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Fenmen

Ronald Hutton

5 August 1982
Fenland Riots and the English Revolution 
by Keith Lindley.
Heinemann, 259 pp., £16.50, March 1982, 0 435 32535 3
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Commonwealth to Protectorate 
by Austin Woolrych.
Oxford, 433 pp., £22.50, March 1982, 0 19 822659 4
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... the promoters of the works included the King and courtiers, but also a local entrepreneur, Sir John Monson, while the largest scheme of all was undertaken by the Earl of Bedford, one of the leaders of the political group self-consciously opposed to other royal policies. Thus the tension appears to have arisen not from a division between court and country ...
22 May 1986
The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can,   And don’t have any kids yourself. The Lamberts – painter George (1873-1930), composer-conductor Constant (1905-51), and manager of The Who, Kit (1935-81) – got out as early as they could, and of the two who had kids neither showed paternal enthusiasm or skill. The misery deepened fully in Kit ...

Shag another

Katrina Forrester: In Bed with the Police

7 November 2013
Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police 
by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
Faber and Guardian Books, 346 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 571 30217 8
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... whose secret lives have been exposed, none lived up to the SDS motto quite so completely as Bob Lambert. Francis refers to Lambert’s as the ‘best SDS tour of duty ever’. He was famous within SDS ranks long before the details of his tour were made public – by the activists whose lives ...
2 April 1981
... miles from Cambridge, at a much less famous centre, Bard College in New York State, Professor Mark Lambert has been noticing and thinking about quotation, and the presentation of quotation, in the English novel. He has written a short and remarkable book† on some aspects of the subject which makes MacCabe’s comments on Joyce and Eliot seem even more ...

Underparts

Nicholas Spice

6 November 1986
Roger’s Version 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 316 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 233 97988 3
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The Voyeur 
by Alberto Moravia, translated by Tim Parks.
Secker, 186 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 436 28721 8
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Dvorak in Love 
by Josef Skvorecky, translated by Paul Wilson.
Chatto, 322 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 7011 2994 8
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Moments of Reprieve 
by Primo Levi, translated by Ruth Feldman.
Joseph, 172 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 7181 2726 9
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... Readers of John Updike’s previous novel, The Witches of Eastwick, will not have forgotten Darryl Van Horne’s bottom: how, at the end of a game of tennis, Darryl dropped his shorts and thrust his hairy rump into his partner’s face, demanding that she kiss it, which she did. In Roger’s Version the roles are reversed ...

No Longer Merely the Man Who Ate His Boots

Thomas Jones: The Northwest Passage

27 May 2010
Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage 
by Glyn Williams.
Allen Lane, 440 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 84614 138 6
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Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Navigation 
by Andrew Lambert.
Faber, 428 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 0 571 23160 7
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... it runs north into Baffin Bay. In 1585, on returning from his first voyage to find the passage, John Davis wrote to Francis Walsingham that ‘the northwest passage is a matter nothing doubtful.’ Thirty years later, William Baffin wrote to one of his financial backers that ‘there is no passage nor hope of passage.’ Baffin did see a lot of whales ...
20 July 2000
... is no doubt David Hare would have deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities. On the eve of filming O Lucky Man Lindsay has his ailing mother to stay in his flat in Swiss Cottage. Before she arrives he cleans up the ...

It’s him, Eddie

Gary Indiana: Carrère’s Limonov

22 October 2014
Limonov: A Novel 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert.
Allen Lane, 340 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 84614 820 0
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... The prologue​ of Limonov places Emmanuel Carrère in Moscow, circa 2006, at a commemoration ceremony outside the Dubrovka Theatre, where in 2002 the Nord-Ost hostage crisis ended when the Russian military pumped Fentanyl gas into the theatre, indiscriminately killing well over a hundred hostages along with their Chechen captors. ‘In the centre of a circle, dominating the crowd, standing back and yet still attracting attention’, Carrère glimpses a vaguely familiar figure, holding a candle like everyone else ...

Diary

Ruth Dudley Edwards: Peddling Books

21 January 1988
... It is one thing to have your history* record that the firm’s founder – like Bodley Head’s John Lane – tried to avoid paying his authors. It would be quite another to have it alleged that the present management had inherited those proclivities. The distinguished journalist J.W. Lambert was certainly thorough and ...

Queening It

Jenny Diski: Nina Simone

25 June 2009
Nina Simone: The Biography 
by David Brun-Lambert.
Aurum, 346 pp., £20, February 2009, 978 1 84513 430 3
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... and colleagues who refused to be interviewed or give on-the-record information. But David Brun-Lambert, seeing a perfect subject with a classically imperfect life, didn’t let a lack of new primary sources stop him. He had a story ‘of inconsolable solitude, of an artist wracked and torn by destructive forces. Under life’s blows and her depression, she ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dream On

27 June 2002
... an assistant rhinoceros trader in ancient Athens called Ali Shah. How this might be connected to John Updike’s ‘Rabbit Remembered’, the last bit of fiction I’d read, I don’t know. Waking up, I thought the dream might be useful for Short Cuts and, taking the notebook and pencil I keep handy next to the bed, scribbled down the name ‘Ali ...

‘Succession’

John Lanchester

19 November 2019
... up a sign saying simply ‘ROY CUNT’. (‘It’s not rude over here,’ Tom says, tentatively.) Lambert Le Roux, the Murdochian press tycoon in David Hare and Howard Brenton’s Pravda, was, like Logan, a sweary, hard-charging thug. Murdoch himself isn’t like that: he’s much more feline. The actor who catches this side of him is Simon McBurney in The ...

The Only Way

Sam Kinchin-Smith: Culinary Mansplaining

4 January 2018
... is a founding text of contemporary cookbook-writing, or Fergus Henderson, whose St John restaurants trained many of London’s newish wave of serious chefs – and to his and Gill’s generation of restaurant critics, the transgressive has become familiar. He’s not unaware of this, of course, and so, for the first time in his career, tries to ...

One Cygnet Too Many

John Watts: Henry VII

26 April 2012
Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England 
by Thomas Penn.
Penguin, 448 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 0 14 104053 0
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... because – as he and they knew – the Earl of Suffolk, whose brother had been the pretender Lambert Simnel’s ally in 1487 and who was another nephew of Edward IV, had suddenly fled to the court of Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, and was perhaps already plotting to return in arms and claim the crown. From this moment of thwarted triumph, the ...

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