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Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... pseudonyms of George G. Gilman, Charles R. Pike, Thomas H. Stone. Like his compatriots ‘John G. MeLaglen’ and J.T. Edson, Harknett has ‘appreciation societies’ devoted to his pseudonymous personae. (‘J.T.’, incidentally, the biggest seller of them all, claims his name is genuine. It’s a happy accident.) Multiple pseudonymy as a device of ...

Fiction and the Poverty of Theory

John Sutherland, 20 November 1986

News from Nowhere 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 403 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 241 11920 0
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by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 469 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 241 11948 0
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Ticket to Ride 
by Dennis Potter.
Faber, 202 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780571145232
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... Brechtian theory of erst fressen, Caute has also written money-spinning soft-porn thrillers as ‘John Salisbury’.) Like his previous attempt at mixing 100 per cent proof world history with the small beer of English fiction (The Decline of the West, a title to rank with Mel Brooks’s History of the World, Part II), News from Nowhere is a crashing ...


Alison Light: Wiltshire Baptists, 8 April 2010

... trade – bricklaying – and their religion south to Portsmouth. Shrewton is halfway between Salisbury and Devizes, on the old road between London and Warminster, a position that made it less dependent on the sheep and corn farming from which most local people derived a living. Tradesmen and artisans set up shop there; carters delivered goods and made ...

A Tall Stranger in Hoxton

John Bossy, 3 July 1997

The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 
by Antonia Fraser.
Weidenfeld, 347 pp., £20, August 1996, 9780297813484
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... settled that, they swore an oath of secrecy, and received communion at a Mass said by the Jesuit John Gerard, who was in the next room: they presumably understood this as turning their undertaking into a religious vow and conjoining them in sacred solidarity. The first part of the scheme went with absurd facility. The conspirators rented some lodgings which ...

Time to think again

Michael Neve, 3 March 1988

Benjamin Disraeli: Letters 1838-1841 
edited by M.G Wiebe, J.B. Conacher, John Matthews and M.S. Millar.
Toronto, 458 pp., £40, March 1987, 0 8020 5736 5
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SalisburyThe Man and his Policies 
edited by Lord Blake and Hugh Cecil.
Macmillan, 298 pp., £29.50, May 1987, 0 333 36876 2
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... and time, especially, to discover the deeply intellectualist conservatism of the third Marquis of Salisbury, whose record as the most electorally successful Conservative prime minister seems likely to be snatched by Mrs Thatcher. The invocation, usually at Party Conferences, of something called ‘Disraelian Conservatism’ continues, despite this revived ...

Soldier, Saint

Stuart Airlie, 19 February 1987

William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry 
by Georges Duby, translated by Richard Howard.
Faber, 156 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 571 13745 8
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Thomas Becket 
by Frank Barlow.
Weidenfeld, 334 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 297 78908 2
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... events yield up their secrets easily, reproduces the attitude of one of his principal witnesses, John of Salisbury. John knew Thomas, was exiled with him and was in Canterbury when the Archbishop was struck down. Thomas’s posthumous miracles took ...
The John Marsh Journals: The Life and Times of a Gentleman Composer (1752-1828) 
edited by Brian Robins.
Pendragon, 797 pp., $76, December 1998, 0 945193 94 7
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... its strange and extreme silentness’. Coleridge wrote this line in 1798, a couple of years before John Marsh finished the first part of his History of My Private Life, and a reading of ‘Frost at Midnight’, along with some of the other ‘Conversation Poems’ – ‘The Aeolian Harp’, ‘This Lime-tree Bower My Prison’, ‘The Nightingale’, for ...

Blighted Plain

Jonathan Meades: Wiltshire’s Multitudes, 6 January 2022

The Buildings of England: Wiltshire 
by Julian Orbach, Nikolaus Pevsner and Bridget Cherry.
Yale, 828 pp., £45, June 2021, 978 0 300 25120 3
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... if the army, and more recently the air force, had not got hold of it. As it is, the army is up in Salisbury Plain with towns of barracks and genteel soldiers’ housing and with all the mess of tin huts and tank tracks, and the air force is down in the northern plain with the mess of the airfields and the noise of the planes.Things haven’t improved. The ...

At Notre Dame de Reims

John Burnside, 4 April 2019

... the masons practised their art, away from the bishops and kings. We’ve seen this much before (in Salisbury, say, or that chapel above the Esk at Rosslyn): a refuge for the pagan in the chill of Christendom, a Green Man in the fabric of the stone; a running boar; the sacred hare; or else the common wren, so lifelike it might flit at any time into a ...

At the V&A

Rosemary Hill: Constable , 23 October 2014

... that the sketches had a ‘force of sensation’, but found the finished oils a ‘bore’. John Berger took the opposite view, that the completed works were rich in brilliant light effects, but the sketches were weakened by vague Romanticism. More recent left-wing critiques, especially since John Barrell’s The Dark ...

Walsingham’s Plumber

Patrick Collinson: John Bossy, 5 July 2001

Under the Molehill: An Elizabethan Spy Story 
by John Bossy.
Yale, 189 pp., £18.95, May 2001, 0 300 08400 5
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... the code.’ Peter Ustinov’s Cold War satire Romanoff and Juliet (1956) could have been about Salisbury Court, the London home in the early 1580s of the French Ambassador to the Court of Elizabeth I, Michel de Castelnau, seigneur de Mauvissière, an establishment described by John Bossy as ‘zany, convivial and ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Stonehenge for the solstice, 6 July 2006

... open access’ is the watchword. Special buses meet the London and Bristol trains at Salisbury and drop their passengers on the A303 into a sea of orange cones and traffic police. From there it is a half-mile walk across the fields to the stones, where for one night only there is no fence and no admission charge. People can wander among the ...

Winklepickers, Tinned Salmon, Hair Cream

Bee Wilson: Jonathan Meades, 14 July 2016

An Encyclopedia of Myself 
by Jonathan Meades.
Fourth Estate, 341 pp., £9.99, February 2015, 978 1 85702 905 5
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... houses, the Cold War and cathedral spires. Meades lists the chemist’s shops and dowdy hotels of Salisbury, where he grew up: the Old George Inn (‘delightful’), The Crown (with ‘a swirly carpet’, owned by a fraudster called Cyril), The White Hart, The King’s Arms (‘lobster thermidor’). He lists the secret vices of this world ...

What Bill and What Rights?

Stephen Sedley, 5 June 1997

... proffered solutions of two apparently very different kinds. One, advanced by Lord Woolf and Sir John Laws, is based on a fresh paradigm of constitutional law – fresh at least in this country, though familiar elsewhere. It looks beyond the Diceyan datum line of a supreme and unchallengeable Parliament and asks where a Parliament derives its authority to ...

Church of Garbage

Robert Irwin, 3 February 2000

The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives 
by Carole Hillenbrand.
Edinburgh, 648 pp., £80, July 1999, 0 7486 0905 9
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... Adelard of Bath, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, Hugh of St Victor, Suger, Otto of Freising, John of Salisbury, Chrétien de Troyes, Marie de France, Hildegard of Bingen, Gottfried von Strassburg, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Roger Bacon, Snorri Sturluson, Leonardo Fibonacci, Aquinas and many others – was not so very ...

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