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Breathtaking Co-ordination

Jonathan Wright: Hitler’s Wartime Economy, 19 July 2007

The Third Reich in Power 
by Richard J. Evans.
Penguin, 941 pp., £12.99, May 2006, 0 14 100976 4
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The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy 
by Adam Tooze.
Penguin, 800 pp., £12.99, August 2007, 978 0 14 100348 1
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... Richard Evans’s history of the Third Reich – it will be completed by a third volume covering the war – is an invaluable work of synthesis. The mass of specialist studies we now have makes a general history all the more useful, and not only, as Evans suggests, for those who know little about the subject. Evans, a social historian, aims to cover ‘not only politics, diplomacy and military affairs but also society, the economy, racial policy, police and justice, literature, culture and the arts ...

Take a tinderbox and go steady with your canoe

John Bossy: Jesuits, 20 May 2004

The Jesuits: Missions, Myths and Histories 
by Jonathan Wright.
HarperCollins, 334 pp., £20, February 2004, 0 00 257180 3
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... about the Jesuit ethos that is impatient of history as it is impatient of attachment to place. Jonathan Wright is a young historian and seemingly an outsider, and his attitude to his subject is placid but sympathetic: notably sympathetic to contemporary Jesuits pursuing social and political justice, but unfussed by reactionaries, and agreeably ...

I wouldn’t say I love Finland

Alexander Dziadosz: Love, Home, Country?, 24 March 2022

Voices of the Lost 
by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth.
Oneworld, 197 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 78607 722 6
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God 99 
by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright.
Comma, 278 pp., £9.99, November 2020, 978 1 905583 77 5
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... balloon full of feathers’ into the night air. The sheet descends on the river below. Jonathan Wright (with whom I worked briefly at Reuters in Cairo) keeps the ribaldry of these moments alive in his English translation. Likewise, Marilyn Booth captures the starkness of Voices of the Lost, in prose stripped of almost all sensory details and ...

Bovril and Biscuits

Jonathan Parry: Mid-Victorian Britain, 13 May 1999

The Mid-Victorian Generation, 1846-86 
by Theodore Hoppen.
Oxford, 787 pp., £30, March 1998, 0 19 822834 1
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... In 1867, the British Government bought the V&A a cabinet, made by Messrs Wright and Mansfield, which had won the highest award at the Paris Exhibition of that year. It was 12 feet high, and made of satinwood, with an elaborate marquetry of coloured woods, gilt mounts and mouldings and Wedgwood plaques. It was an impressive piece, but more for its enormous size and laborious attention to ornate detail than for its gracefulness ...


Jonathan Parry, 21 September 1995

The City of London. Vol. II: Golden Years, 1890-1914 
by David Kynaston.
Chatto, 678 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7011 3385 6
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... the flotations (with some reason, until the inevitable collapse). And there was Whittaker Wright, who used Lord Dufferin, the most urbane and plausible diplomat of his generation, in the same way, trotting him out to reassure investors in his rickety mining company, until the bubble burst, ruining Dufferin’s wealth and health with it. (The joke ...

Crossed Palettes

Ronald Paulson, 4 November 1993

Painting for Money: The Visual Arts and the Public Sphere in 18th-Century England 
by David Solkin.
Yale, 312 pp., £40, July 1993, 0 300 05741 5
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... paintings were, in important ways, anti-academic, or ‘English’: Hogarth himself, Zoffany, Wright of Derby, Stubbs, Gainsborough, Rowlandson and Blake. The second group all shared something of Hogarth’s anti-authoritarian scepticism. Turner acknowledged his allegiance to it when he donated Hogarth’s palette to the Royal Academy, while Constable ...

At the Courtauld

Esther Chadwick: Jonathan Richardson, 10 September 2015

... a clock-like rhythm to this description of a daily routine, written by a man obsessed with time. Jonathan Richardson (1667-1745), the son of a London silk weaver, rose to prominence in the early decades of the 18th century as England’s leading art theorist and portraitist. Abandoning a career as a scrivener, he went on to paint writers ...


Patrick Wright: The Cult of Tyneham, 24 November 1988

... attempt to establish a single English tradition as the work of a ‘blood and soil’ nationalist. Jonathan Clark has likened his anthology to the ‘emotional core’ of the core curriculum. But in that overgrown rectory garden the book seemed elegiac and, despite Mr Baker’s recent use of it in a Moscow school, most unlike a modern textbook. Indeed, his ...

Cry Treedom

Jonathan Bate, 4 November 1993

Forests: The shadow of Civilisation 
by Robert Pogue Harrison.
Chicago, 288 pp., £19.95, May 1992, 0 226 31806 0
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... and, interpreting ‘poets’ generously, Constable, Thoreau, Conrad, Calvino and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Fallingwater is Harrison’s model house, built on the Ruskinian principle of ‘not only coming to rest in its environment but also embodying an extension of the foundation upon which it rests’. Harrison’s book begins with a quotation from The ...

Constable’s Plenty

John Barrell, 15 August 1991

by Leslie Parris and Ian Fleming-Williams.
Tate Gallery, 544 pp., £45, June 1991, 1 85437 071 5
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Romatic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition 
by Jonathan Bate.
Routledge, 131 pp., £8.99, May 1991, 0 415 06116 4
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... eight years – George Stubbs in 1984; Manners and Morals: Hogarth and British Painting in 1987; Wright of Derby last year. None of these was quite as blandly factual as Constable, nor so studiously innocent of the desire to situate the objects on display within a context wider than the work of the artist himself. But together they produce the sense that a ...

Fog has no memory

Jonathan Meades: Postwar Colour(lessness), 19 July 2018

The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Postwar Britain 
by Lynda Nead.
Yale, 416 pp., £35, October 2017, 978 0 300 21460 4
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... begs importunately and steals. Its leader (played by a choice cut of period beefcake called Tony Wright) is a murderer. They might be revenants from a Neue Sachlichkeit painting. Fog permeates every shot. It seeps into houses. According to Nead: ‘The fogs of the 1950s were different … from the fogs of Conan Doyle and Henry James. They drew on the ...


John Kerrigan, 2 April 1987

The Faber Book of Contemporary American Poetry 
edited by Helen Vendler.
Faber, 440 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 13945 0
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Selected Poems 
by John Ashbery.
Carcanet, 348 pp., £16.95, April 1986, 0 85635 666 2
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The Poetry Book Society Anthology 1986/87 
edited by Jonathan Barker.
Hutchinson, 94 pp., £4.95, November 1986, 0 09 165961 2
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Two Horse Wagon Going By 
by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 143 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 85635 661 1
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... to configure a sensibility and vindicate her choice. Best of all, she gives us 16 pages of Charles Wright. His compact lyrics gleam and smoulder. Their differential, not random, variety offers more to the anthologist than can be cancelled by Wright’s conviction that ‘the New Poem ... will not be photogenic.’ Whether ...

The Young Man One Hopes For

Jonathan Rée: The Wittgensteins, 21 November 2019

Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig 
edited by Brian McGuinness, translated by Peter Winslow.
Bloomsbury, 300 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 4742 9813 1
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... the way to achieving his childhood dream of becoming the greatest aviator since Orville and Wilbur Wright. But he hesitated. He had been reading Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell in his spare time, and believed that their inquiries into the foundations of logic heralded a revolution even more exciting than the invention of powered flight. He wanted to be part ...

At the Whitechapel

Peter Campbell: Mies van der Rohe, 23 January 2003

... and experiments of European Modernists (architects and others) and the example of Frank Lloyd Wright are all evident. The 1947 show seems, with hindsight, to have been planned to provide a podium on which reductive structures with temple-like geometry (that’s to say, Mies’s American work: the Illinois Institute of Technology buildings, the Lake Shore ...
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... who helped maintain the minority Labour government in power was fair game. Thanks to Peter Wright’s revelations we are more or less familiar with what went on in this period, though it is important to say that Wallace was the first to make public admission of these campaigns, well before Wright. Homosexual smears ...

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