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Joseph Farrell: In Palermo, 14 December 2000

... On the flight to Sicily, I read in several British newspapers about a mini riot in Palermo. The story seemed to be that the inhabitants of the Papireto district had taken to the streets to protest over a plague of fat mice. The creatures had been tumbling onto their heads from the tops of buildings. This sounded like a Biblical affliction, probably more distressing than anything suffered by the ancient Egyptians ...

A Venetian Poltroon

Tim Parks: Gentlemanly Bullets, 6 January 2022

Honour and the Sword: The Culture of Duelling 
by Joseph Farrell.
Signal, 327 pp., £20, June, 978 1 909930 94 0
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... that had been central to devotional behaviour for thousands of years came to appear grotesque. Joseph Farrell observes that the practice of duelling is now similarly ‘uniformly judged as outlandish and incomprehensible’, its ‘canons and creeds … as beyond recall as the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians’. For five hundred years men of a ...

Not Dead Yet

Anthony Grafton: Latin, 8 January 2015

Latin: Story of a World Language 
by Jürgen Leonhardt, translated by Kenneth Kronenberg.
Harvard, 352 pp., £22.95, November 2013, 978 0 674 05807 1
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... and locales, before they and their experiments were imported into Rome. Like the American Latinist Joseph Farrell, Leonhardt dissects the myths and shows that ‘there are no native Romans … All members of Latin culture must journey to Rome, each in his or her own way.’ Classical Latin still plays a central role in Leonhardt’s account. It took ...


Tom Paulin, 5 November 1981

Too Long a Sacrifice: Life and Death in Northern Ireland since 1969 
by Jack Holland.
Columbus, 217 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 396 07934 2
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A History of Northern Ireland 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 195 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 7171 1069 9
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... Two months after the suspension of Stormont in 1972, Belfast’s retiring Lord Mayor, Sir Joseph Cairns, delivered a farewell speech in which he reflected on the political situation. Ulster, he said, had been cynically betrayed by Britain’s policies: policies that had relegated it to ‘the status of a Fuzzy Wuzzy colony ...

Hot Dogs

Malcolm Bull, 14 June 1990

Mine eyes have seen the glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America 
by Randall Balmer.
Oxford, 246 pp., $19.95, September 1989, 0 19 505117 3
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In God’s Country: Travels in the Bible Belt, USA 
by Douglas Kennedy.
Unwin Hyman, 240 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 04 440423 9
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The Divine Supermarket 
by Malise Ruthven.
Chatto, 336 pp., £14.95, August 1989, 0 7011 3151 9
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The Democratisation of American Christianity 
by Nathan Hatch.
Yale, 312 pp., £22.50, November 1989, 0 300 44470 2
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Religion and 20th-Century American Intellectual Life 
edited by Michael Lacey.
Cambridge/Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, 214 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 521 37560 6
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New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America 
by Mary Farrell Bednarowski.
Indiana, 175 pp., $25, November 1989, 0 253 31137 3
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... the rhetoric of the revolution to promote intellectual and religious freedom within the republic, Joseph Smith and William Miller saw liberation as the fruit not of revolution but of exodus. Smith envisioned a new kingdom of the saints and led his followers to the West; the Millerites awaited the end of the world, and prepared themselves for the journey to a ...

After Gibraltar

Conor Gearty, 16 November 1995

... about the basic facts of the case, which was brought by relatives of the three deceased. Mairead Farrell was shot five times in the head and neck and three times in the back from a distance of about three feet. Daniel McCann was hit by five bullets, twice in the back and three times in the head. A pathologist later agreed that the third IRA member Sean ...

No looking at my elephant

Mary Wellesley: Menageries, 15 December 2016

Menagerie: The History of Exotic Animals in England 1100-1837 
by Caroline Grigson.
Oxford, 349 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 19 871470 5
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... month to care for England’s first recorded opossum. What was the customs duty on an emu in 1801? Joseph Banks narrowly avoided customs duty ad valorem – duty based on market value – on three of them, which would have set him back £3000 (about £200,000 in today’s money), but got away with paying 12s 8d for a warrant (roughly £42). What did a ride on ...

The Person in the Phone Booth

David Trotter: Phone Booths, 28 January 2010

... in which a sniper armed with a high-velocity rifle traps publicist Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) behind glass on a street in New York, forbidding him to put the receiver down until he has agreed to confess his sins (that is, his desire); or Run Lola Run (1998), in which Man communicates despair and self-hatred from the Berlin equivalent, while Woman ...

A Man of No Mind

Colm Tóibín: The Passion of Roger Casement, 13 September 2012

The Dream of the Celt 
by Mario Vargas Llosa and Edith Grossman.
Faber, 404 pp., £18.99, June 2012, 978 0 571 27571 7
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... three of these who stand out most are Henry Morton Stanley, who explored the route, the novelist Joseph Conrad, and the Irish patriot and human rights activist Roger Casement. It was Casement and a Frenchman living in England, E.D. Morel, who first drew attention to the crimes committed in the Congo in the name of progress and trade. Mario Vargas Llosa wrote ...

From Progress to Catastrophe

Perry Anderson: The Historical Novel, 28 July 2011

... tradition was not extinguished, but still capable of a remarkable reassertion, was shown by Joseph Roth’s Radetzky March, which appeared in 1932. This great novel, which Lukács came to admire, answers to all his criteria save one, which it pointedly reverses. Lukács believed that the true historical novel was carried by a sense of progress, such as ...

Negative Equivalent

Iain Sinclair: In the Super Sewer, 19 January 2023

... Tunnel Boring Machines that dug her out, prepares for its rendezvous with the admired brickwork of Joseph Bazalgette’s overwhelmed Victorian outflow. Such imaginative solutions were required, at whatever the cost (in the end it was £4.3 billion), to reduce the horror of the raw sewage and indestructible sanitary and convenience products spewing into ...

The Bergoglio Smile

Colm Tóibín: The Francis Papacy, 21 January 2021

... was given some attention during the 2005 papal conclave, when he was the main contender against Joseph Ratzinger after the death of John Paul II. It centred on the arrest and torture of two Jesuit priests, Oswaldo Yorio and Franz Jalics. Bergoglio had known both of them since the early 1960s – they had been his teachers. By the time Bergoglio took over as ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... from al-Jazeera was talking to the group. The group was usually just Sarah, who lived there, and Joseph Farrell, a pleasant twenty-something whizz kid who came and went. Another guy, an activist and academic from Canberra University, was drinking wine and talking about how to mobilise the world. It turned out that the guy from al-Jazeera was hoping to ...

A Journey in the South

Andrew O’Hagan: In New Orleans, 6 October 2005

... tongue and made shooting noises at the screen. ‘You’re one dead fucker,’ Terry said to Colin Farrell, the actor on the screen. ‘You’re gone.’ As he watched the movie, Terry opened a tin of clam chowder and ate it cold with a stolen spoon, following it with a red drink called Tahitian Fruit Punch. Terry woke up to find Sam lying on the next bed and ...

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