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24 January 1980
Pavlov 
by Jeffrey Gray.
Fontana, 140 pp., £1.25, September 1980, 9780006343042
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J.B. Watson: The Founder of Behaviourism 
by David Cohen.
Routledge, 297 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 7100 0054 5
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... JeffreyGray’s scientific biography of the Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov is a worthy member of the distinguished Modern Masters series, which includes excellent semi-technical short books on, among ...
19 July 1984
Swallow 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey​ Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... In Morning Star (named after Lucifer, not the newspaper), Simon Raven tells of a Conservative MP whose ‘swallow’ is described as ‘a half-caste tart in India’. In First Among Equals, Jeffrey Archer introduces a Labour MP who is likewise endangered by a young black girl ‘in a white leather mini skirt so short it might have been better described as a handkerchief’. But, unlike D.M ...
10 November 1994
Eternal Russia: Yeltsin, Gorbachev and the Mirage of Democracy 
by Jonathan Steele.
Faber, 288 pp., £17.50, March 1994, 0 571 16368 8
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Post-Communist Societies in Transition 
by John Gray.
Social Market Foundation, 45 pp., £8, February 1994, 1 874097 30 5
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... the IMF, he continued, ‘will not give you even a dollar if you do not follow the prescription it is offering’. The faith vested in the Fund’s prescriptions, and those of Western advisers like Jeffrey Sachs and Anders Aslund, is immense. Since none of the ex-Soviet countries apart from Russia and the Balkan states has the capacity to develop and sustain an economic reform programme of its own ...

Peeping Tam

Karl Miller

6 August 1981
... In the midst of the soldiers and scholars who made up the local patriciate, it identifies the poets from the British beyond in whom Burns has been interested. Beattie, Thomson, Shenstone, Gray – the first two are Scottish poets who wrote wholly or mainly in English, and the others are English. The Scotsman Robert Fergusson, who meant far more to him than any of these and whom he ...

Going underground

Elaine Showalter

12 May 1994
The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Janet Malcolm.
Knopf, 208 pp., $23, April 1994, 0 679 43158 6
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... before the pleasure of hearing ill of the living.’ Since Malcolm herself, however, has been involved in a notorious case about libel and invasion of privacy brought by the modest and reclusive Jeffrey Masson, the topical ironies of the book have attracted a great deal of attention in the United States. In the New York Times Book Review, Caryn James observed that ‘while the English fuss about ...

The Hippest

Terry Eagleton

7 March 1996
Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues 
edited by David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen.
Routledge, 514 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 415 08803 8
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... public speaker in the country, he is a kind of walking chronicle of everything from the New Left to New Times, Leavis to Lyotard, Aldermaston to ethnicity. He is also a Marxian version of Dorian Gray, a preternaturally youthful character whose personal style evokes a range of faded American epithets: hip, neat, cool, right-on. There are two ways to recount his story, one less charitable than the ...

Contemplating adultery

Lotte Hamburger and Joseph Hamburger

22 January 1987
... as a talented translator, the financial and emotional prop to a vulnerable husband, and a close friend of men and women of the intellectual calibre of Bentham, the young John Stuart Mill, Francis Jeffrey, until recently editor of the Edinburgh Review, the Grotes, the Romillys, the Carlyles. A more weighty anchor to conventionality was her ten-year-old daughter Lucy. All this was now put in jeopardy ...
16 March 1989
George Crabbe: The Complete Poetical Works, Vols I-III 
edited by Norma Dalrymple-Champneys and Arthur Pollard.
Oxford, 820 pp., £70, April 1988, 0 19 811882 1
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... new century at least partly for practical reasons – in order to pay for the education of his two surviving sons. In 1807 he brought out his Poems, which included two signal works, ‘Sir Eustace Gray’ and – even more notable – ‘The Parish Register’. In 1810 he published The Borough, one of the three most important works of poetry published in the Romantic period (the other two being ...

If everybody had a Wadley

Terry Castle: The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of ‘Joe’ Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water by Kate Summerscale

5 March 1998
The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of ‘Joe’ Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water 
by Kate Summerscale.
Fourth Estate, 248 pp., £12.99, August 1997, 1 85702 360 9
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... that only a quasi-supernatural description seems to do them justice. In the 20th century they come in all shapes and sizes: from the obvious ghouls and werewolves (Rasputin, Hitler, Idi Amin, Jeffrey Dahmer) to various mid-rank demigods and unicorn-people (T.E. Lawrence, Wittgenstein, Che Guevara, Greta Garbo, Edith Sitwell, JFK, Maria Callas, Howard Hughes, Andy Warhol, Glenn Gould, the late ...

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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... first appeared in print in this decade. An incipiently nationalist impulse to reconstruct the cultural history of the British Isles, already a private scholarly enthusiasm in the 1750s of England’s Gray and Percy and Scotland’s Macpherson, becomes a minor publishing revolution half a century later, just in time for Scott to grab a sizeable share in it. Though credited with editing over seventy ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection

1 January 2009
... probably unusable material and a possible testimony to the sort of thing I really ought to have been writing. Some examples: ‘She had a face like an upturned canoe,’ said by the actor Charles Gray at breakfast in Dundee (though of whom I can’t remember). A. I’ve been salmon fishing. B. It’s not the season. A. No. I thought I’d take the blighters by surprise. ‘Here we are. Fat ...

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