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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Sisters Brothers’

9 May 2019
... he has in mind, but the first says he just meant going on in a straight line. Due west, in this case. In the next frame they are looking at the sea. The brothers are Eli and Charlie, played by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. Reilly is also the producer of the work, having seen in DeWitt’s novel a starting point for the film. The screenplay is by Audiard and Thomas Bidegain. The ...
22 May 1986
Domesday: 900 Years of England’s Norman Heritage 
edited by Kate Allen.
Millbank in association with the National Domesday Committee, 192 pp., £3, March 1986, 0 946171 49 1
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The Normans and the Norman Conquest 
by R. Allen Brown.
Boydell, 259 pp., £19.50, January 1985, 0 85115 427 1
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The Domesday Book: England’s Heritage, Then and Now 
edited by Thomas Hinde.
Hutchinson, 351 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 09 161830 4
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Domesday Heritage 
edited by Elizabeth Hallam.
Arrow, 95 pp., £3.95, February 1986, 0 09 945800 4
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Domesday Book through Nine Centuries 
by Elizabeth Hallam.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.50, March 1986, 0 500 25097 9
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Domesday Book: A Reassessment 
edited by Peter Sawyer.
Arnold, 182 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 7131 6440 9
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... immediately intelligible to layman and student alike, will be the translation and reprint of Abraham Farley’s 1783 edition of Domesday Book published by Phillimore under the general editorship of JohnMorris, as part of their ‘History from the Sources’ series. This was put in hand in 1969 and the first parts were published in 1975; the work was delayed by Dr Morris’s death in 1977. This now ...

Hegemonies

Patrick Wormald

21 October 1982
Dark Age Economics: The Origins of Towns and Trade, AD 600-1000 
by Richard Hodges.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £24, March 1982, 0 7156 1531 9
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Londinium: London in the Roman Empire 
by John Morris.
Weidenfeld, 384 pp., £15, March 1982, 9780297780939
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... less important in the Roman Empire, its cities much less commercially-orientated, than Pirenne necessarily supposed. It is to the history of one of the greatest of these cities, London no less, that JohnMorris addressed himself. Morris was a brilliant, if idiosyncratic scholar, best-known for an ambitious and highly controversial interpretation of the Age of Arthur. Londinium has been published ...

Back to Byzantium

John​ Thompson

22 January 1981
Destinations 
by Jan Morris.
Oxford, 242 pp., £7.95, July 1980, 0 19 502708 6
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The Venetian Empire 
by Jan Morris.
Faber, 192 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780571099368
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... There’s a jet on the cover of Destinations, soaring silently above New York, bathed in the rosy, gauzy haze of a dawn sun. The serenity of it all is deceptive, because Jan Morris is screaming in on a special assignment from Rolling Stone. Her collection of essays touches down in a quick succession of trouble-torn areas – India in the Emergency, post-Watergate Washington ...

A Preference for Strenuous Ghosts

Michael Kammen: Theodore Roosevelt

6 June 2002
Theodore Rex 
by Edmund Morris.
HarperCollins, 772 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 00 217708 0
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... Americans seem to relish Presidential biographies. David McCullough’s Truman (1992) was on the bestseller lists for the better part of a year, and his John Adams (2001) is providing an astonishing repeat performance. Robert Caro’s dramatically detailed look at The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been unfolding since 1982, and large chunks of Volume Three ...
18 November 1993
New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... one of America’s largest publishing houses. We have not the time to laugh at this speculation because dinner is announced, and William Faulkner is seated next to Candy author Terry Southern. Willie Morris, of the Texas Observer and Harper’s Magazine by way of a place called Yazoo and a university named Oxford, is now listening. ‘Mr Bill,’ Southern whispers into Faulkner’s ear, ‘why are you ...

In Pursuit of Pinochet

Michael Byers: The legal implications of the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London in October 1998

21 January 1999
... Court, the Home Office explicitly chose not to take a position on the crucial issue of immunity, leaving that Court little option but to rule in favour of Pinochet on 28 October. At the same time, JohnMorris, the Attorney-General, refused to give his consent to the prosecution of Pinochet in the UK (such consent is required under the torture provisions of the Criminal Justice Act). The Government ...

So Much Smoke

Tom Shippey: King Arthur

20 December 2018
King Arthur: the Making of the Legend 
by Nicholas Higham.
Yale, 380 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 300 21092 7
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... belief that Arthur stopped the Saxons (for a while) in their tracks.Early Welsh poems mention Arthur, but the most interestingly historical of them, Y Gododdín, does so only tangentially. Whatever JohnMorris and Leslie Alcock may have written in the 1970s and 1980s, the evidence provides ‘no space … for an “Age of Arthur” during which a victorious British emperor-like figure held back the ...
23 February 1995
William MorrisA Life for Our Time 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 780 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 571 14250 8
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... School, and Marcuse in particular, were the great inheritors of this cultural politics; but meanwhile an indigenous British current of it had got under way, passed from Coleridge and Carlyle to John Ruskin and Matthew Arnold. From this radical-Romantic viewpoint, industrial capitalism was to be condemned for stifling a creativity which the arts, above all, most finely exemplified. Art was the ...
7 May 1981
... Geoffrey Grigson and I were touring Wiltshire in a hired car, a black Morris 1000 saloon, doing a piece of photo-journalism for Picture Post. I was taking the photographs. It-was 1951. The Mail had offered a reward of £10,000 for any information leading to the capture of the ...

Oh! – only Oh!

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Burne-Jones

9 February 2012
The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 629 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 571 22861 4
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... classics, and his classmates became his first real friends. He was attracted to religious ceremony, and arrived at Oxford in 1853 a fervent Tractarian: he dreamed of following in the footsteps of John Henry Newman or even joining a monastic brotherhood. The spiritual intensity of his Oxford phase and the dream of brotherhood never left him, but the appeal of the church gradually faded; by the time ...

Smocks

Rosemary Hill

5 December 1991
Gertrude Jekyll 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 323 pp., £17.99, October 1991, 0 670 82788 6
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People’s Parks 
by Hazel Conway.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £49.50, August 1991, 0 521 39070 2
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The History of Garden Design: The Western Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day 
edited by Monique Mosser and Georges Teyssot.
Thames and Hudson, 543 pp., £45, May 1991, 0 500 01511 2
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... The woods around London offered some curious sights in the 1840s. To the north in Epping Forest the infant William Morris could be seen riding out in a toy suit of armour, while down in Surrey, in the Tillingbourne Valley, little Gertrude Jekyll was learning to make gunpowder. In the event it was Morris who became the ...

Character Building

Peter Campbell

9 June 1994
Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernity 
by Jerome McGann.
Princeton, 196 pp., £25, July 1993, 0 691 06985 9
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Letters from the People 
by Lee Friedlander.
Cape, 96 pp., £75, August 1993, 9780224032957
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Margins and Marginality 
by Evelyn Tribble.
Virginia, 194 pp., $35, December 1993, 0 8139 1472 8
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... too, have a body language. But does the way they are physically presented impinge in any significant way on the texts they contain? Jerome McGann reckons that the private press movement (William Morris and his followers) was an agent in the rise of Modernist poetry, and goes on to make large claims for the ability of poetry in the Modernist tradition to unknot linguistic and philosophical binds ...

Going on the air

Philip French

2 May 1985
Orwell: The War Broadcasts 
edited by W.J. West.
Duckworth/BBC, 304 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 7156 1916 0
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... contact with a much wider range of people than he might have met elsewhere. His colleagues and BBC contemporaries included Alan Bullock (recipient of a self-righteous Orwell memo), William Empson and JohnMorris (both of whom wrote elegant memoirs of Orwell at the BBC); he employed Nye Bevan, Richard Acland, J.B.S. Haldane, T.S. Eliot, Quintin Hogg, Bernard Shaw; he led a BBC party, that included Guy ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Alan Taylor, Oxford Don

8 May 1986
... the Devil in some of his writings. At the same time, one was conscious of the towering intellectual distinction of that earlier generation of fellows: not just AJPT and Lewis, but Bruce McFarlane, JohnMorris, Rupert Cross, Cyril Darlington, J.Z. Young, Sir Peter Medawar, Gilbert Ryle ... the line stretched on. No doubt it was all more humdrum in reality, but one was left with the impression of ...

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