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Collectivism

Richard Jenkyns

3 April 1997
Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity 
by Dianne Sachko Macleod.
Cambridge, 375 pp., £65, October 1996, 0 521 55090 4
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... son of a prosperous tradesman, who like Mr Bounderby exaggerated the lowliness of his origins; John Sheepshanks, so shabbily dressed that he was once refused admission to a first-class railway carriage, who told raucous jokes to the Prime Minister as he showed him round his gallery; jolly John Miller, with long ...
24 November 1988
Algernon Sidney and the English Republic 1623-1677 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £27.50, August 1988, 0 521 35290 8
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Seeds of Liberty: 1688 and the Shaping of Modern Britain 
by John Miller.
Souvenir, 128 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 285 62839 9
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Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 
by W.A. Speck.
Oxford, 267 pp., £17.50, July 1988, 9780198227687
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War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 
by D.W. Jones.
Blackwell, 351 pp., £35, September 1988, 0 631 16069 8
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Robert Harley: Speaker, Secretary of State and Premier Minister 
by Brian Hill.
Yale, 259 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 300 04284 1
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A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of the Provisional Government in the Revolution of 1688 
by Robert Beddard.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780714825007
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... who describe 17th-century England as a country ridden with class hatred, but 1688 bore it out. John Miller’s Seeds of Liberty, although emphasising the dependence of the Revolution on its acceptance by a broad and well-informed political nation, concedes that the nobles led and the people followed. A hundred years later the principle of deference ...

What We Are Last

Rosemary Hill: Old Age

21 October 2010
Crazy Age: Thoughts on Being Old 
by Jane Miller.
Virago, 247 pp., £14.99, September 2010, 978 1 84408 649 8
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... The bad temper, the dislike of the young, the inflexibility, the walking sticks, what Jane Miller, in her beguiling series of meditations on being old in life and in literature, calls the ‘theatrical props’ of later life, enabled Amis to achieve old age before it could be thrust upon him, dying as he did at 73. ...

On Jonathan Miller

Neal Ascherson: Jonathan Miller

2 January 2020
... sofas in the 1950s had broken springs. Once they had buoyed up culture heroes like Rupert Brooke, John Cornford or Guy Burgess. Now, as we trudged across the great Gromboolian plain of the 1950s, they had given up the struggle. Modish undergraduates perched on the arms. Jonathan, new to the place, tried to sit down and slid backwards into the depths. All I ...
4 July 1985
Multiple Personality and the Disintegration of Literary Character 
by Jeremy Hawthorn.
Edward Arnold, 146 pp., £15, May 1983, 0 7131 6398 4
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Doubles: Studies in Literary History 
by Karl Miller.
Oxford, 488 pp., £19.50, June 1985, 9780198128410
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The Doubleman 
by C.J. Koch.
Chatto, 326 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 9780701129453
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... the ways in which consciousness multiplies itself. Normal and indeed fascinating. Both Karl Miller and Jeremy Hawthorn consider as one of their classic texts Conrad’s short story ‘The Secret Sharer’. Suggested by the concealment of a fugitive which actually took place on board the clipper ship Cutty Sark, the tale is of a young mate accused of ...
10 January 1991
Victorian Subjects 
by J. Hillis Miller.
Harvester, 330 pp., £30, December 1990, 0 7450 0820 8
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Tropes, Parables, Performatives: Essays on 20th-Century Literature 
by J. Hillis Miller.
Harvester, 266 pp., £30, December 1990, 0 7450 0836 4
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... as they make their way to the annual convention of the Modern Languages Association. J. Hillis Miller is one of the handful who matter. Like those mystic few who know the Coca Cola formula, such people shouldn’t be allowed to travel on the same plane. The collective loss would be irreparable. Harvester Press salutes ...

Greens

E.S. Turner

3 July 1980
Friends of the Earth Cookbook 
by Veronica Sekules.
Penguin, 192 pp., £1.95, April 1980, 9780140463026
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Hedgerow Cookery 
by Rosamond Richardson.
Penguin, 250 pp., £1.95, April 1980, 0 14 046358 5
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Jane Grigson’s Cookery Book 
by Jane Grigson.
Penguin, 606 pp., £2.50, April 1980, 0 14 046352 6
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Cooking with Vegetables 
by Marika Hanbury Tenison.
Cape, 284 pp., £9.50, May 1980, 0 224 01597 4
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The Home Gardener’s Cookbook 
by Clare Walker.
Penguin, 362 pp., £1.75, April 1980, 0 14 046353 4
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Natural Baby Food 
by Anna Haycraft.
Fontana, 123 pp., £1, April 1980, 9780006358565
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... us of the aphrodisiac reputation of turnips, carrots and onions: in contrast to lettuce which, as John Evelyn believed, upheld chastity, though possibly not in rabbits. The vegetable revolution was assisted by the post-war travel boom which enabled housewives to see what was cooking in the vegetable pots of Europe. But, if Mrs Grigson is right, it is the ...

Back to Reality

David Edgar: Arthur Miller and the Oblong Blur

18 March 2004
Arthur MillerA Life 
by Martin Gottfried.
Faber, 484 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 571 21946 2
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... In his 1987 autobiography, Arthur Miller tells of a conversation with a Kentucky farmer about the Holy Ghost. Pressed to give a definition of the most mysterious element in the Trinity, the farmer replied: ‘I figure it’s sort of an oblong blur.’ In a later interview, Miller used the same phrase to describe the political mood of the late 1970s: ‘We were living in what to me was a kind of oblong blur ...

Mansions in Bloom

Ruth Richardson

23 May 1991
A Paradise out of a Common Field: The Pleasures and Plenty of the Victorian Garden 
by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards.
Century, 256 pp., £16.95, May 1990, 0 7126 2209 8
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Private Gardens of London 
by Arabella Lennox-Boyd.
Weidenfeld, 224 pp., £25, September 1990, 0 297 83025 2
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The Greatest Glasshouse: The Rainforest Recreated 
edited by Sue Minter.
HMSO, 216 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 11 250035 8
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Religion and Society in a Cotswold Vale: Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 1780-1865 
by Albion Urdank.
California, 448 pp., $47.50, May 1990, 0 520 06670 7
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... Private Gardens of London. Written by a landscape gardener, and beautifully photographed by John Miller, the book’s focus is a series of nearly forty gardens from different parts of the metropolis. The Museum of London’s scheme to collect pictures and photographs of London gardens will surely result in a more representative sample, but this is ...

Fighting Men

D.A.N. Jones

2 February 1984
Ring of Truth 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 342 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 244 4
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The Tiger and the Rose: An Autobiography 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 197 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 221 5
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Man of War 
by John Masters.
Joseph, 314 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 7181 2360 3
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The Notebook of Gismondo Cavalletti 
by R.M. Lamming.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 224 02141 9
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The Rape of Shavi 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Ogwugwu Afor, 178 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 9508177 1 6
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Thomas Lyster: A Cambridge Novel 
by David Wurtzel.
Brilliance, 215 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 946189 30 7
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Don’t Swing a Cat 
by Eva Bolgar.
Bachman and Turner, 143 pp., £7.50, November 1983, 0 85974 098 6
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... Amateur Boxing Champion: he has also done a little professional boxing (under the name of ‘Johnny Bain’) and travelled with a fairground boxing-booth. While writing about Dave Ruddock, he must have been thinking: ‘I too could have been a contender!’ There are other challenges in Ring of Truth. David Ruddock’s wife, a pious Roman Catholic, feels ...

Artovsky Millensky

Andrew O’Hagan: The Misfit

1 January 2009
Arthur Miller, 1915-62 
by Christopher Bigsby.
Weidenfeld, 739 pp., £30, November 2008, 978 0 297 85441 8
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... Even as late as the 1950s, at the height of his fame as a playwright, Arthur Miller would periodically leave his nice house to hang around the dockyards. He had worked for two years in the 1930s at a car parts warehouse, where he first encountered anti-semitism and suspicion. Reading Russian novels on his way into work, he found, when he considered it later, that the workers ‘feared his intelligence, his application, his ambition and his thrift, taking all these as tokens of his Jewish identity ...
5 June 1986
Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
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Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
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... though they will seem truisms to many actors, are distanced, as in a time-warp, from Jonathan Miller’s handsome, thoughtful book about ‘directors’ theatre’, Subsequent Performances. This book is, among other things, an apologia for Miller’s own work as a drama director and an essay on the effects of Time upon ...
16 March 2000
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero 
by David Remnick.
Picador, 326 pp., £14.99, October 1999, 0 330 37188 6
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Muhammad Ali: Ringside 
edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi.
Virgin, 128 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 1 85227 852 8
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... in Remnick’s book, which recalls incidents from boxing’s racist past, as when the great Jack Johnson entered the ring to chants of ‘Kill the nigger!’ Ali’s antics caused a sort of panic, disguised as abhorrence of his undignified behaviour. The conservative fight establishment still held Joe ‘He’s a credit to his race, the human race’ Louis ...

Gift of Tongues

John Edwards

7 July 1983
Many Voices: Bilingualism, Culture and Education 
by Jane Miller.
Routledge, 212 pp., £10.95, April 1983, 0 7100 9331 4
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Life with Two Languages: An Introduction to Bilingualism 
by François Grosjean.
Harvard, 370 pp., £14, November 1982, 0 674 53091 8
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On Dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives 
by Peter Trudgill.
Blackwell, 240 pp., £15, December 1982, 0 631 13151 5
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... the contents differ quite widely from book to book, there are themes which invite comparison. Jane Miller’s book deals centrally with linguistic diversity in education, and the author attempts to show that this is a strength to be built upon rather than a problem to be solved. Although she implies a good reading knowledge of French, German and Russian, ...

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