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Read, rattle and roll

Malcolm Deas, 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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... when he was 12, and confesses to peeping through windows of Cuban cigar factories ever since. Jean Stubbs went to Cuba in 1968 to survey the same scene, motivated by an interest in Latin American labour in the process of industrialisation and urbanisation. She married a Cuban and has settled in Cuba. Her monograph sometimes overlaps and coincides ...

At Chantilly

Peter Campbell: Horses, 21 September 2006

... but the sight of one still stops me in my tracks. I can see why they have a special place in art. Stubbs established a refined, modern look for horse paintings in the 18th century. Apart from the rearing Whistlejacket, and a couple of pictures of horses being attacked by lions, his are sedate, well-groomed beasts, usually seen in profile. Only ...

Little More than an Extension of France

Hugo Young: The British Isles, 6 January 2000

The Isles: A History 
by Norman Davies.
Macmillan, 1222 pp., £30, November 1999, 9780333763704
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... freer than most of blindness to the Celts. But Henry Hallam, F.W. Maitland and, above all, William Stubbs are presented as the high priests of inveterate Englishism. ‘Despite their immense erudition and their enormous services to the subject, all these scholars positively crowed with nationalistic self-satisfaction.’ Moreover, the multicultural Davies ...

At Tate Britain

Julian Bell: Van Gogh, 1 August 2019

... and Cie. In the Netherlands, as through Europe generally, artists took their cue from Paris, with Jean-François Millet’s images of French peasants foremost in their sights. Millet had, in Van Gogh’s words, ‘reopened our thoughts to see the inhabitant of nature’. If contemporary painting from London was noticed at all, it was belittled as ...

Things Keep Happening

Geoffrey Hawthorn: Histories of Histories, 20 November 2008

A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the 20th Century 
by John Burrow.
Allen Lane, 553 pp., £25, December 2007, 978 0 7139 9337 0
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What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe 
by Anthony Grafton.
Cambridge, 319 pp., £13.99, March 2007, 978 0 521 69714 9
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The Theft of History 
by Jack Goody.
Cambridge, 342 pp., £14.99, January 2007, 978 0 521 69105 5
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Thucydides and the Philosophical Origins of History 
by Darien Shanske.
Cambridge, 268 pp., £54, January 2007, 978 0 521 86411 4
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... a few pretenders and no doubt tortured his printers with thousands of pages of princely genealogy. Jean Bodin was more erratic. An international celebrity, he studied and taught law in Toulouse, then went on to practise in Paris, fought for the privileges of the governed, argued against many of these in his Six Books of the Republic, and ended ‘as a royal ...

I’m being a singer

Andrew O’Hagan: Dandy Highwaymen, 8 October 2020

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics 
by Dylan Jones.
Faber, 663 pp., £20, October 2020, 978 0 571 35343 9
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... about robots?Dylan Jones’s book is written in the ‘oral biography’ style pioneered by Jean Stein and George Plimpton, and succeeds, as Edie did, in providing a dazzling portrait of an era. The book should be handed out to kids who think that doing badly in your exams ends your life. For these lipsticked heroes, it was the beginning of ...

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