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Dev and Dan

Tom Dunne, 21 April 1988

The Hereditary Bondsman: Daniel O’Connell, 1775-1829 
by Oliver MacDonagh..
Weidenfeld, 328 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 297 79221 0
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Eamon de Valera 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
University of Wales Press, 161 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7083 0986 0
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Nationalism and Popular Protest in Ireland 
edited by C.H.E. Philpin.
Cambridge, 466 pp., £27.50, November 1987, 0 521 26816 8
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Northern Ireland: Soldiers talking, 1969 to Today 
by Max Arthur.
Sidgwick, 271 pp., £13.95, October 1987, 0 283 99375 8
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War as a Way of Life: A Belfast Diary 
by John Conroy.
Heinemann, 218 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 434 14217 4
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... gives a voice to a group who are not generally believed to have (or to be entitled to) one, while John Conroy’s account is that of a sympathetic outsider nervously learning the codes and concerns of a small Catholic community at the eye of the storm. At the academic level, the heightened interest in Irish history in England has found a focus in the ...

Petulance is not a tragic flaw

Rosemary Hill: Edward and Mrs Simpson, 30 July 2015

Princes at War: The British Royal Family’s Private Battle in the Second World War 
by Deborah Cadbury.
Bloomsbury, 407 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 1 4088 4524 0
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... full of confidence. Her first action was to move her bed out of her mother’s room and have Sir John Conroy, her mother’s intimate adviser, banished from court. Such determination, veering at times into wilfulness, continued undiminished until her death, 64 years later. By then she was Empress of India, and thanks to the carefully planned marriages ...

Is it still yesterday?

Hilary Mantel: Children of the Revolution, 17 April 2003

The Lost King of France 
by Deborah Cadbury.
Fourth Estate, 352 pp., £18.99, October 2002, 1 84115 588 8
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... fireworks nor Te Deum’. A.N. Wilson suggested recently that Queen Victoria was the child of Sir John Conroy, not the Duke of Kent. We know her maternal descent is not in doubt, but is this a suggestion that the men with the gleaming corridors could pursue? With big freezers like theirs, they can’t be far off discovering the secrets of all our fathers ...

Our Founder

John Bayley: Papa Joyce, 19 February 1998

John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father 
by John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello.
Fourth Estate, 493 pp., £20, October 1997, 1 85702 417 6
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... rather, and the tones, are those of the old artificer, the father of the tribe, Simon Dedalus, John Stanislaus Joyce. Like the violins of Cremona, Dubliners, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake are the products of a joint concern, a family undertaking. Joyce himself was frank about this. As long as he had escaped he could still be in the bosom of the family. As ...

Diary

Sean French: Fortress Wapping, 6 March 1986

... I begin to understand how divided the opposition to Murdoch is. First we are addressed by Harry Conroy, the General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists. He relays to us the instruction of the national executive committee, which is that we should stay out of Wapping – largely, it seems, to help our comrades in the NGA and Sogat gain control over ...

In the Gasworks

David Wheatley, 18 May 2000

To Ireland, I 
by Paul Muldoon.
Oxford, 150 pp., £19.99, March 2000, 0 19 818475 1
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Bandanna 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £7.99, February 1999, 0 571 19762 0
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The Birds 
translated by Paul Muldoon, by Richard Martin.
Gallery Press, 80 pp., £13.95, July 1999, 1 85235 245 0
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Reading Paul Muldoon 
by Clair Wills.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £10.95, October 1998, 1 85224 348 1
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... is cited in Paul Muldoon’s To Ireland, I for a neighbourly dispute he was having with one John O’Donovan. ‘He says I am his enemy,’ Irwin wrote, ‘and watch him through the thickness of the wall which divides our houses. One of us must leave. I have a houseful of books; he has an umbrella and a revolver.’ Seasoned readers of Muldoon know all ...

Nohow, Worstward, Withersoever

Patrick Parrinder, 9 November 1989

Stirrings Still 
by Samuel Beckett.
Calder, 25 pp., £1,000, March 1989, 0 7145 4142 7
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Nohow On: Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho 
by Samuel Beckett.
Calder, 128 pp., £10.95, February 1989, 0 7145 4111 7
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‘Make sense who may’: Essays on Samuel Beckett’s Later Works 
edited by Robin Davis and Lance Butler.
Smythe, 175 pp., £16, March 1989, 0 86140 286 3
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... magnificent services to Beckett’s readers over the years one would not begrudge the publisher, John Calder (‘I finally arrived at Dover last Sunday with TV cameras waiting for me, the precious copies in my car,’ he confided in the Guardian when Stirrings Still was printed there), his moment of glory.Stirrings Still, in three parts, uses ...

Updike’s Innocence

Craig Raine, 25 January 1990

Just Looking: Essays on Art 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 210 pp., £19.95, November 1989, 0 233 98501 8
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... romantic impulse. In ‘Wife-Wooing’, the egoist husband (surely not unrelated to Gabriel Conroy in ‘The Dead’) fails to bring his erotic impulse to fruition and his delight in his wife’s Joycean ‘smackwarm’ thighs has faded by morning to its opposite, disgust at her ‘sallow décolletage’. Not only the use of Homeric parallels in The ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... and sons, sisters and brothers’. Most were written by established names, among them Frank Conroy, Stuart Dybeck, Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Stone and Amy Tan. Those writers known partly for formal experimentation whose work Wolff did include (among them Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson and Mary Robison) did not, in the stories Wolff ...

The State with the Prettiest Name

Michael Hofmann: ‘Florida’, 24 May 2018

Florida 
by Lauren Groff.
Heinemann, 275 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78515 188 0
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... scams and religions, ditto. Dirt-poor, barefoot, backwoods Florida (the subject of Frank Conroy’s memoir of the 1930s and 1940s, Stop-Time) is not all that long gone. Sweet tea, squirrel and grits Florida. Then, successively, railroads, oranges, real estate, wintering place, destination for domestic and foreign tourism, and retirement ...

His Spittin’ Image

Colm Tóibín: John Stanislaus Joyce, 22 February 2018

... how Stephen Dedalus, disowning his own parent, searches for another father. Portrait of John Stanislaus Joyce by Patrick Tuohy (1923) Just as Oscar Wilde began to become himself the year after his father’s death, when he was 21, and John Butler Yeats managed, figuratively, to kill his son by going into exile in ...

What’s It All About?

Tom Lubbock, 6 April 1995

Shark-Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
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The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
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... were awaited with interest. Since it opened to the public in 1985, the Saatchi collection in St John’s Wood has become a focus of what’s called the contemporary art debate. With every purchase, names are made and names are called. But Saatchi’s taste, his collecting policy, is eclectic and elusive. So much art, of so many kinds, has passed into and ...

What I heard about Iraq in 2005

Eliot Weinberger: Iraq, 5 January 2006

... hospitals in unmarked vans, and unloaded at back entrances. I heard about despair. I heard General John Abizaid, commander of US Central Command, say of the insurgents: ‘I don’t think that they’re growing. I think that they’re desperate.’ I heard about hope. I heard General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, say: ‘I came away ...
... viewed with dismay the lack of restraint and caution in O’Donovan Rossa’s violent rhetoric. John Devoy, one of the leaders of Clan na Gael, the main Irish nationalist organisation in America, believed, as Kenna writes, that O’Donovan Rossa ‘had given the British ample warning of his plans through a desire for notoriety and theatricality, thus ...

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