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Defeated Armies

Scott Sherman: Castro in the New York Times

5 July 2007
The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews​ of the ‘New York Times’ 
by Anthony DePalma.
PublicAffairs, 308 pp., £15.99, September 2006, 1 58648 332 3
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... On the evening of 15 February 1957, the New York Times correspondent Herbert Matthews stepped into a jeep with some anti-government activists and went to meet the young Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. Castro was supposed to be dead: sailing from Mexico a few months earlier, he had ...

The End

Angela Carter

18 September 1986
A Land Apart: A South African Reader 
edited by André Brink and J.M. Coetzee.
Faber, 252 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 571 13933 7
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Where Sixpence lives 
by Norma Kitson.
Chatto, 352 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3085 7
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... rarely hinted at elsewhere in the book. He says to his wife: – Dulcie, I will never betray my comrades. And with a frog in her throat she replied – I’m behind you. One hundred per cent. The JohnMatthews of the poem ends up with a sentence of 15 years. Norma Kitson’s husband, David Kitson, was sentenced to 20 years for work connected with the early days of the ANC. Like Dulcie, she was a ...

Mighty Merry

E.S. Turner

25 May 1995
The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Eleven Volumes, including Companion and Index 
edited by R.C. Latham and W. Matthews.
HarperCollins, 267 pp., £8.99, February 1995, 0 00 499021 8
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... Anyone who has ever settled down to read The Holy Bible in Pitman’s Shorthand, or even Three Men in a Boat in the same form, will have a mild idea of the task which faced the Cambridge graduate John Smith (a sizar, married with one child) when in 1819 he was hired to decipher the six volumes of Samuel Pepys’s diary on which Magdalene College had sat for over a century. Smith did not know the ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Out of Essex

8 January 2004
... urgency, loss of nerve. The printed card in my pocket depicts a stack of scarlet container units, a pylon, a purple sky. An invitation to an invisible art manifestation: Lost Memories by Emma Matthews. ‘Very elegant, very Paul Klee,’ the punters say. Rusting English metal, from somewhere down the A13, near Rainham Marshes, rendered as a grid of delicately balanced reds and pinks, with just ...
16 June 1983
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Vol X: Companion and Vol XI: Index 
edited by Robert Latham.
Bell and Hyman, 626 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 7135 1993 2
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The Diary of John​ Evelyn 
edited by John​ Bowle.
Oxford, 476 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 19 251011 8
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The Brave Courtier: Sir William Temple 
by Richard Faber.
Faber, 187 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 571 11982 4
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... man in the same skin, one who watched understandingly but rather detachedly the behaviour and motives of his fellow-lodger’. These words were penned by Robert Latham’s collaborator, William Matthews, who died in 1976. He was a scholar in the old style, not given to trendy assimilation of historic sources into the narratology of modern angst. But his effort to see the diary as something more than ...
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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Salisbury: The 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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... W.H. Smith. Salisbury excused himself by saying he had never seen Smith in profile, since in Cabinet they always sat opposite each other. No doubt he mistook his wife for a hat, and the liberal John Bright for the devil. While Disraeli practised a politics of spatial tension and betrayal as a form of funny joke, Salisbury saw nothing, but the end of all things. There is an honesty, a courteous ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan

29 June 2016
... But even among those who said this, few could resist debating the clues the founder left behind.’ The ‘Stefan’ who was hovering during the raid on Craig Wright’s house and office is Stefan Matthews, an IT expert whom Wright had known for ten years, since they both worked for the online gambling site Centrebet. In those days, around 2007, Wright was often hired as a security analyst by such ...
6 December 1990
Listening for a Midnight Tram: Memoirs 
by John​ Junor.
Chapmans, 341 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 9781855925014
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... Sir John Junor made his reputation mainly as the man prepared to be more bitchy about famous people than any other newspaper columnist. This was the basis on which he conducted his column on the Sunday ...
10 January 1983
Benjamin Disraeli Letters: Vol. I 1815-1834, Vol. II 1835-1837 
edited by J.A.W. Gunn, John Matthews, Donald Schurman and M.G. Wiebe.
Toronto, 482 pp., £37.50, June 1982, 0 8020 5523 0
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The Gladstone Diaries: with Cabinet Minutes and Prime Ministerial Correspondence, Vol. VII, January 1869-June 1871, Vol. VIII, July 1871-December 1874 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew.
Oxford, 641 pp., £35, September 1982, 0 19 822638 1
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Disraeli 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 297 78153 7
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Gladstone: Vol. I 1809-1865 
by Richard Shannon.
Hamish Hamilton, 580 pp., £18, November 1982, 0 241 10780 6
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H.H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley 
edited by Michael Brock and Eleanor Brock.
Oxford, 676 pp., £19.50, November 1982, 0 19 212200 2
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... the biographer who does not cry a halt at some stage to his investigations will never finish his biography. But I wish I had pursued more energetically the quest for papers at Belvoir Castle (Lord John Manners and George Smythe), Weston Park (Lady Bradford and Lady Chesterfield) and Windsor Castle, where there apparently still exists a notable private correspondence with Queen Victoria alleged by ...

Economic Performance

Sydney Checkland

19 April 1984
The Victorian Economy 
by François Crouzet, translated by Anthony Forster.
Methuen, 430 pp., £18, June 1982, 0 416 31110 5
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British Economic Growth 1856-1973 
by R.C.O. Matthews, C.H. Feinstein and J.C. Odling-Smee.
Oxford, 712 pp., £37.50, October 1982, 0 19 828453 5
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The Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Vol. VII: The Industrial Economies: Capital, Labour and Enterprise 
edited by Peter Mathias.
Cambridge, 832 pp., £13.50, June 1982, 0 521 28800 2
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... the relationships between the phenomena measured. Such abstraction and quantification makes its own demands and imposes its own exclusions. These are carefully pointed out and demonstrated by Matthews, Feinstein and Odling-Smee, and by Solow and Temin in the Cambridge volume. Immeasurables tend to become residuals (and hence very difficult to relate to anything real). Solow and Temin are frank ...

Higher Man

John​ Sutherland

22 May 1997
The Turner Diaries 
by ‘Andrew Macdonald’.
National Vauguard Books, 211 pp., $12.95, May 1978, 0 937944 02 5
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... He was evidendy brought up in the South-West, and graduated BA from Rice in 1955. He spent the year 1955-6 at Caltech, as a graduate student in physics. This was the period when the recently formed John Birch Society was active in San Marino, a mile or two away from the Caltech campus. Pierce was evidetly much impressed by a Birchite novel circulating at the time, The Franklin Papers, whose plot ...

Magnanimous Cuckolds

Jack Matthews

10 November 1988
The Lyre of Orpheus 
by Robertson Davies.
Viking, 472 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 9780670824168
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... Lyre of Orpheus, we pick up temporally where Rebel Angels left off. As for Francis Cornish’s biographer, Simon Darcourt: he is a priest, a bachelor, and a professor of Greek in the College of St John and the Holy Ghost (familiarly known as ‘Spook’); he is also a man of acute observation and humane understanding. In addition, since much of the action of all the novels derives from Francis ...

Suspicious

Tariq Ali: Richard Sorge’s Fate

19 November 2019
An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent 
by Owen Matthews.
Bloomsbury, 448 pp., £25, March, 978 1 4088 5778 6
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... Poretsky/Reiss (better known as Ludwik) – remain unmatched. Sorge has always attracted particular attention. Ian Fleming called him the ‘most formidable spy in history’; other admirers included John le Carré, Tom Clancy and General MacArthur. Owen Matthews – whose new biography of Sorge is the fifth to appear in English – is well qualified to write this book: his Ukrainian maternal ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty

11 December 1997
... but he had heard later from several people that a young Londoner had been looking for him that night. Could he find any of these people, we asked? Yes, he would try. The following week Jo Mennel and John Morgan, the reporter, went back to interview the Rhyl witnesses on camera. Over a cup of tea in a café, Terry Evans gave them the disappointing news that he could not find the main man he was ...

Diary

Ardis Butterfield: Who was Chaucer?

26 August 2015
... unfamiliar or heretofore unpublished’ documents. (‘Documents’, needless to say, are inherently more serious and scientific than love notes.) The second example is a murder mystery about John Gower by Bruce Holsinger, which takes a different tack.2 Chaucer is glimpsed; he is a calculating and casual character, shallowly obsessed with his literary reputation and erotic conquests. The ...

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