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7 November 1985
Memoirs of King George II: Vols I, II and III 
by Horace Walpole, edited by John Brooke.
Yale, 248 pp., £65, June 1985, 0 300 03197 1
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... by one reckoning, the exact mid-point of the century. Actually he had already made one abortive stab with Memoirs from the Declaration of the War with Spain’, begun in 1746, now first published by JohnBrooke as an appendix to his edition. The title is misleading, for these are annals of the Hanoverian accession, and don’t get anywhere within hailing distance of Jenkins Ear. The date is ...

Members Only

R.B. Dobson

24 February 1994
The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1386-1421 
edited by J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe.
Alan Sutton, 3500 pp., £275, February 1993, 9780862999438
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... afforded to any of his disciples and successors. Ever since the appearance in 1964 of the first section of the History of Parliament (devoted to the House of Commons from 1754 to 1790 and edited by JohnBrooke and Namier himself), admiration for the scholarship of that and subsequent volumes in this extraordinarily learned enterprise has regularly been accompanied by acute uncertainty as to what ...

On Jonathan Miller

Neal Ascherson: Jonathan Miller

22 December 2019
... Ifirst met​ Jonathan’s knees. This was because Cambridge 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 ...

A Talented Past

Linda Colley

23 April 1987
The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. I: Survey 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 400 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. II: Constituencies 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 704 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. III: Members A-F 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 852 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. IV: Members G-P 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 908 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. V: Members P-Z 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 680 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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... For him, Parliament was the only sure bastion against extremism abroad and ‘a safe and unjust society’ at home. In 1932, he and a committee which included the three big N’s – Namier, Sir John Neale and Wallace Notestein – submitted to Parliament a report on the possibility of a multi-volume history of the House of Commons: ‘We were the first people to govern ourselves through ...

Really fantastic

A.D. Nuttall

18 November 1982
A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, especially of the Fantastic 
by Christine Brooke-Rose.
Cambridge, 380 pp., £25, October 1981, 0 521 22561 2
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... If Christine Brooke-Rose had stayed in Oxford, instead of migrating to France, she might have been rather like Helen Gardner. Her new book is written with a crispness and a briskness which at once evokes a certain ...

Photo-Finish

John​ Hedley Brooke

23 May 1985
Just Before the Origin: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Evolution 
by John​ Langdon Brooks.
Columbia, 284 pp., $39, January 1984, 0 231 05676 1
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China and Charles Darwin 
by James Reeve Pusey.
Harvard, 544 pp., £21.25, February 1984, 0 674 11735 2
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... fact that singletons were merely forestalled multiples. If Darwin had not got there first, someone else would. And we all know that, in a photo-finish, Wallace almost did; or, if we are to believe John Langdon Brooks, really did. If philosophers have been attracted to these historical sites, it is partly because the pattern of simultaneous discovery might seem to substantiate a relatively ...

Textual Harassment

Nicolas Tredell

7 November 1991
Textermination 
by Christine Brooke-Rose.
Carcanet, 182 pp., £12.95, October 1991, 0 85635 952 1
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The Women’s Hour 
by David Caute.
Paladin, 272 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 0 586 09142 4
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Look twice 
by John​ Fuller.
Chatto, 255 pp., £13.99, October 1991, 0 7011 3761 4
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... Nervousness and nostalgia mark these three novels. The nostalgia of Christine Brooke-Rose is, surprisingly, for a golden age of character in fiction; David Caute harks back to the Sixties and the heyday of radical hopes; John Fuller conjures a world in which stories can still enchant ...

Flower Power

P.N. Furbank: Jocelyn Brooke

8 May 2003
'The Military Orchid’ and Other Novels 
by Jocelyn Brooke.
Penguin, 437 pp., £10.99, August 2002, 0 14 118713 1
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... An unjustly neglected author’? This was at least how Anthony Powell wrote of Jocelyn Brooke, none of whose books remained in print at the time of his death in 1966. But the neglect was to some degree remedied when, in 1981, Secker and Warburg reissued his Orchid Trilogy as a single volume ...

Flinch Wince Jerk Shirk

Frank Kermode: Christine Brooke-Rose

6 April 2006
Life, End of 
by Christine Brooke-Rose.
Carcanet, 119 pp., £12.95, February 2006, 1 85754 846 9
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... Christine Brooke-Rose, being in her eighties and suffering many intractable illnesses and disabilities, recognises that her life must be near its end. Since her retirement from the University of Paris (Vincennes) she ...

Stuffing

Gabriele Annan

3 September 1987
The Neo-Pagans: Friendship and Love in the Rupert Brooke​ Circle 
by Paul Delany.
Macmillan, 270 pp., £14.95, August 1987, 0 333 44572 4
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... an educated upper middle-class background; Cambridge – almost all the men went there, and some of the women; at Cambridge, the Bloomsbury men mostly belonged to the Apostles, and so did Rupert Brooke and Ferenc Bekassy, a fringe Neo-Pagan; nervous breakdowns were common in both groups and treated by the same doctors with the same regime – called ‘stuffing’ – in the sense of fattening up ...

Something Rather Scandalous

Jean McNicol: The Loves of Rupert Brooke

19 October 2016
Rupert BrookeLife, Death and Myth 
by Nigel Jones.
Head of Zeus, 588 pp., £12, April 2015, 978 1 78185 703 8
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Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke 
by Paul Delany.
McGill-Queen’s, 380 pp., £28.99, March 2015, 978 0 7735 4557 1
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The Second I Saw You: The True Love Story of Rupert Brooke​ and Phyllis Gardner 
by Lorna C. Beckett.
British Library, 216 pp., £16.99, April 2015, 978 0 7123 5792 0
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... Rupert Brooke​ died of septicaemia caused by an infected mosquito bite, on his way to fight in Gallipoli in April 1915. It wasn’t a romantic or heroic death, but it proved easy enough to turn into legend: that ...
22 April 1993
A History of Cambridge University. Vol. IV: 1870-1990 
by Christopher Brooke.
Cambridge, 652 pp., £50, December 1992, 9780521343503
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... Who better to be our guide to modern Cambridge than the Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History? Christopher Brooke was brought up in Cambridge, the son of the professor of medieval history and himself a post-war Apostle. He begins by whisking us round the colleges telling us what each was like in Victorian times ...

Wild Hearts

Peter Wollen

6 April 1995
Virginia Woolf 
by James King.
Hamish Hamilton, 699 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 241 13063 8
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... In 1978, at a seminar on John Maynard Keynes held by the University of Kent, Raymond Williams talked about ‘The Significance of Bloomsbury as a Social and Cultural Group’. He accepted Leonard Woolf’s characterisation of ...

Just like Rupert Brooke

Tessa Hadley: 1960s Oxford

5 April 2012
The Horseman’s Word: A Memoir 
by Roger Garfitt.
Cape, 378 pp., £18.99, April 2011, 978 0 224 08986 9
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... to lift me out of Daniel Deronda’ – and he restored himself by dipping into Agenda, George Barker. Studying poetry spilled over naturally into writing it: Garfitt went to informal workshops with John Wain and Peter Levi, heard Ted Hughes read at the Poetry Society. Coghill read his poems, but wasn’t very enthusiastic; Peter Jay took a photo of him in a green silk smoking jacket looking ‘just ...

Among the Sandemanians

John​ Hedley Brooke

25 July 1991
Michael Faraday: Sandemanian and Scientist 
by Geoffrey Cantor.
Macmillan, 359 pp., £40, May 1991, 0 333 55077 3
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... Sandemanians in whose fellowship Faraday’s spirituality was formed. The sect, now virtually extinct, has origins that can be traced to Scotland in the 1720s, where, from his ministry near Dundee, John Glas dissented from the practice of covenanting and insisted that a national church of Scotland under Parliamentary control was not sanctioned by the Bible. In the growth of the breakaway church Glas ...

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