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Late Developer

Paul Foot, 22 February 1990

Against the Tide: Diaries 1973-1976 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 512 pp., £20, October 1989, 0 09 173775 3
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... Industrialists, bankers, rich Tories of every description felt that the day of doom was nigh. John Davies, Secretary of State for Industry in the Tory Government and a former Director-General of the CBI, called his children round the hearth to tell them this was the last Christmas of its kind they would be enjoying together. Tony Benn, his planning ...

Tibbles

Barbara Everett, 17 October 1985

Alexander Pope 
by Maynard Mack.
Yale, 975 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 300 03391 5
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Pope’s ‘Essay on Man’ 
by A.D. Nuttall.
Allen and Unwin, 250 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 04 800017 5
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The Last and Greatest Art: Some Unpublished Poetical Manuscripts of Alexander Pope 
by Maynard Mack.
Associated University Presses, 454 pp., £48.95, June 1984, 0 87413 183 9
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The New Oxford Book of 18th-Century Verse 
by Roger Lonsdale.
Oxford, 870 pp., £15, November 1984, 0 19 214122 8
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Collected in Himself: Essays Critical, Biographical and Bibliographical on Pope and Some of his Contemporaries 
by Maynard Mack.
Associated University Presses, 569 pp., £26.50, March 1983, 0 87413 182 0
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... disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes’, to gloss the equally unShakespearian critic John Dennis in his brutal, difficult, intelligent and tragic old age; and trails a hash of Dylan Thomas’s resonant phrases (‘those short days when Time lets us play and be/golden in the mercy of his means’) across the end of the section dealing with ...

Boswell’s Bowels

Neal Ascherson, 20 December 1984

James Boswell: The Later Years 1769-1795 
by Frank Brady.
Heinemann, 609 pp., £20, November 1984, 0 434 08530 8
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... Ayrshire gentry. He courted a variety of patrons, ending up late in his life with the ogreish Lord Lonsdale, but Boswell was simply incapable of maintaining the required servility for long enough. The tension between London and Edinburgh, duty and delight, became increasingly hard to bear, and the culture shock of Scotland was more upsetting at each ...

Malice

John Mullan: Fanny Burney, 23 August 2001

Fanny Burney: A Biography 
by Claire Harman.
Flamingo, 464 pp., £8.99, October 2001, 0 00 655036 3
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Fanny Burney: Her Life 
by Kate Chisholm.
Vintage, 347 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 09 959021 2
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Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III 
by Hester Davenport.
Sutton, 224 pp., £25, June 2000, 0 7509 1881 0
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... of him and a celebration of her own literary career. (‘Fanny’s last novel’, Roger Lonsdale called it in his biography of Charles Burney.) Yet she recovered and left to us a hoard of paper that makes Burney a biographer’s dream: the letters and journals that she lugged back and forth across the Channel, and which at present constitute 15 ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: A Shameful Year, 8 January 2004

... do anything about it except march and, one day, vote. 22 April, Yorkshire. Drive up towards Kirkby Lonsdale then along Wandales Lane, the old Roman road from Burrow to Sedbergh. Walking down one of the green lanes below the fells we come across a fold with a stone stile and in the centre of the fold a boulder so huge it looks like an ancient feature of the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2004, 6 January 2005

... escapades or of other people’s bad behaviour, a favourite being how, after a performance in John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me at Chichester for which he had been much praised, Alan was sitting in his dressing-room when there was a tentative knock on the door. It was Alec Guinness. He shook Alan’s hand, said, ‘You must be very tired,’ and ...

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