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Blake Morrison

21 February 1991
The Chatto Book of Love Poetry 
edited by John​ Fuller.
Chatto, 374 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3453 4
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The Faber Book of Blue Verse 
edited by John Whitworth.
Faber, 305 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14095 5
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Self-Portrait with a Slide 
by Hugo Williams.
Oxford, 62 pp., £5.95, June 1990, 0 19 282744 8
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The Virago Book of Love Poetry 
edited by Wendy Mulford.
Virago, 288 pp., £6.99, November 1990, 1 85381 030 4
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Erotica: An Anthology of Women’s Writing 
edited by Margaret Reynolds, foreword by Jeanette Winterson .
Pandora, 362 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 9780044406723
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Daddy, Daddy 
by Paul Durcan.
Blackstaff, 185 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 85640 446 2
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... least feigning, shy, sly, dry, delicate, subtle, gentle and sensitive, and he confesses himself happy to do without ‘misogynist satire, self-congratulation, smut’. He has left these to the other John, whose anthology is bold, noisy, rude, aggressive and full of itself, all of which things love can be, too, given half a chance. Neither editor is taking any chances, though. Fuller’s book, which ...

Prize Poems

Donald Davie

1 July 1982
Arvon Foundation Poetry Competion: 1980 Anthology 
by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.
Kilnhurst Publishing Company, 173 pp., £3, April 1982, 9780950807805
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Burn this 
by Tom Disch.
Hutchinson, 63 pp., £7.50, April 1982, 0 09 146960 0
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... Arvon Foundation’s 1980 Anthology contains four splendid poems: Stephen Watts’s ‘Praise Poem for North Uist’, and Keith Bosley’s ‘Corolla’; Aidan Carl Mathews’s ‘Severances’, and John Levett’s ‘The Photographs of Paris’. The first two are longish, the others shorter. The only one that won a prize – and that the smallest, £100 – is ‘Corolla’, a sequence of nine ...

How long?

Hilary Mantel

27 February 1992
The Literary Companion to Sex: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry 
edited by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 415 pp., £18, February 1992, 1 85619 127 3
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The Love Quest: A Sexual Odyssey 
by Anne Cumming.
Peter Owen, 200 pp., £15.50, November 1991, 9780720608359
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... ones. Marvell’s Coy Mistress travels down the centuries and sometimes changes sex. As Joe Orton puts it: ‘When you’re dead you’ll regret not having fun with your genital organs.’ And JohnWhitworth: Enough of solitary vice. Better to carve yourself a slice Of life, for, as the poet said, There’s fuck-all fucking when you’re dead. The 18th-century section is surprisingly thin, with Swift ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre

20 December 2018
Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... representation. The American Revolution, in which an economic argument that there should be ‘no taxation without representation’ became a political demand for liberty, changed everything. Major John Cartwright (who was later to advise the Manchester radicals) and Thomas Paine were influenced by the American programme in their arguments for domestic reform, Take Your Choice! and Common Sense. Yet ...


Dave Haslam: Post-Madchester

25 February 1993
... Chief Executive of Manchester Airport, cited James Agate, Asa Briggs and J.B. Priestley on the splendours of Manchester’s cultural past. Mr Thompson didn’t quote Engels. Nor, understandably, John Ruskin: ‘Manchester can produce no good art, and no good culture.’ Despite the presence at the press conference of John Thaw (alias Inspector Morse), the good news announced at the Airport failed ...

Tons of Sums

Michael Mason

16 September 1982
Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer 
by Anthony Hyman.
Oxford, 287 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 9780198581703
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... and tests were real enough. Babbage had set himself a colossal task of mechanical design, and the postponement of a physical incarnation of the Analytical Engine reflects this. But in 1855 Joseph Whitworth, a leading engineer, offered to build the machine, on terms generous to Babbage. The latter declined the offer, apparently because government help would also be required. This strange and surely ...


Michael Rogin

20 August 1998
Celebrity Caricature in America 
by Wendy Wick Reaves.
Yale, 320 pp., £29.95, April 1998, 0 300 07463 8
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... Tom Paine, but not for publishing Richard Newton’s scandalous political caricatures. Newton, a brilliant cartoonist who died at the age of 21, is the subject of an exhibition and catalogue from the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester. When Crowninshield, the editor of Vanity Fair, praised the absence of ‘grossièreté’ in Covarrubias, he was distinguishing that artist from the tradition ...
24 April 1997
Huxley: Evolution’s High Priest 
by Adrian Desmond.
Joseph, 372 pp., £20, March 1997, 0 7181 3882 1
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... 1880). The Concise DNB of 1930, summarising the Bishop’s achievements in two hundred words, doesn’t mention the 1860 battle (nor sub Huxley or Darwin or Hooker). Another portrait, another angle. John Collier’s 1890 painting is the most familiar image: a stiff, hard, sad old man, a man of power – he was ‘the Pope’ and ‘the General’ even before he had rank to pull. Collier was good at ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division

3 January 2008
Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... that ‘on the rare occasion that I captured the hint of a smile, I cursed my bad luck at wasting a frame.’ I assume that the Dutch boys, like many others, discovered The Fall by listening to John Peel. There was no MySpace or MTV then, and Peel was a key part of the network through which word spread about these bands. The mainstream media rarely acknowledged Joy Division or The Fall, and with ...

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