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Lord Cupid proves himself

David Cannadine, 21 October 1982

Palmerston: The Early Years, 1784-1841 
by Kenneth Bourne.
Allen Lane, 749 pp., £25, August 1982, 0 7139 1083 6
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... is very different from a study of him on the night shift. So it is hardly surprising that, as Kenneth Bourne disarmingly puts it in his preface, ‘there is no satisfactory biography of Palmerston, and there probably never will be.’ But this has not deterred a large number of writers from trying their hand. The great five-volumed mausoleum ...

I myself detest all Modern Art

Anne Diebel: Scofield Thayer, 9 April 2015

The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer 
by James Dempsey.
Florida, 240 pp., £32.50, February 2014, 978 0 8130 4926 7
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... until his death in 1913; in 1916, Johnson bought and radicalised it, hiring John Dewey, Randolph Bourne and Thorstein Veblen as editors. In Thayer’s view, the Dial’s concern with politics was tedious. He and Watson decided to ‘follow their own tastes’, which were thoroughly belletristic, and put contemporary writers and artists side by side. For ...

Courage, mon amie

Terry Castle: Disquiet on the Western Front, 4 April 2002

... through Ann Wroe’s book on Pontius Pilate, but it was too weird and dissociated. I ordered Kenneth Tynan’s diaries from Amazon but found I was in no mood for high camp and dominatrixes. I wanted something stolid and sad. With a sense of oh-what-the-hell, I finally picked up a book I’d bought on the trench trip and then instantly lost interest in: a ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... Raffishly handsome and an occasional film actor, he can be seen to absolutely riveting effect in Kenneth Macpherson’s 1930 avant-garde masterpiece Borderline, starring H.D., Bryher and Paul Robeson. He plays the adulterous husband of H.D., who is likewise visually transfixing. Later, he would become a popular Bay Area psychic, a friend to Allen Ginsberg ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... got to pick the school’s name: Mossbourne is named after the father of its late sponsor, Clive Bourne. Adonis and Blunkett saw academies as a way of kick-starting the regeneration of struggling schools, usually in economically depressed areas, which had become so overwhelmed by so many problems, that the best thing seemed to be to hoover out their innards ...

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