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Pseudo-Travellers

Ian Gilmour and David Gilmour, 7 February 1985

From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict 
by Joan Peters.
Joseph, 601 pp., £15, February 1985, 0 7181 2528 2
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... the slogan has remained to plague political Zionism. Or so it has generally been believed. But now Joan Peters comes along with findings which alter, she tells us, ‘the very basis of our understanding of the Arab-Israel conflict and destroy the foundation upon which the “Palestinian” claims have rested’. She is, she says, ‘clarifying a picture ...

Well, was he?

A.N. Wilson, 20 June 1996

Bernard Shaw: The Ascent of the Superman 
by Sally Peters.
Yale, 328 pp., £18.95, April 1996, 0 300 06097 1
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... are indeed better than the plays themselves. Reading those to The Doctor’s Dilemma and Saint Joan in particular, one is led to expect masterpieces, the constant whimsical comparison of himself to Shakespeare, whose name he annoyingly misspelt, only pointing up the terrible thinness of what appears on stage.) The greatest affair of all was with Ellen ...

The Egg-Head’s Egger-On

Christopher Hitchens: Saul Bellow keeps his word (sort of), 27 April 2000

Ravelstein 
by Saul Bellow.
Viking, 254 pp., £16.99, April 2000, 0 670 89131 2
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... with the neo-conservative movement. He first endorsed the bogus work of the pseudo-demographer Joan Peters, who argued that there had been no Palestinian population to be dispossessed in the first place, and then honourably withdrew his encomium when the facts about the book became known. He signed up with the grandiosely titled Committee for the Free ...

How many nipples had Graham Greene?

Colm Tóibín, 9 June 1994

... in the files is hilarious. In June 1989 Greene received the following letter from a man called Peters: Getting on three months ago, I posted my passport to you via your publisher Max Reinhardt, for safe-keeping. As this was from Volos in Greece, and furthermore the envelope did not carry a stamp, there existed the possibility that you know nothing about ...

Jolly Bad Luck

P.N. Furbank, 24 March 1994

Letters from a Peruvian Woman 
by Françoisc de Graffigny, translated by David Kornacker.
Modern Language Association, 174 pp., £5.95, January 1994, 9780873527781
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... by Frederick the Great, passing themselves off as brother and sister. It fails, her pension peters out, and she briefly enters a convent, but finds that having no money is a mark against one there, almost as much as outside. Next she sets up house with Liébault’s mistress, an actress, and arranges (probably with a backhander to herself) for the ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës, 16 November 2017

... A wood engraving​ by the illustrator Joan Hassall, who died in 1988, shows Elizabeth Gaskell arriving at the Brontë parsonage. Patrick Brontë is taking Gaskell’s hand; Charlotte stands between them, arms open in a gesture of introduction. We – the spectators, whose gaze Charlotte seems to acknowledge (or is she looking at her father apprehensively?) – stand in the doorway; the participants are framed in the hallway arch, with the curved wooden staircase behind them ...

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