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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Sisters Brothers’, 9 May 2019

... case. In the next frame they are looking at the sea. The brothers are Eli and Charlie, played by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. Reilly is also the producer of the work, having seen in DeWitt’s novel a starting point for the film. The screenplay is by Audiard and Thomas Bidegain. The performances of Reilly and Phoenix are amazing, and lead us back to ...

1086, 1886, 1986 and all that

John Dodgson, 22 May 1986

Domesday: 900 Years of England’s Norman Heritage 
edited by Kate Allen.
Millbank in association with the National Domesday Committee, 192 pp., £3, March 1986, 0 946171 49 1
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The Normans and the Norman Conquest 
by R. Allen Brown.
Boydell, 259 pp., £19.50, January 1985, 0 85115 427 1
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The Domesday Book: England’s Heritage, Then and Now 
edited by Thomas Hinde.
Hutchinson, 351 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 09 161830 4
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Domesday Heritage 
edited by Elizabeth Hallam.
Arrow, 95 pp., £3.95, February 1986, 0 09 945800 4
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Domesday Book through Nine Centuries 
by Elizabeth Hallam.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.50, March 1986, 0 500 25097 9
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Domesday Book: A Reassessment 
edited by Peter Sawyer.
Arnold, 182 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 7131 6440 9
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... Farley’s 1783 edition of Domesday Book published by Phillimore under the general editorship of John Morris, as part of their ‘History from the Sources’ series. This was put in hand in 1969 and the first parts were published in 1975; the work was delayed by Dr Morris’s death in 1977. This now-completed ...

Hegemonies

Patrick Wormald, 21 October 1982

Dark Age Economics: The Origins of Towns and Trade, AD 600-1000 
by Richard Hodges.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £24, March 1982, 0 7156 1531 9
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Londinium: London in the Roman Empire 
by John Morris.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £15, March 1982, 9780297780939
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... supposed. It is to the history of one of the greatest of these cities, London no less, that John Morris addressed himself. Morris was a brilliant, if idiosyncratic scholar, best-known for an ambitious and highly controversial interpretation of the Age of Arthur. Londinium has been published posthumously, like ...

Back to Byzantium

John Thompson, 22 January 1981

Destinations 
by Jan Morris.
Oxford, 242 pp., £7.95, July 1980, 0 19 502708 6
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The Venetian Empire 
by Jan Morris.
Faber, 192 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780571099368
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... bathed in the rosy, gauzy haze of a dawn sun. The serenity of it all is deceptive, because Jan Morris is screaming in on a special assignment from Rolling Stone. Her collection of essays touches down in a quick succession of trouble-torn areas – India in the Emergency, post-Watergate Washington, Southern Africa, Panama, even London with its National ...

In Pursuit of Pinochet

Michael Byers: The legal implications of the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London in October 1998, 21 January 1999

... that Court little option but to rule in favour of Pinochet on 28 October. At the same time, John Morris, the Attorney-General, refused to give his consent to the prosecution of Pinochet in the UK (such consent is required under the torture provisions of the Criminal Justice Act). The Government has, then, refused to take a position on the law ...

So Much Smoke

Tom Shippey: King Arthur, 20 December 2018

King Arthur: the Making of the Legend 
by Nicholas Higham.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 300 21092 7
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... but the most interestingly historical of them, Y Gododdín, does so only tangentially. Whatever John Morris and Leslie Alcock may have written in the 1970s and 1980s, the evidence provides ‘no space … for an “Age of Arthur” during which a victorious British emperor-like figure held back the barbarian hordes’. That image really dates back to ...

A Preference for Strenuous Ghosts

Michael Kammen: Theodore Roosevelt, 6 June 2002

Theodore Rex 
by Edmund Morris.
HarperCollins, 772 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 00 217708 0
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... McCullough’s Truman (1992) was on the bestseller lists for the better part of a year, and his John Adams (2001) is providing an astonishing repeat performance. Robert Caro’s dramatically detailed look at The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been unfolding since 1982, and large chunks of Volume Three have been serialised in the New Yorker. In the ...

Like a boll weevil to a cotton bud

A. Craig Copetas, 18 November 1993

New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... dinner is announced, and William Faulkner is seated next to Candy author Terry Southern. Willie Morris, of the Texas Observer and Harper’s Magazine by way of a place called Yazoo and a university named Oxford, is now listening. ‘Mr Bill,’ Southern whispers into Faulkner’s ear, ‘why are you and I already drinking brandy and everyone else is still ...

Wallpaper and Barricades

Terry Eagleton, 23 February 1995

William MorrisA Life for Our Time 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 780 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 571 14250 8
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... an indigenous British current of it had got under way, passed from Coleridge and Carlyle to John Ruskin and Matthew Arnold. From this radical-Romantic viewpoint, industrial capitalism was to be condemned for stifling a creativity which the arts, above all, most finely exemplified. Art was the enemy of alienation, craftsmanship the antithesis of ...

Going on the air

Philip French, 2 May 1985

Orwell: The War Broadcasts 
edited by W.J. West.
Duckworth/BBC, 304 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 7156 1916 0
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... included Alan Bullock (recipient of a self-righteous Orwell memo), William Empson and John Morris (both of whom wrote elegant memoirs of Orwell at the BBC); he employed Nye Bevan, Richard Acland, J.B.S. Haldane, T.S. Eliot, Quintin Hogg, Bernard Shaw; he led a BBC party, that included Guy Burgess, to a special de-briefing by Stafford Cripps ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Alan Taylor, Oxford Don, 8 May 1986

... distinction of that earlier generation of fellows: not just AJPT and Lewis, but Bruce McFarlane, John Morris, Rupert Cross, Cyril Darlington, J.Z. Young, Sir Peter Medawar, Gilbert Ryle ... the line stretched on. No doubt it was all more humdrum in reality, but one was left with the impression of great intellectual giants inhabiting a world of mad ...

Seventh Eighth Men Uncovered

Humphery Spender, 7 May 1981

... Geoffrey Grigson and I were touring Wiltshire in a hired car, a black Morris 1000 saloon, doing a piece of photo-journalism for Picture Post. I was taking the photographs. It-was 1951. The Mail had offered a reward of £10,000 for any information leading to the capture of the fleeing diplomats, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean ...

Oh! – only Oh!

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Burne-Jones, 9 February 2012

The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 629 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 571 22861 4
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... and arrived at Oxford in 1853 a fervent Tractarian: he dreamed of following in the footsteps of John Henry Newman or even joining a monastic brotherhood. The spiritual intensity of his Oxford phase and the dream of brotherhood never left him, but the appeal of the church gradually faded; by the time he set out for London three years later, the disciple of ...

Bitter End

Alasdair St John, 27 October 1988

Hong Kong 
by Jan Morris.
Viking, 304 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 0 670 80792 3
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... could peddle opium to China (in an interesting chapter on the early days of British rule, Jan Morris observes that the first great seal of the colony depicted beneath the royal crest a waterfront piled high with what were generally assumed to be opium chests). Even today, a large proportion of Hong Kong people sincerely (though quite erroneously) believe ...

Ruskin among others

Raymond Williams, 20 June 1985

John Ruskin: The Early Years 
by Tim Hilton.
Yale, 301 pp., £12.95, May 1985, 0 300 03298 6
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... after 1860 and especially in the years after 1870.’ But this statement is from the foreword to John Ruskin: The Early Years, 1819-1859 – the only volume so far issued. The general judgment seems to me to be right. What might meanwhile be useful is to reflect on the changing perceptions of Ruskin, from the vantage-point of this latest and evidently ...

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