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1 June 1989
English Children and their Magazines 1751-1945 
by Kirsten Drotner.
Yale, 272 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 300 04010 5
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Frank Richards: The Chap behind the Chums 
by Mary Cadogan.
Viking, 258 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 670 81946 8
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A History of Children’s Book Illustration 
by Joyce Irene Whalley and Tessa Rose Chester.
Murray/Victoria and Albert Museum, 268 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 7195 4584 6
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Manchester Polytechnic Library of Children’s Books 1840-1939: ‘From Morality to Adventure’ 
by W.H. Shercliff.
Bracken Books/Studio Editions, 203 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 901276 18 9
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Children’s Modern First Editions: Their Value to Collectors 
by Joseph Connolly.
Macdonald, 336 pp., £17.95, October 1988, 0 356 15741 5
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... to foster braininess in the reader. As far as the latter is concerned, it is surely impossible to estimate the retarding effect of low-grade literature. On the credit side, we have the testimony of JosephConnolly, book-dealer and author of Children’s Modern First Editions, who graduated from the Beano to the Times. The Beano (first issued in 1938) is among the papers noted by Kirsten Drotner but ...
20 May 1982
P.G. Wodehouse: A Literary Biography 
by Benny Green.
Joseph, 256 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 907516 04 1
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Wodehouse on Wodehouse: Bring on the girls (with Guy Bolton), Performing Flea, Over Seventy 
Penguin, 655 pp., £2.95, September 1981, 0 14 005245 3Show More
P.G. Wodehouse: An Illustrated Biography 
by Joseph Connolly.
Eel Pie, 160 pp., £3.95, September 1981, 0 906008 44 1
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P.G. Wodehouse: A Centenary Celebration 1881-1981 
edited by James Heineman and Donald Bensen.
Oxford, 197 pp., £40, February 1982, 0 19 520357 7
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The World of P.G. Wodehouse 
by Herbert Warren Wind.
Hutchinson, 256 pp., £5.95, October 1981, 0 09 145670 3
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... quietly at the Latin master. It is permissible to smile, or laugh quietly, at Wodehouse buffs, British and American. P.G. Wodehouse: An Illustrated Biography is a jolly picture-book compiled by JosephConnolly, who runs the Flask Bookshop in Hampstead and claims to have ‘an unrivalled collection of Wodehouse first editions’. He has a list of such editions at the back of his book, with the ...

Funny Mummy

E.S. Turner

2 December 1982
The Penguin Stephen Leacock 
by Robertson Davies.
Penguin, 527 pp., £2.95, October 1981, 0 14 005890 7
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Jerome K. Jerome: A Critical Biography 
by Joseph Connolly.
Orbis, 208 pp., £7.95, August 1982, 0 85613 349 3
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Three Men in a Boat 
by Jerome K. Jerome, annotated and introduced by Christopher Matthew and Benny Green.
Joseph, 192 pp., £12.50, August 1982, 0 907516 08 4
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The Lost Stories of W.S. Gilbert 
edited by Peter Haining.
Robson, 255 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 86051 200 2
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... and traditions of humour. In America, where his early books were pirated, Jerome, like Leacock, was said to be inspired by Twain, which spurred his English admirers into tracing a Dickens influence. JosephConnolly (author of an illustrated biography of P.G. Wodehouse) considers that the success of Three Men ‘depends largely on the adroit alternation of exaggeration and understatement which – as V ...

No snarling

Fatema Ahmed: P.G. Wodehouse

3 November 2005
Wodehouse 
by Joseph Connolly.
Haus, 192 pp., £9.99, September 2004, 1 904341 68 3
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Wodehouse: A Life 
by Robert McCrum.
Penguin, 542 pp., £8.99, September 2005, 0 14 100048 1
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... anything seriously. Worse still, it can stop other people taking you seriously. Biographers of Wodehouse have fallen into two camps: outright fans and well-disposed (but essentially sane) observers. JosephConnolly’s biography is a harrowing example of the former; denied permission to quote from Wodehouse’s work he compensates by adopting a jaunty tone. Unlike Wodehouse, however, but like many ...

Speaking well

Christopher Ricks

18 August 1983
Cyril ConnollyJournal and Memoir 
by David Pryce-Jones.
Collins, 304 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 333 32827 2
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J.B. Yeats: Letters to His Son W.B. Yeats and Others, 1869-1922 
edited with a memoir by Joseph​ Hone.
Secker, 296 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 436 59205 3
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... Unlike the publication in 1975 of the touching acute letters of Cyril Connolly to Noel Blakiston, the publication of Connolly’s Journal (1928-1937) does not serve him, except right. He found D.H. Lawrence insufficiently magnanimous (‘Notice how carefully Lawrence refuses to recognise virtue in anyone but himself ...
20 June 1985
... In the last sentences of Decline and Fall there is a reference to the Ebionites – a sect of poor Jewish-Christians who rejected the Pauline Epistles and thought that Jesus was the human son of Joseph and Mary until his baptism, when the Holy Spirit lighted on him. The passage reads: ‘So the ascetic Ebionites used to turn towards Jerusalem when they prayed. Paul made a note of it. Quite right to ...

Sacrifice

Frank Kermode

14 May 1992
The Gonne-Yeats Letters, 1893-1938 
edited by Anna MacBride White and A. Norman Jeffares.
Hutchinson, 544 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 09 174000 2
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... matters which now seem irrelevant to it. And if the cause was Irish it might be infused either by a fanatical mysticism of the sort professed by Padraig Pearse or by the passionate socialism of James Connolly, two of the 16 who, along with MacBride, were executed in 1916. Robert Wohl in his book The Generation of 1914 writes about the vogue of martial mysticism that took hold all over Europe at the time ...

A Lot to Be Said

Stefan Collini: Literary Criticism

2 November 2017
Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History 
by Joseph​ North.
Harvard, 272 pp., £31.95, May 2017, 978 0 674 96773 1
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... Scanning​ recent academic literary studies for examples of what he calls ‘a genuinely critical impulse’, Joseph North picks out D.A. Miller’s subtle analysis of Jane Austen’s prose. ‘The critical voice speaking here is quite remarkable for the finesse with which it mimics the rhetorical effect it is ...
30 March 2016
... included figures in his own movement who were still not sure that the best strategy would be open rebellion.A conference was arranged between leading members of the Volunteers and the IRB and James Connolly, who controlled the Irish Citizen Army, a small militant left-wing group. Connolly, a Marxist, saw the war as an opportunity for the Irish working class to liberate itself from Britain. Both Clarke ...

Strutting

Linda Colley

21 September 1995
All the Sweets of Being: The Life of James Boswell 
by Roger Hutchinson.
Mainstream, 238 pp., £17.50, May 1995, 1 85158 702 0
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James Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’ 
edited by Marshall Waingrow.
Edinburgh, 518 pp., £75, March 1995, 0 7486 0471 5
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Johnson and Boswell: The Transit of Caledonia 
by Pat Rogers.
Oxford, 245 pp., £30, April 1995, 0 19 818259 7
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... response on his part to the fact that he had reached the climacteric of his 63rd year. But he also places the journey in the context of the great Pacific explorations of Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks, and not just because they were personally known to Boswell and Johnson on the London celebrity circuit. Just as Cook and his crew scoured the Pacific islands with scientific and ...

No more alimony, tra la la

Miranda Carter: Somerset Maugham

17 December 2009
The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham 
by Selina Hastings.
John Murray, 614 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 0 7195 6554 0
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... minded that the critical establishment didn’t take him as seriously as he would have liked. He said that the intelligentsia ‘turned a cold shoulder on me’, though he had admirers in Cyril Connolly and Desmond MacCarthy. He thought the reason he wasn’t admired was that his prose was too plain – no lyrical flights, no metaphors. In Cakes and Ale he has a pop not just at Hugh Walpole, but at ...

The Unrewarded End

V.G. Kiernan: Memories of the CP

17 September 1998
The Death of Uncle Joe 
by Alison Macleod.
Merlin, 269 pp., £9.95, May 1997, 0 85036 467 1
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Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party 
by Francis Beckett.
Merlin, 253 pp., £9.95, August 1998, 0 85036 477 9
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... and we welcomed anyone with something to tell us about the new China. One was an American traveller who had been allowed to wander about the country with his camera, taking wonderful photographs. Joseph Needham came twice. Dick Synge, a relative of the Irish playwright and an old Cambridge friend and Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, came fresh from a tour of enquiry into Far Eastern food problems. I ...
4 March 1982
Edwardian Excursions: From the Diaries of A.C. Benson 1898-1904 
edited by A.C. Benson and David Newsome.
Murray, 200 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 9780719537691
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Geoffrey Madan’s Notebooks 
edited by John Gere and John Sparrow.
Oxford, 144 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 19 215870 8
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... politics and the parochial business of their colleges, and remote from their undergraduates. But there had always been a few who took an interest in their pupils. In the first years of the century, Joseph Jowett of Trinity Hall (who arranged the setting from Handel which became famous as the chime of Big Ben) was noted ‘for the perennial freshness of his interest in young men’ – though he, like ...

Brooke’s Benefit

Anthony Powell

16 April 1981
... portrait (1826) of Great-Aunt Cock with her two little dogs (reproduced in one of Brooke’s books); also by the box containing the literary remains of a great-grandfather, crony of Thomas Hood’s, Joseph Hewlett, a tipsy vicar with 18 children, who kept body and soul together on a minute stipend by writing facetious novels under the name of Peter Priggins. The Brookes’ wine shop – always known as ...
21 September 1995
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... paid and most dangerously employed industrial workers any wage increases during the war (as mining profits and the miners’ cost of living rose). She sees FDR’s veto of the anti-labour Smith-Connolly Act as courageous, he as ‘halfhearted’. She praises Walter Reuther’s plans for re-ordering production; he sees a labour movement increasingly dependent on the state. He regrets the defeat of ...

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