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Jericho

Ronald Blythe, 17 September 1981

The Diary of a Country Parson, 1758-1802 
by Reverend James Woodforde, edited by John Beresford.
Oxford, 364 pp., £65, June 1981, 0 19 811485 0
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The English Countrywoman: Her Life in Farmhouse and Field from Tudor Times to the Victorian Age 
by G.E. Fussell and K.R. Fussell.
Orbis, 221 pp., £10, June 1981, 0 85613 336 1
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The English Countrywoman: Her Life and Work from Tudor Times to the Victorian Age 
by G.E. Fussell and K.R. Fussell.
Orbis, 172 pp., £10, June 1981, 0 85613 335 3
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... to us but which were nothing to be ashamed of in the 1780s and 90s – gluttony, for instance. John Beresford, who edited the Diary just after the First World War, sees it all quite differently, and his Introduction and Notes are a period piece in themselves. For Beresford, the Norfolk parson was ‘that very rare ...

Kipling and the Irish

Owen Dudley Edwards, 4 February 1988

Something of Myself 
by Rudyard Kipling, edited by Robert Hampson and Richard Holmes.
Penguin, 220 pp., £3.95, January 1987, 0 14 043308 2
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Stalky & Co 
by Rudyard Kipling, introduced by Isabel Quigley.
Oxford, 325 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 19 281660 8
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Kim 
by Rudyard Kipling, introduced by Alan Sandison.
Oxford, 306 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 19 281651 9
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... from ‘Fenians out of jail’, some of whom, like the Irish-American poet John Boyle O’Reilly, were now eminently respectable figures: but ‘They only fawned for dollars on the blood-dyed Clan-na-Gael’ was a just, if unkind comment on the Parnellite use of Irish-American revolutionary organisations for fund-raising. It might be ...

Mutual Friend

Richard Altick, 22 December 1983

Lewis and Lewis 
by John Juxon.
Collins, 320 pp., £10.95, May 1983, 0 00 216476 0
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... of his father, whose waiting-room was constantly crowded with supplicants for his services. As John Juxon suggests, the elder Lewis could have served as a model for the abrasive Mr Jaggers in Great Expectations, who suspended his moral judgment when dealing with his greasy, grimy riffraff of clients – cracksmen, fences, thieves – and then, in ...

‘Come, my friend,’ said Smirnoff

Joanna Kavenna: The radical twenties, 1 April 1999

The Radical Twenties: Aspects of Writing, Politics and Culture 
by John Lucas.
Five Leaves, 263 pp., £11.99, January 1997, 0 907123 17 1
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... Edward Marsh stubbornly published best-selling poetry collections, featuring Walter de la Mare, John Drinkwater, Harold Monro, Rupert Brooke, Wilfrid Blunt, nervously commemorating a threatened pastoral. Other writers, more diffident or isolated, threw in their lot with entropy: Charlotte Mew’s poetry of the early Twenties is littered with speakers on the ...

Who ruins Britain?

Peter Clarke, 22 November 1990

Friends in High Places: Who runs Britain? 
by Jeremy Paxman.
Joseph, 370 pp., £16.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3154 1
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The Sunday Times Book of the Rich 
by Philip Beresford.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 81115 0
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... his younger aristocratic relations. Not until 1988 was the contrapuntal term of art introduced by John Lloyd. ‘Britain is no longer run by an Establishment,’ he wrote in the Financial Times. ‘In its place is a Disestablishment comprising men and women whose values, assumptions and habits are those of outsiders.’ It is useful to have this glossary set ...

Great Encounters

Patrick O’Brian, 11 January 1990

The Price of Admiralty 
by John Keegan.
Hutchinson, 292 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 09 173771 0
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... John Keegan’s book is about the principles, strategy and tactics of warfare at sea and their evolution as it is exemplified in four great battles, Trafalgar, Jutland, Midway, and a critical period in that long struggle the Battle of the Atlantic. It is a strangely mixed book, some parts being quite remarkably good and quite unhackneyed, others dealing with matters that have been handled again and again, and doing so with no great originality ...

Brideshead Revered

David Cannadine, 17 March 1983

The Country House 
by James Lees-Milne.
Oxford, 110 pp., £4.50, November 1982, 0 19 214139 2
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English Country Houses and Landed Estates 
by Heather Clemenson.
Croom Helm, 244 pp., £15.95, July 1982, 0 85664 987 2
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The Last Country Houses 
by Clive Aslet.
Yale, 344 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 300 02904 7
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... her ‘misfortune to suffer very great mischiefs from the assistance of architects’; Sir John Cope, of Bramshill, whose ‘apartments are so vastly spacious that one generally sees Sir John toward the winter put on his hat to go from one room to another’; John Mytton, of ...

They were all drunk

Michael Brock, 21 March 1991

The Letters of Rudyard Kipling. Vol I: 1872-1889 
edited by Thomas Pinney.
Macmillan, 386 pp., £45, November 1990, 0 333 36086 9
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The Letters of Rudyard Kipling. Vol II: 1890-1899 
edited by Thomas Pinney.
Macmillan, 386 pp., £45, November 1990, 0 333 36087 7
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... that abilities as spontaneous and exuberant as his could be kept unfailingly under tight control. John Hay commented from New Hampshire, after Kipling had paid him a three-day visit in 1895: ‘How a man can keep up so intense an intellectual life without going to Bedlam is amazing. He rattled off the framework of about forty stories while he was with ...

Gaelic Communist

Graham Walker, 12 October 1989

James Connolly: A Political Biography 
by Austen Morgan.
Manchester, 244 pp., £9.95, October 1989, 0 7190 2958 9
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James Connolly: Selected Writings 
edited by P. Beresford Ellis.
Pluto, 256 pp., £8.95, April 1988, 9780745302676
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... who see Connolly’s socialism as evolving out of his Catholicism. Similarly, the arguments of John Newsinger deserve notice: he, like Morgan, believes that Connolly was not in any meaningful sense a Catholic for a long period, but that he nonetheless consciously cultivated a ‘safe’ religious position in order not to alienate the mass of Irish ...

Dummy and Biffy

Noël Annan, 17 October 1985

Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community 
by Christopher Andrew.
Heinemann, 616 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 02110 5
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The Secret Generation 
by John Gardner.
Heinemann, 453 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 0 434 28250 2
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Two Thyrds 
by Bertie Denham.
Ross Anderson Publications, 292 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 86360 006 9
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The Ultimate Enemy: British Intelligence and Nazi Germany 1933-1939 
by Wesley Wark.
Tauris, 304 pp., £19.50, October 1985, 1 85043 014 4
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... heroes outwit von Stumm and Hilda von Einem as they did in Greenmantle. Giles Railton, the hero of John Gardner’s novel, is a scion of the landed gentry and works in the mysterious upper reaches of the Foreign Office. There he recruits his offspring and nephews and nieces into the ranks of the secret service, just in time for the First World War. But all ...

The Return of History

Raphael Samuel, 14 June 1990

... Baker and now, it seems (though he is regrettably attached to the idea of famous names and dates), John MacGregor. It owes rather more perhaps to the HMIs, who in a series of reports have drawn attention to the devastating consequences of abandoning history in favour of such invertebrate programmes of study as those which go under the name of ...

Aubade before Breakfast

Tom Crewe: Balfour and the Souls, 31 March 2016

Balfour’s World: Aristocracy and Political Culture at the Fin de Siècle 
by Nancy Ellenberger.
Boydell, 414 pp., £30, September 2015, 978 1 78327 037 8
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... dreamy sort of introspection: ‘You all sit and talk about each other’s souls,’ Lord Charles Beresford said. Their children, buoyant on champagne and self-belief, were the first to turn against them. ‘Their minds are almshouses [for] outworn notions and wrinkled phrases,’ Raymond Asquith, Margot’s stepson, sneered. ‘We do not hunt the carted ...

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