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Vanishings

Seamus Deane, 30 December 1982

Selected Poems 
by John Montague.
Oxford, 189 pp., £5.95, May 1982, 0 19 211950 8
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Ghosts at my Back 
by Tom Rawling.
Oxford, 55 pp., £3.95, June 1982, 0 19 211951 6
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A Late Harvest 
by John Ward.
Peterloo, 48 pp., £3, April 1982, 0 09 146960 0
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... John Montague’s Selected Poems reinforce the impression left by his individual volumes: that of a great talent growing increasingly apprehensive at the conditions in which it must be exercised. Since 1958, when his first volume Forms of Exile appeared, he has been renowned for a certain elegance and formality of phrasing, and for a nervous delicacy of rhythm: these bestowing upon his poems an air of fragility which has to survive the often desperate occasions which initiate them ...

Britain’s Thermonuclear Bluff

Norman Dombey and Eric Grove, 22 October 1992

... Cook, scientific director of the Grapple test series; some recent disclosures on the part of John Ward, who was employed at the British nuclear weapons laboratory at Aldermaston for six months during 1955; and a group of declassified US documents obtained by Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defence Council in Washington. It may well be that ...

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Peter Campbell: Norman Rockwell, 20 January 2011

... copies of Vogue, with black and white photographs by Penn, Avedon and Horst, and drawings by John Ward, Bouché, Eric and the rest, are still my best notion of what a sophisticated magazine should look like. The Post, with its Rockwell covers and advertisements for refrigerators of giant size, finned cars, and kitchens in which slim housewives lived ...

Green Thoughts

Colin Ward, 19 January 1989

Seasons of the Seal 
by Fred Bruemmer and Brian Davies.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0214 5
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Whale Nation 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 191 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 224 02555 4
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Falling for a dolphin 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 47 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 224 02659 3
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Prisoners of the Seas 
by K.A. Gourlay.
Zed, 256 pp., £25.95, November 1988, 0 86232 686 9
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Progress for a Small Planet 
by Barbara Ward.
Earthscan, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1988, 1 85383 028 3
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Future Earth: Exploring the Frontiers of Space 
edited by Nigel Calder and John Newell.
Christopher Helm, 255 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780747004202
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Sizewell B: An Anatomy of the Enquiry 
by Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue.
Macmillan, 474 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 333 38944 1
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Early Green Politics 
by Peter Gould.
Harvester, 225 pp., £29.95, June 1988, 0 7108 1192 6
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Dreamers of the Absolute 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Radius, 312 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 09 173240 9
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The Coming of the Greens 
by Jonathon Porritt and David Winner.
Fontana, 287 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 00 637244 9
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Ecology and Socialism 
by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 122 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 09 182247 5
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... principally a scientific or an economic problem. It is a political problem.’ The late Barbara Ward tackled global green issues on the plane of international politics: the rate at which the rich nations squander natural resources, the desperate needs of the poor nations, and the ways in which ‘a planetary bargain’ could reconcile the demands both make ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... Jenkins and James Prior, said they felt it was a good time, in view of the new publicity about the Ward case, to place on record their sense of admiration for the dignity and courage displayed by Mr and Mrs John Profumo and their family in the quarter-century since the episode occurred. ‘This letter,’ they ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley, 11 July 2002

Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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TheCat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... signals the critical thrust of Murray’s book. He opposes the ‘new orthodoxy’ expounded by John Carey in his 1992 polemic, The Intellectuals and the Masses. This biography aims to vindicate Huxley as a humane thinker and artist rather than the crypto-fascist, eugenicist, public-school snob, or (in later life) the ‘fully fledged, fuzzy-brained ...

Still it goes on

Paul Foot, 4 November 1993

Ambushed: My Story 
by Judith Ward.
Vermilion, 177 pp., £9.99, September 1993, 0 09 177820 4
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... The answer usually gives some sort of clue as to whether their claims can be justified. In Judith Ward’s case the answer gives no clue at all. She was taken off the streets of Liverpool at half-past six one dark wet February morning in 1974. For several weeks she had been living the life of a drifter, sleeping in railway wagons off Euston Station. She had ...

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 ...

Alien Heat

Jonathan Gil Harris: ‘The Island Princess’, 17 March 2016

The Island Princess 
by John Fletcher, edited by Clare McManus.
Arden, 338 pp., £16.99, December 2012, 978 1 904271 53 6
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... from the Great Fire in September 1666. But the burning town wasn’t London. The play was John Fletcher’s The Island Princess, a tragicomedy written half a century earlier, and set on the islands of Ternate and Tidore in what is now Indonesia. The opening stage direction, however, states: ‘The Scene India’. The Island Princess is the only ...

Patient

Dan Jacobson, 17 February 1983

... me she had been up all night. Now, at 7.30 a.m., there I lay, in a cubicle just off the casualty ward, having been turned out of the ambulance onto a high, hard wheeled stretcher. More work. It was 35 years since I had last been a patient in a hospital. I had been admitted then after a car accident. This admission seemed to me almost as revolutionary or ...

A Year upon the Sofa

Dinah Birch, 8 May 1997

Eve’s Renegades: Victorian Anti-Feminist Women Novelists 
by Valerie Sanders.
Macmillan, 249 pp., £42.50, September 1996, 0 333 59563 7
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... Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell united in their distaste for the robust feminist arguments of John Stuart Mill. ‘In short, J.S. Mill’s head is, I dare say, very good, but I feel disposed to scorn his heart,’ sniffed Charlotte in a letter to Elizabeth Gaskell. ‘Woman must obey,’ Christina Rossetti wrote in 1879. ‘Her office is to be man’s ...

Ode to a Private Convenience

John Bayley, 3 June 1982

... packed in flocks With hypos, Distals, overflowing stocks, Gaily and daily squandered in the ward, Rejoin no polished hoard And that seems hard For stoups so right in ritual effect With meek masonic mouths that genuflect. The nurses’ chatter To jolly on the blokes Seems not to want to know about the matter. Unintimate and effortlessly elsewhere Their ...

In Memoriam

Paul Sieghart, 19 March 1981

Mandy 
by Mandy Rice-Davies and Shirley Flack.
Joseph, 224 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 7181 1974 6
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... that can be avoided by learning some lessons from the past. The salient facts were simple enough. John Profumo, then Minister for War, had a brief affair with Christine Keeler, a chum of Rice-Davies’s. Unbeknown to him, she had also been to bed (or so she later said) with one Eugene Ivanov, then a Soviet naval attaché in London. Profumo had met Keeler ...

The Great Mary

Dinah Birch, 13 September 1990

Mrs Humphry WardEminent Victorian, Pre-Eminent Edwardian 
by John Sutherland.
Oxford, 432 pp., £16.99, August 1990, 0 19 818587 1
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... at fiction, Miss Bretherton, published in 1884. It can’t have been very encouraging. But Mary Ward was used to the magisterial arrogance of the Arnold men. Her father, Tom Arnold, had demolished the prosperity of his family and the happiness of his wife by his conversions and unconversions and reconversions to and from the Catholic faith. He took small ...

My Little Lollipop

Jenny Diski: Christine Keeler, 22 March 2001

The Truth at Last: My Story 
by Christine Keeler and Douglas Thompson.
Sidgwick, 279 pp., £16.99, February 2001, 0 283 07291 1
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... betrayer of her country, but the innocent and warm-hearted victim of an evil spy-master, Stephen Ward, who passed himself off as a playboy but was in fact at the centre of an international espionage ring. In her salad days, Keeler was not a prostitute, not a popsie (a word whose absence from the world I’ve missed these past thirty-odd years), not a ...

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