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Homo Sexualis

Michael Ignatieff, 4 March 1982

Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800 
by Jeffrey Weeks.
Longman, 306 pp., £11, October 1981, 0 582 48333 6
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Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women 
by Alan Bell, Martin Weinberg and Sue Kiefer Hammersmith.
Indiana, 242 pp., £9, October 1981, 9780253166739
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Pornography and Silence 
by Susan Griffin.
Women’s Press, 277 pp., £4.75, October 1981, 0 7043 3877 7
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The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1 
by Michel Foucault, translated by Robert Hurley.
Penguin, 176 pp., £2.25, May 1981, 0 14 022299 5
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... is accounted for as the ‘suppression of the inordinate cyclical drive of women’. Jeffrey Weeks argues that these teleologies of oppression have only stood the old teleologies of progress on their head. Both are essentialist and ahistorical in their implication that the instincts have either a ‘basic biological mandate’ or an innate ...

Cartoon Quality

Zachary Leader, 6 December 1979

Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright 
by Steven Millhauser.
Routledge, 305 pp., £4.95
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A Prize Paradise 
by Oliver Pritchett.
Eyre Methuen, 171 pp., £4.95
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A Revenger’s Comedy 
by Derwent May.
Chatto, 191 pp., £5.95
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... author of Cartoons, a novel, we are told, of genius. It is also that of Edwin’s biographer, Jeffrey, a mere half-year older, whose exhaustively solemn record of his lifelong friend’s minutest peculiarities and achievements continually draws attention away from its subject. This tension between subject and biographer is central to the novel, and has ...

Short Cuts

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Remembering Paul Foot, 19 August 2004

... to hospital with what turned out to be an aortic aneurysm; he very nearly died, and after several weeks in a coma he was troubled by hallucinations. What brought him to his senses, he wrote in an LRB Diary the same year, was ‘that faithful old pick-me-up for sick socialists: indignation’. Indignation may be the thing he enjoyed most – in the short term ...

Cheering us up

Ian Jack, 15 September 1988

In for a Penny: The Unauthorised Biography of Jeffrey Archer 
by Jonathan Mantle.
Hamish Hamilton, 264 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 241 12478 6
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... in your own eyes and leading to your advancement.’ There is no written evidence to suggest that Jeffrey Archer has ever read Thomas Mann. One of the many striking aspects of his career, however, is the way in which Felix Krull’s larger view of the world has advanced it. Many older men (and at least one older woman) have been beguiled by his apparently ...

Self-Management

Seamus Perry: Southey’s Genius for Repression, 26 January 2006

Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1793-1810 
edited by Lynda Pratt, Tim Fulford and Daniel Sanjiv Roberts.
Pickering & Chatto, 2624 pp., £450, May 2004, 1 85196 731 1
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... The tourists had planned to stop in Oxford for three or four days but ended up staying three weeks. When they finally set out for Wales, Coleridge’s head was buzzing with Southey and Southey’s audacious politics, which seemed to chime so excitingly not only with his own but with the progressive spirit of the age. ‘Few persons but those who lived in ...

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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... Yorker had originally published, the issue was a sell-out on both sides of the Atlantic, and for weeks no dinner party from Hampstead to the Hamptons was complete without a discussion of it. Now published as a book, The Silent Woman is ostensibly a scathing denunciation of the ethics of literary biography in general and a defence of Hughes and his ...

Mr and Mr and Mrs and Mrs

James Davidson: Why would a guy want to marry a guy?, 2 June 2005

The Friend 
by Alan Bray.
Chicago, 380 pp., £28, September 2003, 0 226 07180 4
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... distraction, an enduring (quasi-)Marxist current in British gay activism, represented by both Jeffrey Weeks and Peter Tatchell, has viewed ‘homosexuals’ as an oppressed class, like the proletariat, produced, along with housewives, by a historically contingent bourgeois sexual system which emerged alongside modern capitalism/consumerism in the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Politicians v. the press, 22 July 2004

... would sue him and win.’) In two of the most memorable libel cases of the last twenty years, Jeffrey Archer v. ‘Daily Star’ and Jonathan Aitken v. ‘Guardian’ and Granada, both politicians committed perjury, Aitken even cajoling his 17-year-old daughter to perjure herself, too. Characteristically, Lloyd reinterprets two famous cases of political ...

Pavements Like Jelly

Jeremy Harding: Paris Under Water, 28 January 2010

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 
by Jeffrey Jackson.
Palgrave, 262 pp., £20, January 2010, 978 0 230 61706 3
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Paris Inondé 1910 
Galerie des Bibliothèques, Paris, until 28 March 2010Show More
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... 1910 in the coal-mining community of Lorroy, 80 km south-east of Paris, there was a landslide. Weeks of heavy rain had soaked the hillside above the little town and as the miners made their way to their homes for lunch, a mass of mud and rock was dislodged. Lorroy, which was linked by a canal to the River Loing, a tributary of the Seine, suffered ‘total ...

A Prehistory of Extraordinary Rendition

Patrick Cockburn, 13 September 2012

... at the height of the British Empire, but in fact his career was unusual. His father, Francis Jeffrey Cockburn, was a judge in India, chiefly notable for blowing off his right hand at the age of nine when a gunpowder flask exploded as he was playing with it near an open fire. His family kept the mangled remains of the hand in a jar of spirits on the ...

What happened to Good Friday?

Garret FitzGerald, 2 September 1999

... David Trimble had gone ahead and signed the Agreement even though one of his negotiating team, Jeffrey Donaldson, had walked out; and had then taken a tough line with dissidents the following day at a Unionist Party meeting. These facts combined to distract attention from the dangers inherent in his position having become so dependent on a flimsy piece of ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... In his realist classic of 1984, First among Equals, Jeffrey Archer has a Labour minister from a Northern constituency disappearing with a prostitute for five minutes or so. She recognises Raymond Gould and turns to blackmail once the business is done. Gould refuses to deal and she takes her tale to Mike Molloy, a Mirror reporter ...

Her Boy

R.W. Johnson: Mark Thatcher, 16 November 2006

Thatcher’s Fortunes: The Life and Times of Mark Thatcher 
by Mark Hollingsworth and Paul Halloran.
Mainstream, 415 pp., £7.99, July 2006, 1 84596 118 8
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The Wonga Coup: The British Mercenary Plot to Seize Oil Billions in Africa 
by Adam Roberts.
Profile, 304 pp., £9.99, June 2006, 1 86197 934 7
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... about Mark is so rebarbative that it seems only natural that he would count Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer among his closer associates and that even those invited to his house found his rudeness to servants – and to his wife – so repellent, verging on outright cruelty, that they often took an instant and lasting dislike to him. ‘Don’t you ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... 25 June. By now, there was war within the party. One of the bitterest rows was between Trimble and Jeffrey Donaldson, the UUP member for Lagan Valley. Donaldson had been seen as a ‘moderate’ and a protégé of Trimble’s: now he ditched his leader to side openly and noisily with Paisley, Bob McCartney and the various anti-Agreement groupings. Trimble ...

Feel what it’s like

James Davidson: Pagans, Jews and Christians, 2 March 2000

A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire 
by Keith Hopkins.
Weidenfeld, 402 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 297 81982 8
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... to 25 December, at the end of a year corresponding to 1 BC, that all those fireworks, a few weeks ago, were marking his 2000th birthday in a meaningful way, that his mother was a virgin, that he rode into Jerusalem on an ass? Well, I am afraid all of that is almost certainly not true. These are late inventions, designed to fit what Old Testament ...

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