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Lost Artist

Karl Miller

4 November 1982
... The painter Rory McEwen, who died on 16 October, was born, the fourth of seven children, on 12 March 1932. The family was Catholic, and his father a Conservative politician. His childhood was spent at the beautiful house of Marchmont, set in the storied countryside of the Merse in Berwickshire. The landscape is apparent if we go, as Rory did, to the work of another local talent, Alexander Hume, who ...
25 October 1979
... The London Review of Books is something new. This, for the first time, is it. The journal will appear fortnightly, with a summer layoff, and it will appear, for the present, marsupially or bisectingly, together with the New York Review of Books. Editorially, it will be separate and independent. The writers we publish, and the writers and publishers whose books we review, will generally be British ...


Karl Miller: On Doubles

2 May 1985
... of the genre, it both embodies and attracts coincidence. A strong pang was felt when my eye travelled to page 15 and lit on the magic words: ‘When he first saw how enchanted I was by this toy, KarlMiller was pleased.’ In the literature of romantic duality the most important of all pairs is the one constituted by the author and his principal character, or his narrator: here, if you like, is ...

Karl Miller​ Remembered

Neal Ascherson, John Lanchester and Andrew O’Hagan

22 October 2014
... People​ said things about Karl, but not often to his face. He might like the things or he might not, and that did not always depend on whether they were intended as compliments or the opposite. Personal remarks could be returned ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers: Karl Miller​ Remembered

8 October 2014
... I got​ to know KarlMiller in the 1960s, when I was in my mid-twenties and he was in his early thirties. He was the literary editor of the New Statesman and I was a junior editor – ‘a young editor here’, my boss used to ...


Nicholas Spice: Karl Miller​ is leaving

5 November 1992
... KarlMiller’s decision to resign from the London Review of Books is a sad moment for the magazine which, with Mary-Kay Wilmers and Susannah Clapp, he founded in 1979. In all important respects, the present ...
6 March 1980
... Several authors have died in the course of Britain’s current and by now customary hard winter. V.S. Pritchett writes, nearby, about one of them, and I would like to write about another – the novelist, Barbara Pym. To think of her in relation to a literary world, with its apparatus of publicity and reward, gives a sense of incongruity, but, of course, there’s a tale that hangs on the connection ...
24 January 1980
... The manuscripts of Henry Cockburn’s letters have been gathered together in the National Library of Scotland, where they cry out for a collected edition. When such an edition appears, they cannot fail to be recognised as a masterpiece of Scottish literature. I came, while engaged in writing a book about Cockburn, to love his letters, and I have even managed to love those which turned up too late for ...
15 May 1980
... The first issue of the London Review of Books appeared on 27 September last year, and the present issue is the 14th we have produced. The journal was started when some newspapers were in abeyance, and others had taken to cutting back on the space allowed for the discussion of books. Publishing houses were rumoured to be in financial difficulty – such as Penguin – and Collins were presently said ...


Karl Miller: Sponsored by the Arts Council

24 January 1985
... The Arts Council is weeding its garden. It is taking steps, as many institutions have had to do over the last few years, to effect economies and redundancies. Operas, orchestras, spectacles for the wealthy, as they might sourly be described, are unlikely to be much affected. But there are small papers, including this one, for which the small steps in question will seem like giant steps, for which they ...

We’ve done awfully well

Karl Miller: The Late 1950s

18 July 2013
Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, June 2013, 978 0 7475 8893 1
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... This book is preceded by two two-volume books that have been praised by journalists to the skies. They belong to a grand design, to a project set to tell the story of modern Britain (modern England as a rule) from 1945 to 1979; the present instalment, Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, covers the narrow gap from 1957 to 1959. David Kynaston tells the story in his own measured words, and he also tells ...

Northern Laughter

Karl Miller: Macrone on Scott

9 October 2013
The Life of Sir Walter Scott 
by John Macrone, edited by Daniel Grader.
Edinburgh, 156 pp., £65, February 2013, 978 0 7486 6991 2
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... Students of the life and works of Walter Scott and James Hogg may have glimpsed the shadowy, not to say meteoric, not to say dubious presence of the publisher John Macrone, and learned of his prompt desire, after Scott’s death in September 1832, to write his Life, basing it to a large extent on rural informants. Here was the promise of a main event in the comet’s six-year visit to the Anglo-Scottish ...

Eric Hobsbawm

Karl Miller

25 October 2012
... I am not an economic historian, which did not prevent me from being friends with Eric Hobsbawm for many years. It keeps me from opinionating here about his work as a historian, a more than economic historian, in fact, who wrote for a wide public. But it doesn’t stop me from writing about him in a personal way, with recourse to memories. My first memory of him lingers in my cells as located in a Cambridge ...


Karl Miller: Smiley and Bingham

9 May 2013
A Delicate Truth 
by John le Carré.
Viking, 310 pp., £18.99, April 2013, 978 0 670 92279 6
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The Man Who Was George Smiley: The Life of John Bingham 
by Michael Jago.
Biteback, 308 pp., £20, February 2013, 978 1 84954 513 6
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... John le Carré has now published 23 books, the Great Bear of that night sky being the series of novels lit by the round English gentleman, spymaster George Smiley, he who wipes his glasses with the thick end of his unfailing tie. Among the features of these spy stories is a concern with patriotism and uncertainty, not least with the uncertainties of patriotism. There are passages which can be hard ...
25 June 1987
... us to the ones We still most love to hate. Also imported from Abroad We have three Pom belles-lettrists Who, to judge from their expressions, Might not be turning up To all our sessions: The LRB’s KarlMiller, gargoyle-like, Seems half-asleep. (The other half Is threatening to weep.) And from the TLS, Jerry Treglown Forever savouring some private joke, And Ian Hamilton, All-purpose lit. hist. hack ...

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