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Tam Dalyell: The Belgrano Affair, 7 February 1985

... peremptorily told me to read an article in the New Statesman, ‘The Death of Miss Murrell’ by Judith Cook. Some two days later, since I read the New Statesman and the London Review of Books on trains and aircraft between London and Scotland, I glanced at Mrs Cook’s piece, and was arrested by the following ...

Nuclear Power and its Opponents

Walter Patterson, 8 January 1987

Red Alert: The Worldwide Dangers of Nuclear Power 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 331 pp., £8.95, September 1986, 4 503 99905 2
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... reluctantly and partially. By the same token, if you want only the bad news you turn to, say, Judith Cook and Red Alert, with its unambiguous subtitle, ‘The Worldwide Dangers of Nuclear Power’. Turn to her we shall, in due course: and the news is indeed bad, though perhaps not quite what she intends. ‘Pro-nuclear’ and ‘anti-nuclear’ are ...


John Bossy: Simon Forman, 22 February 2001

The Notorious Astrological Physician of London: Works and Days of Simon Forman 
by Barbara Howard Traister.
Chicago, 260 pp., £19, February 2001, 0 226 81140 9
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Dr Simon Forman: A Most Notorious Physician 
by Judith Cook.
Chatto, 228 pp., £18.99, January 2001, 0 7011 6899 4
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... society’, like ‘institutional racism’, is an idea too metaphysical by half. Judith Cook’s Dr Simon Forman: A Most Notorious Physician has a similar title to Barbara Traister’s, reports much the same events, and comes to much the same conclusions if we leave out patriarchal society, but it does so in a narrative ...

Getting it right

Tam Dalyell, 18 July 1985

The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... is there any reason to suppose that Leon Brittan would behave any better than Michael Heseltine. Judith Cook’s powerfully argued book Who killed Hilda Murrell? makes it clear yet again that the police notion that it was an ‘ordinary burglary’ is simply not ...

Dialectical Satire

Paul Edwards, 18 September 1986

The Madhouse 
by Alexander Zinoviev, translated by Michael Kirkwood.
Gollancz, 411 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780575037304
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by Nicholas Mosley.
Secker, 298 pp., £11.95, August 1986, 0 436 28853 2
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Missing Persons 
by David Cook.
Alison Press/Secker, 184 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 436 10675 2
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Only by Mistake 
by P.J. Kavanagh.
Calder, 158 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 7145 4084 6
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... this grace by completing his knowledge of self and world, thus returning to Eden by the back door. Judith, Nicholas Mosley’s latest novel, takes Kleist’s essay, with its switchback logic that equates god with puppet, as one of its main sources of meaning. Part of the book is set in an ashram in India (squalid hippy camp or Garden of Eden?) run by a ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore, 10 August 2000

Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist 
by Denis Sampson.
Marino, 344 pp., IR£20, October 1998, 1 86023 078 4
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... In the second chapter of Brian Moore’s first novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, Miss Hearne gets to know her fellow boarders, especially the landlady’s brother, the returned Yank, Mr Madden. They discuss the difference between men and women in Ireland and America. ‘Guys beating their brains out to keep their wives in mink,’ Mr Madden complains ...

The Old Feudalist

D.A.N. Jones, 3 July 1986

Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass 
by Karen Blixen.
Penguin, 351 pp., £3.95, January 1986, 0 14 008533 5
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Out of Africa 
by Karen Blixen.
Century, 288 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1016 2
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Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen 
by Judith Thurman.
Penguin, 511 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 9780140096996
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... the unsurprising movie was ‘based’ on this book. What it is really based on (very loosely) is Judith Thurman’s workmanlike biography of the Baroness, Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen, which Penguin Books has happily reissued, with a picture of ogling film stars on the cover. Judith Thurman was Associate Producer ...

Leisure’s Epitaph

John Pemble: The Victorians, 8 March 2007

Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain 
by Judith Flanders.
HarperPress, 604 pp., £20, August 2006, 0 00 717295 8
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... the Victorian age that it seemed there could be nothing left to write. Nevertheless, after reading Judith Flanders’s Consuming Passions, I’m convinced that Strachey was right – right in his prediction that the history of the Victorian age will never be written. But he was wrong in his diagnosis. The problem is not too much material; it is, rather, too ...


Judith Baker and Ian Hacking: Walking in the Andes, 10 September 2009

... mules for the gear and a spare one for emergencies. We had Miguel, an exceptional guide. We had a cook – his name was pronounced Cecilia. Vicente, his apprentice, was nicknamed Rosie after Rosita de Espinar, la diva del sur, on whom he dotes. Two muleteers hired in Cachora rounded off our team. We all got on cheerfully, even though we knew not a word of the ...

A Girl Called Retina

Tom Crewe: You’ll like it when you get there, 13 August 2020

British Summer Time Begins: The School Summer Holidays, 1930-80 
by Ysenda Maxtone Graham.
Little, Brown, 352 pp., £18.99, July, 978 1 4087 1055 5
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... to Rita Skinner, the food at Roedean was ‘one up from prison slop. They employed people to cook who didn’t like cooking and didn’t want to cook.’ At Wycombe Abbey in the 1950s they fried fish on a Friday and then reused the fat to make doughnuts, ‘so the doughnuts tasted of fish.’Snobbery hung powerfully in ...

New Guardians of Education

Gillian Avery, 17 July 1980

Racism and Sexism in Children’s Books 
edited by Judith Stinton.
Writers and Readers, 147 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 906495 19 9
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Babies need books 
by Dorothy Butler.
Bodley Head, 190 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 9780370301518
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... race an Indian boy. Mary Poppins is, indeed, full of stereotypes: there is a stereotype admiral, cook, gardener, mother and father, a stereotype old lady. One might even say that Mary Poppins herself is the only character of any substance. The Naval and Military Club, the Mothers’ Union or Help the Aged could just as reasonably object to these as a ...

The South

Colm Tóibín, 4 August 1994

One Art: The Selected Letters of Elizabeth Bishop 
Chatto, 668 pp., £25, April 1994, 0 7011 6195 7Show More
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... quite serious, a parody of ‘normal’ life. They kept servants and lots of domestic pets and a cook who was, according to one letter, ‘half-savage and very dirty’. Then ‘while we were away, the cook took up painting – proving that art only flourishes in leisure time, I guess ... Hers are getting better and ...

Institutional Hypocrisy

David Runciman: Selling the NHS, 21 April 2005

Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare 
by Dennis Thompson.
Cambridge, 349 pp., £16.99, November 2004, 0 521 54722 9
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NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare 
by Allyson Pollock.
Verso, 271 pp., £15.99, September 2004, 1 84467 011 2
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Brown’s Britain 
by Robert Peston.
Short Books, 369 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 1 904095 67 4
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... and Democracy’ in his wonderfully measured new collection, Dennis Thompson quotes Judith Shklar, who described the politics of anti-hypocrisy as an ‘unending game of mutual unmasking’, in which everyone is bound to lose. Because democracy is a system of government that institutionalises distrust, as the price we pay for handing over so ...

Lady Talky

Alison Light: Lydia Lopokova, 18 December 2008

Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes 
by Judith Mackrell.
Weidenfeld, 476 pp., £25, April 2008, 978 0 297 84908 7
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... Red Shoes’ inflicts a cruel comeuppance on exhibitionists and social climbers like himself. Judith Mackrell suspects that Lydia Lopokova was being mischievous when she chose to read ‘The Red Shoes’ on the wireless for the BBC in 1935. Lopokova was a born show-off but she never sold her soul to the dance. She was unusually free of ‘the ...

Like a Manta Ray

Jenny Turner: The Entire History of Sex, 22 October 2015

The Argonauts 
by Maggie Nelson.
Graywolf, 143 pp., £23, May 2015, 978 1 55597 707 8
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... Discourse; the bits about new kinship systems and older nuclear-family arrangements come from Judith Butler. And here’s another, from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, a frequent and clearly much loved presence: ‘Queer is a continuing moment, movement, motive – recurrent, eddying, troublant. Keenly, it is relational, and strange.’ The book begins with the ...

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