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28 April 1994
The Civilisation of Europe in the Renaissance 
by John Hale.
HarperCollins, 648 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 00 215339 4
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... of thousands of German peasants in 1525. But the real effect of Tübke’s work lies in its power to evoke, in unforgettable detail, a moment of seismic historical change. Like the German painter, JohnHale has produced a vast and enthralling mosaic. In his new cultural history of Renaissance Europe a sprawling mass of individual scenes, deftly drawn and coloured, capture the pain and the beauty of ...

Apollo’s Ethylene

Peter Green: Delphi

2 July 2014
Delphi: A History of the Centre of the Ancient World 
by Michael Scott.
Princeton, 422 pp., £19.95, February 2014, 978 0 691 15081 9
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... chasm or vent below the shrine of Apollo, a sceptical reaction set in, fuelled by disappointment, and largely persisted until very recently, when geological exploration by Jelle de Boer and JohnHale revealed two major faultlines under the shrine, together with the presence of ethylene gas. Not only was the bituminous limestone sufficiently fissured to allow the gas to rise to the surface through ...
29 September 1988
Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... or any other private and reserved person, would have thought tolerable. The Letters offer several instances of his rage at intrusions into his privacy, and one remembers him forcing the withdrawal of John Peter’s article from Essays in Criticism because it suggested a homosexual element in his relationship with Jean Verdenal. Lyndall Gordon reports a conversation with Mary Trevelyan which makes him ...

A Plan and a Man

Neal Ascherson: Remembering Malaya

20 February 2014
Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai 
by Christopher Hale.
History Press, 432 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 7524 8701 4
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... My Lai’. Only a few pages deal in detail with the Batang Kali killings in December 1948, when a Scots Guards platoon executed 24 perfectly harmless Chinese plantation workers. Instead, Christopher Hale – a journalist with long experience reporting from Germany and South-East Asia – has put together a massive history of the British presence on the Malay peninsula. He tries to explain the ...


Blair Worden

23 January 1986
International Calvinism 1541-1715 
edited by Menna Prestwich.
Oxford, 403 pp., £35, October 1985, 0 19 821933 4
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Wallington’s World: A Puritan Artisan in 17th-Century London 
by Paul Seaver.
Methuen, 258 pp., £28, September 1985, 0 416 40530 4
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... princely support for the Calvinist international was often a matter of words or gestures, which cost rulers nothing. Elizabeth I, in spite of ‘la mauvaise opinion’ which she held of Geneva after John Knox had written his First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women there, found it convenient to mouth pious concern for her distressed co-religionists abroad; she was less ready ...

State Theatre

Peter Burke

22 January 1987
The Rome of Alexander VII: 1655-1667 
by Richard Krautheimer.
Princeton, 199 pp., £16.80, November 1985, 9780691040325
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Firearms and Fortifications: Military Architecture and Siege Warfare in 16th-century Siena 
by Simon Pepper and Nicholas Adams.
Chicago, 245 pp., £21.25, October 1986, 0 226 65534 2
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... interests them, by contrast, is what they call, not altogether happily, the ‘actual function’ of the fortifications, by which they mean their performance under fire. Inspired by the work of Sir JohnHale in particular, they have gone to the archives of Siena and Florence and turned themselves into military historians, capable of discussing with precision and plausibility such technical matters ...

The Labile Self

Marina Warner: Dressing Up

5 January 2012
Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe 
by Ulinka Rublack.
Oxford, 354 pp., £30, October 2011, 978 0 19 929874 7
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... the generally accepted view that Germans were uncouth, had little sense of a cohesive national identity and imitated ‘superior’ Italian humanism. In this she is following the lead of the late JohnHale, whose last book, The Civilisation of Europe in the Renaissance, let the Danube School of artists, Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Altdorfer, share space with Leonardo et al. Rublack’s quest has ...

How to Be a Good Judge

John​ Gardner: The Rule of Law

8 July 2010
The Rule of Law 
by Tom Bingham.
Allen Lane, 213 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84614 090 7
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... some hints that Bingham has not quite worked through all the implications of his ‘thick’ account. In a 2005 case concerning the validity of the Hunting Act 2004, his fellow law lords Steyn and Hale warned that there might come a day when they would hold part of an act of Parliament legally invalid because in it Parliament attempted to do something antithetical to the rule of law. Bingham was ...


Sheila Hale: Dysphasia

5 March 1998
... wag. Everybody seems to be convinced that he is saying something. But brave though his confidence may be it is also one of the more worrying symptoms of a bizarre and poignant neurological disorder. John suffers from dysphasia – or aphasia as it is also called; and it is one of the many paradoxes of his condition that although he can hear perfectly, he cannot monitor what he is saying, or rather ...

Shall I go on?

Colin Burrow: Loving Milton

7 March 2013
The Complete Works of John​ Milton. Vol. VIII: De Doctrina Christiana 
edited by John Hale and J. Donald Cullington.
Oxford, 1263 pp., £225, September 2012, 978 0 19 923451 6
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Young Milton: The Emerging Author, 1620-42 
edited by Edward Jones.
Oxford, 343 pp., £60, November 2012, 978 0 19 969870 7
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The Complete Works of John​ Milton. Vol. III: The Shorter Poems 
edited by Barbara Lewalski and Estelle Haan.
Oxford, 632 pp., £125, October 2012, 978 0 19 960901 7
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... limmes to all the antick and dishonest gestures of Trinculos, Buffons, and Bawds … They thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools.’ What, I wonder, did these ‘fools’ think of John Milton as he watched and judged and yet abstained from their pleasures? Towards the end of his Latin poem on the death of his university friend Carlo Diodati, Milton expresses the fear that he might ...

‘This in no wise omit’

Tom Bingham: Habeas Corpus

7 October 2010
Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire 
by Paul Halliday.
Harvard, 502 pp., £29.95, March 2010, 978 0 674 04901 7
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... the least merit of Paul Halliday’s enthralling and scholarly historical survey, focusing primarily on the years 1500-1800, is to remind us of what could be seen as the glory days of habeas corpus. John Anderson was a slave in Missouri. Separated from his wife and family, whom he wished to visit, he came into conflict with his master and owner, who decided to resolve the problem by selling Anderson ...

A Cousin of Colonel Heneage

Robert Crawford: Was Eliot a Swell?

18 April 2019
The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume VIII: 1936-38 
edited by Valerie Eliot and John​ Haffenden.
Faber, 1100 pp., £50, January, 978 0 571 31638 0
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... died in 1965), but there are already more than seven thousand pages of his letters in print, with hundreds more available on, and many thousands yet to come. Edited for the most part by John Haffenden, the edition builds on the collection made by the late Valerie Eliot and on many archives (especially those of Faber). Occasionally, there’s a page with only a couple of lines by Old ...

American Manscapes

Richard Poirier

12 October 1989
Manhood and the American Renaissance 
by David Leverenz.
Cornell, 372 pp., $35.75, April 1989, 0 8014 2281 7
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... within the quite narrow confines of American literature and social history, it effectively short-circuits the intricate and mysterious network of connections, the echoes and reflections by which, as John Hollander demonstrates in The Figure of Echo, works of literature are flexibly bound, despite all national boundaries, one to another. Such criticism then hopes to reconnect the works to a social ...
5 June 1980
The Movement: English Poetry and Fiction of the 1950s 
by Blake Morrison.
Oxford, 326 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 9780192122100
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The Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse 1945-1980 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 299 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 19 214108 2
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... on in a library. So it suddenly comes to seem rather remote, as deep in the past as those files of the Spectator where he found the famous pieces by J.D. Scott and Anthony Hartley, or the scripts of John Wain’s Third Programme magazine First Reading, or copies of the Reading limited editions of Wain and Amis. Mr Morrison claims to have eschewed gossip and attended instead to such questions as ...

Down, don, down

John​ Sutherland

6 August 1992
Decline of Donnish Dominion 
by A.H. Halsey.
Oxford, 344 pp., £40, March 1992, 0 19 827376 2
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Millikan’s School: A History of the California Institute of Technology 
by Judith Goodstein.
Norton, 317 pp., £17.95, October 1991, 0 393 03017 2
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... by pre-Robbins Oxbridge standards. Caltech still lives by Robert A. Millikan’s rule that you cannot expect good research from a professor who teaches more than four hours a week. When George Ellery Hale founded the institution in Pasadena, one of his motives was the high concentration of retired millionaires in the area, and Caltech continues its profitable friendship with the super-rich: its ...

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