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Good Schools

Tessa Blackstone, 2 December 1982

The Changing Anatomy of Britain 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 476 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 9780340209646
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An English Education: A Perspective of Eton 
by Richard Ollard.
Collins, 216 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 0 00 216495 7
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Survival Programmes in Britain’s Inner Cities 
Open University, 224 pp., £6.95, September 1982, 0 335 10111 9Show More
Liverpool 8 
by John Cornelius.
Murray, 177 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 7195 3975 7
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The Other Britain 
edited by Paul Barker.
Routledge, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 9780710093080
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... most of the time. What happens to them later? A few insights about that can be obtained from John Cornelius’s odd little book about Liverpool 8. Rather more can be discovered from the book edited by Paul Barker, The Other Britain. Liverpool 8 is a series of vignettes about people and places in and around Toxteth by a graduate ...

At the Gay Hussar

John Sutherland, 20 August 1981

One and Last Love 
by John Braine.
Eyre Methuen, 175 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 413 47990 0
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Sweetsir 
by Helen Yglesias.
Hodder, 332 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 9780340270424
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On the Yankee Station 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 241 10426 2
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Byzantium endures 
by Michael Moorcock.
Secker, 404 pp., £6.95, June 1981, 0 436 28458 8
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Heavy Sand 
by Anatoli Rybakov, translated by Harold Shuckman.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 7139 1343 6
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... Mr Tim Harnforth?’ One and Last Love is Mr Tim Harnforth’s novel as well as Mr John Braine’s. An authorial confidence informs us that it was originally conceived with more melodramatic action to it. The hero was to find himself stricken with a terminal disease and be forced to a climax of love and death. But instead, the novelist was ...

Liberation Music

Richard Gott: In Memory of Cornelius Cardew, 12 March 2009

Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished 
by John Tilbury.
Copula, 1069 pp., £45, October 2008, 978 0 9525492 3 9
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... What do we remember about Cornelius Cardew? That he was a brilliant avant-garde composer who pioneered free improvisation and led a Scratch Orchestra of musicians and artists; that his father was Michael Cardew, the potter; that he wrote a polemical tract alleging that Stockhausen ‘serves imperialism’; and that, after spending a decade as a prominent Maoist, he was killed by a hit-and-run driver, in an apparent accident that conspiracy theorists have liked to construe as the work of the intelligence services ...

Albino Sea-Cucumber

Glen Newey: The Long March of Cornelius Castoriadis, 5 February 1998

The Imaginary Institution of Society 
by Cornelius Castoriadis.
Polity, 418 pp., £14.95, May 1997, 0 7456 1950 9
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Les Carrefours de Labyrinthe: Fait et a faire 
by Cornelius Castoriadis.
Seuil, 281 pp., frs 139, February 1997, 2 02 029909 7
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The Castoriadis Reader 
edited by David Ames Curtis.
Blackwell, 470 pp., £50, May 1997, 1 55786 703 8
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... power relations. Hobbes’s ulterior aim was, of course, to defend a form of absolutism, extending John Selden’s thought that, in a household, only one man’s there to buy the meat. But Hobbes’s views about meaning threaten to prove subversive. Counterfactuals – imagined possibilities – can be used to challenge the status quo. Invert hegemony ...

Full-Employment Utopias

Christopher Hill, 16 July 1981

Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516-1700 
by J.C. Davis.
Cambridge, 427 pp., £25, March 1981, 0 521 23396 8
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Science and Society in Restoration England 
by Michael Hunter.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £18.50, March 1981, 0 521 22866 2
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... Gabriel Plattes’s Macaria (1641), Peter Chamberlen’s The Poore Mans Advocate (1649), Peter Cornelius Plockhoy (1659), John Bellers’s Proposals for Raising a College of Industry (1695), and two essays by an anonymous Hermeticist, Philadept, published in 1698 and 1700. Many in this last group were discussed in 1952 ...
The ego is always at the wheel 
by Delmore Schwartz.
Carcanet, 146 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 85635 702 2
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A Nest of Ninnies 
by John Ashbery and James Schuyler.
Carcanet, 191 pp., £10.95, June 1987, 0 85635 699 9
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... name exotic or absurd, half old-time Jewish and half Hollywood – Shenandoah Fish, Hershey Green, Cornelius Schmidt. In his best verse play, Shenandoah, he even features himself looking back on his own naming ceremony twenty-five years earlier. When his mother, Elsie Fish, decides on Shenandoah, he breaks out Macbeth-like: Now it is done and quickly done. I ...

Eyes and Ears

Anthony Thwaite, 23 June 1988

The Silence in the Garden 
by William Trevor.
Bodley Head, 204 pp., £9.95, June 1988, 9780370312187
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Sea Music 
by David Profumo.
Secker, 207 pp., £10.95, May 1988, 9780436387142
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Tell it me again 
by John Fuller.
Chatto, 202 pp., £10.95, April 1988, 0 7011 3288 4
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The Continuing Silence of a Poet: The Collected Short Stories of A.B. Yehoshua 
Peter Halban/Weidenfeld, 377 pp., £11.95, June 1988, 1 870015 14 2Show More
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... presence of the story pivots. His father was Linchy, butler at Carriglas, who was murdered by Cornelius Dowley in an IRA killing which was intended for the Rollestons, not Linchy. Tom’s murky inheritance, his illegitimacy and the pious imprecations of his unwanted companion Holy Mullihan gradually emerge as the nervous spinal cord of the story; near the ...

Flights from the Asylum

John Sutherland, 1 September 1988

Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Secker, 496 pp., £9.95, June 1988, 0 436 28461 8
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The Comforts of Madness 
by Paul Sayer.
Constable, 128 pp., £9.95, July 1988, 0 09 468480 4
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Sweet Desserts 
by Lucy Ellmann.
Virago, 154 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 9780860688471
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Happiness 
by Theodore Zeldin.
Collins Harvill, 320 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 00 271302 0
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... forward. He certainly likes a large canvas: either one which is serially extended (as in the Jerry Cornelius saga of his earlier SF days) or the large single expanses of his more recent civilisation epics, Byzantium endures and The Laughter of Carthage. Like them, Mother London is too much. By usual measurements the novel is grossly over-long, and ...

‘Faustus’ and the Politics of Magic

Charles Nicholl, 8 March 1990

Dr Faustus 
by Christopher Marlowe, edited by Roma Gill.
Black, 109 pp., £3.95, December 1989, 0 7136 3231 3
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Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age: The Occult Tradition and Marlowe, Jonson and Shakespeare 
by John Mebane.
Nebraska, 309 pp., £26.95, July 1989, 0 8032 3133 4
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Robert Fludd and the End of the Renaissance 
by William Huffman.
Routledge, 252 pp., £30, November 1989, 0 415 00129 3
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Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England 
by Patrick Curry.
Polity, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 7456 0604 0
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... Yates, D.P. Walker and Peter French. In Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age, John Mebane offers an inclusive, deeply researched overview of the subject. He examines the many component parts of Renaissance occultism. It was, in the spirit of the time, a recovery of ancient sources. Its philosophical base was Neoplatonic and ...

Dire Fury

Shadi Bartsch: Roman Political Theatre, 26 February 2009

‘Octavia’, Attributed to Seneca 
edited by A.J. Boyle.
Oxford, 340 pp., £70, April 2008, 978 0 19 928784 0
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... of Ambracia in 189 BCE by M. Fulvius Nobilior, Ennius’ patron. In the first century BCE, L. Cornelius Balbus even wrote a praetexta about himself, dealing with a journey he made before the battle between Pompey and Caesar that ended the Roman Republic. We are told that the play was staged in Gades (not Rome) at Balbus’ own expense, and that he wept at ...

The Great Fear

William Lamont, 21 July 1983

Charles I and the Popish Plot 
by Caroline Hibbard.
North Carolina, 342 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 8078 1520 9
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Charles I: The Personal Monarch 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 426 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 9780710094858
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The Puritan Moment: The Coming of Revolution in an English County 
by William Hunt.
Harvard, 365 pp., £24, April 1983, 0 674 73903 5
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... dimension? We still lack biographies in depth of key religious figure such as Stephen Marshall, Cornelius Burges, John Goodwin, Edmund Calamy, Henry Burton and others. They flit tantalisingly through the pages of Valerie Pearl’s valuable study of the London revolution of 1641, or Anthony Fletcher’s equally important ...

In place of fairies

Simon Schaffer, 2 December 1982

Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic 
by Daniel O’Keefe.
Martin Robertson, 581 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 85520 486 9
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Scienze, Credenze Occulti, Livelli di Cultura 
edited by Paola Zambelli.
Leo Olschki, 562 pp., April 1982, 88 222 3069 8
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... revival’. In works with titles such as The Occult Philosophy, wise men and magi like Cornelius Agrippa and John Dee outlined in general and axiomatic form the elements of a high and secret knowledge which they claimed to have inherited from the past. This is exactly what O’Keefe has accomplished for his own ...

New Man from Nowhere

James Davidson: Cicero, 4 February 2016

Dictator 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 0 09 175210 1
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... phylactery shouted out by Verres’ victims pleading for a stay of crucifixion), recycled by John F. Kennedy with unavoidable bathos as ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ This great and by no means guaranteed victory against the establishment, as well as the addition of an entire province to his list of clients, helped ease Cicero’s way. But as consul he was ...

The Case of Agatha Christie

John Lanchester, 20 December 2018

... also phoning it in. Witness the completely pointless recent remake with Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. John Malkovich is about to impersonate the great detective in a Christmas adaptation of The ABC Murders – now that one I’m looking forward to.) A novel in which the detective did it. A novel in which the entire structure of the story was suggested by a title ...

Dark Knight

Tom Shippey, 24 February 1994

The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Malory 
by P.J.C. Field.
Boydell and Brewer, 218 pp., £29.50, September 1993, 0 85991 385 6
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... but his successor the Kingmaker – and been suspected of connivance with the Lancastrian ‘Cornelius plot’ of that same year. Does this square, finally, with the Morte Darthur’s only evident comment on contemporary politics, the statement near the end, when Mordred rebels, that it was a great ‘myschyff’ that Englishmen could not be content with ...

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