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Wanting and Not Getting, Getting and Not Wanting

Rosemary Dinnage, 21 February 1980

My Life 
by George Sand, translated and adapted by Dan Hofstadter.
Gollancz, 246 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 0 575 02682 0
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George Sand in her Own Words 
edited and translated by Joseph Barry.
Quartet, 475 pp., £7.50, November 1980, 0 7043 2235 8
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... The 19th century loved George Sand: the Brownings, the Carlyles, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Ruskin, Whitman all read her; Arnold preferred her to Dickens; George Eliot and Charlotte Brontë were influenced by her; G.H. Lewes in a rash moment called her the most remarkable writer of the century. Henry James, of all people, loved her ‘serene volubility ...

A horn-player greets his fate

John Kerrigan, 1 September 1983

Horn 
by Barry Tuckwell.
Macdonald, 202 pp., £10.95, April 1983, 0 356 09096 5
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... Chatterton’s ‘Battle of Hastings II’, it has a peculiar rightness in Browning’s poem. As Barry Tuckwell, its foremost living exponent, reminds us in his splendid new book, the horn began its history in utterance and has never shaken off its origins. The first horns sent signals across dark forests; they called the clan together, like Ralph’s conch ...

Us and Them

Robert Taubman, 4 September 1980

The Secret Servant 
by Gavin Lyall.
Hodder, 224 pp., £5.50, June 1980, 0 340 25385 1
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The Flowers of the Forest 
by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 365 pp., £5.95, July 1980, 0 436 20087 2
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A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie 
by Robert Barnard.
Collins, 203 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 00 216190 7
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Enter the Lion: A Posthumus Memoir of Mycroft Holmes 
by Michael Hodel and Sean Wright.
Dent, 237 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 460 04483 4
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Dorothy I. Sayers: Nine Literary Studies 
by Trevor Hall.
Duckworth, 132 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 9780715614556
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Milk Dime 
by Barry Fantoni.
Hodder, 192 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 0 340 25350 9
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... built of solid dark mahogany and pictures of dead animals.’ A Secret Service chief disappears in Joseph Hone’s The Flowers of the Forest and ambiguous allegiances are disentangled in a quest across Europe, as well as back in time to the Cambridge of Philby – actually, to a stop on the Oxford to Cambridge line, on the assumption that ...

A Smile at My Own Temerity

John Barrell: William Hogarth, 16 February 2017

William Hogarth: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings 
by Elizabeth Einberg.
Yale, 432 pp., £95, November 2016, 978 0 300 22174 9
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... exemplified in particular in a critique of his work by the Irish painter and critic James Barry. Acknowledging Hogarth’s merit – his ‘admirable fund of invention’, the moral quality of his satire, ‘seldom or never employed in a dishonest or unmanly way’ – Barry had nevertheless claimed that his ...

Diary

Francis Wyndham: At the Theatre, 10 November 1988

... inherent in the act of theatre-going – an ambiguity exploited to fullest effect by the art of Barry Humphries. Perhaps because I have spent so much time over so many years watching television at home, the act of theatregoing now strikes me as more than ever peculiar, almost a little crazy – an excitingly ancient anachronism and an undertaking fraught ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Malingering trolley dollies, 8 February 2007

... front room and boring nights at the local disco. The matter is put rather well by Kathleen Barry, the author of a book called Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants (Duke, £13.99), as she tries to conjure with the vast investment of feeling that the job represented as early as 1933: A reporter from the Toledo Sunday Times took dramatic ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’, 6 February 2014

... Musicians were said to like it because the walls were thick: Caruso, Toscanini, Stravinsky. Later Barry Manilow played piano in the basement (no wall thick enough). The building is beautifully described by Bellow in Seize the Day. The Chelsea makes many more star appearances, but it’s the denizens of the place, their celebrity and sheer numbers – from ...

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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... who followed academic precepts, often slavishly but sometimes imaginatively (Reynolds, Wilson, Barry and West), and those whose 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 ...

Into the Gulf

Rosemary Hill, 17 December 1992

A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 
by Alethea Hayter.
Robin Clark, 224 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 0 86072 146 9
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Painting and the Politics of Culture: New Essays on British Art 1700-1850 
edited by John Barrell.
Oxford, 301 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198173922
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London: World City 1800-1840 
edited by Celina Fox.
Yale, 624 pp., £45, September 1992, 0 300 05284 7
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... end not only of Haydon’s career, but of painting in ‘the tradition of Joshua Reynolds, James Barry and Benjamin West’. How convincing this argument is depends on how we view that ‘tradition’. Of the three artists only West, who found a royal patron with the necessary deep pockets and high ceilings, made a career as a history painter. Reynolds was ...

Rivonia Days

R.W. Johnson: Remembering the trial, 16 August 2007

The State v. Nelson Mandela: The Trial That Changed South Africa 
by Joel Joffe.
Oneworld, 288 pp., £16.99, July 2007, 978 1 85168 500 4
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... intellectual (with a high-pitched voice) who became the stormtroopers’ greatest propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Yet the trial was not completely unfair. Justice Quartus De Wet, who heard the case, had all the normal white South African prejudices, but Joffe believes he was his own man and not a politicians’ puppet. Certainly, De Wet saw right through ...

Diary

Nick Laird: Ulster Revisited, 28 July 2011

... a month later.) Twenty minutes later gunmen entered a house in Ballydougan and shot and killed Joseph O’Dowd and his nephews Barry and Declan, all of them members of the SDLP. In 1999 Ian Paisley, under parliamentary privilege, claimed that Eugene Reavey, another brother, had ‘set up the Kingsmill massacre’, but ...

Philip Roth in Israel

Julian Barnes, 5 March 1987

The Counterlife 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 336 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 224 02871 5
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... mourners gather: from brave wife to Neanderthal uncle-in-law, from plain-speaking Cousin Essie to Barry Shuskin the cryonics bore. Cryonics: that is the tip-off. In one view of the world, Henry might die and go to heaven. In Barry Shuskin’s view of the world, Henry might ‘die’, spend a purgatorial period in an ...

Frognal Days

Zachary Leader: Files on the Fifties, 4 June 1998

Previous Convictions: A Journey Through the Fifties 
by Nora Sayre.
Rutgers, 464 pp., £27.95, April 1997, 0 8135 2231 5
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... Wilson, James Thurber, Walker Evans, James M. Cain, Nunnally Johnson, S.J. Perelman, Dawn Powell, Joseph Mitchell and John O’Hara. Many of these celebrated figures, artists and authors approaching fifty at the start of the decade or only lately past it, grew up in small provincial towns, emigrated to New York in the Jazz Age and worked together in the city ...

The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters, 21 March 2013

The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... in the presence of the husband of the monarch in a centre of metropolitan science. If – in Joseph Priestley’s over-quoted phrase – the rotten English hierarchy had ‘equal reason to tremble even at an air pump’, these shudders might be stilled by a spark coil or a Faraday cage. Despite this, Faraday was not a Tory. Throughout his career he took ...

Robin’s Hoods

Patrick Wormald, 5 May 1983

Robin Hood 
by J.C. Holt.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 500 25081 2
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The Early History of Glastonbury: An Edition, Translation and Study of William of Malmesbury’s ‘De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie’ 
by John Scott.
Boydell, 224 pp., £25, January 1982, 9780851151540
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Megalithomania 
by John Michell.
Thames and Hudson, 168 pp., £8.50, March 1982, 9780500012611
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... of Medieval England by Maurice Keen, a delightful collection of Rymes of Robin Hood by Barry Dobson and John Taylor, and a constructive reassessment of ‘the birth and setting of the ballads of Robin Hood’ by John Maddicott, have not only cast a flood of light on the origins and significance of the legend, but also materially extended ...

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