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Brooke’s Benefit

Anthony Powell, 16 April 1981

... the novel pages of the Times Literary Supplement, a book came in called A Mine of Serpents, author Jocelyn Brooke. The name was familiar on account of a previous work, The Military Orchid, which had appeared the year before, and received unusually approving notices. I had not read The Military Orchid, partly because there was a good deal to do reviewing ...

Flower Power

P.N. Furbank: Jocelyn Brooke, 8 May 2003

'The Military Orchid’ and Other Novels 
by Jocelyn Brooke.
Penguin, 437 pp., £10.99, August 2002, 0 14 118713 1
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... An unjustly neglected author’? This was at least how Anthony Powell wrote of Jocelyn Brooke, none of whose books remained in print at the time of his death in 1966. But the neglect was to some degree remedied when, in 1981, Secker and Warburg reissued his Orchid Trilogy as a single volume, with an introduction by Powell, and it is nice to see this trilogy now reprinted as a Penguin Classic ...

The Coat in Question

Iain Sinclair: Margate, 20 March 2003

All the Devils Are Here 
by David Seabrook.
Granta, 192 pp., £7.99, March 2003, 9781862075597
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... sent Seabrook back to writers who are in the Oxford Companion, Waugh, Betjeman, Anthony Powell and Jocelyn Brooke. I’m not sure that any other critic is capable of enthusing, in one long breath, about Brooke and David Peace (author of a tersely written novel sequence from the era of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire ...

The Best of Betjeman

John Bayley, 18 December 1980

John Betjeman’s Collected Poems 
compiled by the Earl of Birkenhead.
Murray, 427 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 7195 3632 4
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Church Poems 
by John Betjeman.
Murray, 63 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 7195 3797 5
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... sleep For thirty pounds a year and keep. As in all the best autobiographies, from Edmund Gosse to Jocelyn Brooke, the flavour of personal experience is exactly caught. All silvery on frosty Sunday nights Were City steeples white against the stars. And narrowly the chasms wound between Italianate counting-houses, Roman banks, To this church and to ...

Extraordinary People

Anthony Powell, 4 June 1981

The Lyttelton – Hart-Davis Letters 
edited by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Murray, 185 pp., £12.50, March 1981, 0 7195 3770 3
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... mind. Sachie Sitwell said that when he was at Eton a boy had thrown a lighted firework (something Jocelyn Brooke might have enjoyed) into the aisle during a service in chapel. The Lower Master, whose name was F.H. Rawlins, (runner-up for the headmastership when Lyttelton’s Uncle Edward was appointed in 1905), rose at once from his stall. Above the ...

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