationship with Giles Romilly and JasperRidley was wonderfully described in Friends Apart, even if his portrait of Ridley is said by those who knew him not to resemble Ridley at all; he knew how to convey his puzzlement at finding such ...
6 February 1986
Holy Smoke 
by G. Cabrera Infante.
Faber, 329 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 571 13518 8
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Tobacco on the Periphery. A Case Study in Cuban Labour History: 1860-1958 
by Jean Stubbs.
Cambridge, 203 pp., £25, April 1985, 9780521254236
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... The vivid and well-known phrase that Garibaldi ordered men to be shot ‘without taking the cigar out of his mouth’ is unfortunately an incorrect translation of Hoffstetter’s original German. JasperRidley, Garibaldi Some twenty years ago the idea (come from England, no doubt) that cigars, like Loos’s blondes, were for gentlemen only, was dispelled by the scraggly mien of Fidel Castro and Che ...
21 October 1982
Palmerston: The Early Years, 1784-1841 
by Kenneth Bourne.
Allen Lane, 749 pp., £25, August 1982, 0 7139 1083 6
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... hottest. To celebrate the centenary of Palmerston’s death in 1965, Donald Southgate reasserted the virtues of Palmerstonian patriotism in a decade of imperial demise and national self-doubt. But JasperRidley, writing most recently, was decidedly equivocal in his praise for ‘the most English minister’. It is a measure of Kenneth Bourne’s achievement that if he completes his study with a ...
9 April 1992
Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being 
by Ted Hughes.
Faber, 517 pp., £18.99, March 1992, 0 571 16604 0
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... beginning in the ‘realistic terms’ of actual history, but by now it is too late. Hughes cannot bring himself to examine the historical record and contemplate a monarch whose Stalin-like actions JasperRidley and other present-day historians detail. Even so, what is remarkable about Hughes is that he lets his imagination rip along the interface of two opposed ideas about the Reformation. The first ...

Midwinter

J.B. Trapp

17 November 1983
Thomas More: History and Providence 
by Alistair Fox.
Blackwell, 271 pp., £19.50, September 1982, 0 631 13094 2
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The Statesman and the Fanatic: Thomas Wolsey and Thomas More 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 338 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 9780094634701
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English Reformation Literature: The Tudor Origins of the Protestant Tradition 
by John King.
Princeton, 539 pp., £30.70, December 1982, 0 691 06502 0
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Seven-Headed Luther: Essays in Commemoration of a Quincentenary, 1483-1983 
edited by Peter Newman Brooks.
Oxford, 325 pp., £22.50, July 1983, 0 19 826648 0
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The Complete Works of St Thomas More. Vol. VI: A Dialogue concerning Heresies. Part 1: The Text, Part 2: Introduction, Commentary, Appendices, Glossary, Index 
edited by T.M.C. Lawler, Germain Marc’hadour and Richard Marius.
Yale, 435 pp., £76, November 1981, 0 300 02211 5
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... title to be, to quote J.A. Guy, one of the very few who have enlarged the boundaries of the human spirit. To most people, those last years fashion yet another More. Which More shall we choose? JasperRidley’s is yet another: not merely a fanatic, but the sort of sneaking, unmanly fellow who uses two pseudonyms for the same book against Luther. (For that matter he also pretended that his ...

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