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Identity Crisis

Tom Shippey: Norman Adventurers, 16 March 2023

Empires of the Normans: Makers of Europe, Conquerors of Asia 
by Levi Roach.
John Murray, 301 pp., £12.99, March, 978 1 5293 0032 1
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The Normans: Power, Conquest and Culture in 11th-Century Europe 
by Judith Green.
Yale, 351 pp., £11.99, February, 978 0 300 27037 2
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... them? What explains their success and how long did it last? These issues are more in focus in Judith Green’s book, which has a narrower chronological range. Her 220 pages of text are followed by sixty pages of endnotes and a forty-page bibliography. If you want to know the state of scholarly opinion, this is the place to start. It comes with a ...


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 passage: ‘Yet the Police told Rob ...

At the Royal Collection

Peter Campbell: Retrieved at the Restoration, 6 September 2007

... the Lovers attributed to Titian, the Correggio Holy Family, the Bronzino Portrait of a Lady in Green, the two paintings by Gentileschi – A Sibyl is the other one – and his daughter Artemisia’s self-portrait. Without these the exhibition would be significant; with them it is magnificent. As well as paintings there are rooms of drawings. A few, like ...


Elisa Segrave: On the Pier at Key West, 18 April 1996

... I put him in a short story. It was the first story I had published. It’s Leap Year’s Day and Judith and Irving are taking me to a party. Irving said as it was Leap Year I could propose to a member of the opposite sex. Propose what, I wonder? At the party I meet Dan Gerber, who took a boat from Key West to Havana a couple of years ago. The main hold-up ...

Queen to King Four

Robert Taubman, 19 June 1980

The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 245 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 9780224017909
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No Country For Young Men 
by Julia O’Faolain.
Allen Lane, 368 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 0 7139 1308 8
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The Girl Green as Elderflower 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 150 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 9780436497315
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The Sending 
by Geoffrey Household.
Joseph, 192 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 7181 1872 3
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... in the Troubles. Another way back to the death of Driscoll is through the scattered wits of Sister Judith, a nun who has been buried in a convent all these years, under electric-shock treatment. The past is everywhere buried in the present; but we also see it repeated in the present. The Americans are both decent men and both are murdered, for complex private ...

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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... and trailers, laden with the leafy tops of root vegetables, hasten to a strip of woodland where a green mountain is rising alongside the ricks ... one feels that everything has been well thought out and organised’ – are contrasted with the reality of rotting dumps of vegetables and meals of violet boiled potatoes. As for well thought-out ...

Grass Green Stockings

Eleanor Hubbard: A Spinster’s Accounts, 21 March 2013

The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys, Spinster of Hereford, 1638-48 
edited by Judith Spicksley.
Oxford, 413 pp., £90, March 2012, 978 0 19 726432 4
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... to see children dressed in bright colours, and later gave Beatrice gowns of scarlet, orange and green. As well as gifts to peers and dependants Jeffreys also made regular if not especially generous charitable donations: she paid eight shillings a year for the poor of her parish, All Saints, Hereford, fulfilling her obligation under the Poor Laws. Parish ...

Mrs Perfect Awful

Mary Lefkowitz, 17 May 1984

Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour 
by Judith Martin.
Hamish Hamilton, 745 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 241 11100 5
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Gilbert: A Comedy of Manners 
by Judith Martin.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 241 11157 9
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... been more precise) where Miss Manners, who was really a correspondent for the Washington Post, Judith Perlman Martin, had once read English. But as a rough contemporary (class of ’57) of Ms Martin’s (class of ’59), I can confirm that even those of us who were not born to polite WASP society could not have managed to leave Wellesley’s ...

Plucking the Fruits of Knowledge

Linda Nochlin: The Surprising Boldness of Mary Cassatt, 15 April 1999

Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman 
edited by Judith Barter.
Abrams, 376 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 8109 4089 2
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Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women 
by Griselda Pollock.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £7.95, September 1998, 0 500 20317 2
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... the foreground. Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman, the catalogue of an ambitious exhibition organised by Judith Barter (currently showing at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), and Griselda Pollock’s richly documented Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women, attest to the recent surge of interest in Cassatt and go a long way to revising and expanding her reputation in ...

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 ...

Frock Consciousness

Rosemary Hill: Fashion and frocks, 20 January 2000

The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Fashion Writing 
edited by Judith Watt.
Viking, 360 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 670 88215 1
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Twentieth-Century Fashion 
by Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye.
Thames and Hudson, 288 pp., £8.95, November 1999, 0 500 20321 0
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A Century of Fashion 
by François Baudot.
Thames and Hudson, 400 pp., £19.95, November 1999, 0 500 28178 5
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The Hidden Consumer: Masculinities, Fashion and City Life 1860-1914 
by Christopher Breward.
Manchester, 278 pp., £45, September 1999, 0 7190 4799 4
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Black in Fashion 
by Valerie Mendes.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 144 pp., £35, October 1999, 1 85177 278 2
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... they speak even when we are silent. ‘Dressed in a tramp’s clothes,’ George Orwell, quoted by Judith Watt, observed, ‘it is very difficult ... not to feel that you are genuinely degraded.’ The hope that a change of clothes will actually redress our situation is not therefore entirely vain, in either sense of the word. In the 20th century, of which ...

Der Jazz des Linguas

Matthew Reynolds: Diego Marani, 8 November 2012

New Finnish Grammar 
by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry.
Dedalus, 187 pp., £9.99, May 2011, 978 1 903517 94 9
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The Last of the Vostyachs 
by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry.
Dedalus, 166 pp., £9.99, May 2012, 978 1 907650 56 7
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Las Adventures des Inspector Cabillot 
by Diego Marani.
Dedalus, 138 pp., £6.99, July 2012, 978 1 907650 59 8
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... trovato il passaggio verso un altro mondo e non avevano più voluto tornare indietro’) but Judith Landry’s ‘had found the way out of the dark forests into another world but never the way back’. The hints of Christian mysticism drop away in the English version, whose tone perhaps owes something to our tradition of taking transportation to another ...

Winners and Wasters

Tom Shippey, 2 April 1987

The French Peasantry 1450-1660 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Scolar, 447 pp., £42.50, March 1987, 0 85967 685 4
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The Superstitious Mind: French Peasants and the Supernatural in the 19th Century 
by Judith Devlin.
Yale, 316 pp., £20, March 1987, 0 300 03710 4
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... was rarely immediate or personal. The priest of Cressac who led his parishioners to battle with green cap and feather, blue breeches, and a sword in each hand, was unfrocked by his executioners and burnt alive – though he was luckier than the commoners who were crowned with red-hot iron and then broken on the wheel. The Norman Gautiers who rebelled ...

Down, don, down

John Sutherland, 6 August 1992

Decline of Donnish Dominion 
by A.H. Halsey.
Oxford, 344 pp., £40, March 1992, 0 19 827376 2
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Millikan’s School: A History of the California Institute of Technology 
by Judith Goodstein.
Norton, 317 pp., £17.95, October 1991, 0 393 03017 2
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... curious about how we got where we are. It could also save the Government the expense of another Green Paper – although it is unlikely that they will find Halsey’s analysis congenial. Anyone reading him must be sceptical about the current round of reforms, based as they are on blind faith in the virtues of homogenisation and command decision. As a first ...


Tim Dee: Derek Walcott’s Birthday Party, 22 May 2014

... There​ was a primed plastic water pistol, yellow or green, on every table at Derek Walcott’s 84th birthday lunch at the Ladera hotel on the west coast of St Lucia. The Walcott entourage had taken over the restaurant and after we’d dined on saltfish with green bananas, the staff gathered and the guests stood up to sing ‘Happy Birthday ...

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