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Made in Heaven

Frank Kermode

10 November 1994
Frieda Lawrence 
by Rosie Jackson.
Pandora, 240 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 9780044409151
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The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Brenda Maddox.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 631 pp., £20, August 1994, 1 85619 243 1
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Kangaroo 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £60, August 1994, 0 521 38455 9
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Twilight in Italy and Other Essays 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Paul Eggert.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £55, August 1994, 0 521 26888 5
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... revised biography, the first and so far the only volume of the three-tier Cambridge biography, and the ample lifework of Emile Delavenay. There are more beside them, and more to come: Rosie Jackson says there are ten in progress. Apart from the full-life biographies there are books covering short periods of Lawrence’s life: his wartime adventures and agonies, his years in Italy, in Australia ...

Writing Absurdity

Adam Shatz: Chester Himes

25 April 2018
Chester B. Himes: A Biography 
by Lawrence P. Jackson.
Norton, 606 pp., £25, July 2017, 978 0 393 06389 9
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... in to suppress rioting. Among the survivors was Chester Himes, a twenty-year-old black man serving a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery. Himes had already seen his share of troubles but, as LawrenceJackson writes in his impressive biography, they ‘did not inspire him’ the way that ‘stumbling through the gore of two cell block tiers’ worth of burned-alive men’ did. After the fire ...

Black and White Life

Mark Greif: Ralph​ Ellison

1 November 2007
Ralph​ Ellison: A Biography 
by Arnold Rampersad.
Knopf, 657 pp., $35, April 2007, 978 0 375 40827 4
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... promise even though he had little published writing to show. We have the good fortune to have two biographies of Ellison which are useful in quite different ways. Five years ago, the young scholar LawrenceJacksonpublished Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius. It was in effect the first real biography, and not much noticed, though it was a compelling portrait. Jackson chose as his subject-matter only ...

Hello to All That

Martin Seymour-Smith

9 October 1986
Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic 1895-1926 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 387 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 297 78943 0
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... Graves remarks, John was ‘a devout Christian, a loving father, and a most honourable, unselfish man’. The difficulties begin here. This author, who has written accounts of the lives of T.E. Lawrence, Housman and the Powys brothers, closely resembles his father. But Robert Graves did not at all closely resemble his ‘typically good’ brother; nor does he resemble his ‘typically good’ son ...

Who’s under the desk?

Siddhartha Deb: James Lasdun’s Novel

7 March 2002
The Horned Man 
by James Lasdun.
Cape, 195 pp., £10.99, February 2002, 0 224 06217 4
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... At the beginning of James Lasdun’s novel, Lawrence Miller, a professor of gender studies at a college on the outskirts of New York, is interrupted while reading a book. When he returns to his office the next day, he finds his bookmark has been moved ...

Festschriftiness

Susan Pedersen

6 October 2011
Structures and Transformations in Modern British History 
edited by David Feldman and Jon Lawrence.
Cambridge, 331 pp., £50, January 2011, 978 0 521 51882 6
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The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain 
edited by Simon Gunn and James Vernon.
California, 271 pp., £20.95, May 2011, 978 0 9845909 5 7
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Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin 
edited by Clare Griffiths, John Nott and William Whyte.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, April 2011, 978 0 19 957988 4
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... Thorne, two young American scholars, cited Stedman Jones and Joyce as exemplars of social history’s ‘linguistic turn’ in an essay published in Social History in 1992, a tempest ensued. Jon Lawrence and Miles Taylor, two of Stedman Jones’s recent PhD students, insisted that Mayfield and Thorne had entirely misunderstood their mentor’s work, which they felt should be judged not in terms of ...
16 February 1984
Justice at Nuremberg 
by Robert Conot.
Weidenfeld, 593 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 297 78360 2
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The Nuremberg Trial 
by Ann Tusa and John Tusa.
Macmillan, 519 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 333 27463 6
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... same: the 22 volumes of the official transcript of the proceedings, the compendium in ten volumes of the prosecution’s documentary evidence, the unpublished papers of the US prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, and of the principal US judge, Francis Biddle, and numerous published memoirs. Both have consulted unpublished collections of papers in the US and Britain, although in some cases not the same ones ...
22 November 1979
A.E. Housman 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Routledge, 304 pp., £9.75
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... of Housman, it was not a particularly urgent need. The main facts have long been known: the early loss of his mother and his faith, the failure in Greats, the relationships with Moses and Adalbert Jackson. One could write a more interesting book by cutting biographical data to a minimum and concentrating on Housman’s work. One might then place his poetry in its historical context and assess it ...
12 July 1990
Oxford Readings in Vergil’s ‘Aeneid’ 
edited by S.J. Harrison.
Oxford, 488 pp., £45, April 1990, 0 19 814389 3
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... and ethical aspects of its incompletion. Unless I am mistaken, the name of Broch appears nowhere in this tome. But then he was not only a writer and thinker of genius but a foreigner. Professor Jackson Knight stood on home ground. Though he reprints West’s bracing W.F. Jackson Knight Memorial Lecture, Dr Harrison omits from his keynote opening both Cumaean Gates, one of the most stimulating if ...

One for Uncle

John Bayley

5 April 1990
Robert Graves: The Years with Laura 1926-1940 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 380 pp., £25, March 1990, 0 297 79672 0
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... or escape. No doubt it was both, yet it seems likely that if this extraordinary woman, a Circe in modern dress, had not set about enchanting a new Odysseus, a brilliant American called Schuyler Jackson, Graves might have remained indefinitely in her thrall. She had, of course, a whole stable of obedient creatures who submitted to her powerful charms, but Jackson turned out to be a different sort of ...

Seriously ugly

Gabriele Annan

11 January 1990
Weep no more 
by Barbara Skelton.
Hamish Hamilton, 166 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 241 12200 7
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... Cyril Connolly, her first husband; George Weidenfeld, her second; and her last recorded lover, the French writer Bernard Frank. There is no photograph of her third husband, the millionaire Derek Jackson, but he did not seriously engross her. She bit him twice, really hard the second time, so he shuffled off into his sixth marriage, leaving her with a farmhouse near St Tropez and financial security ...

Joseph​ Jobson

Patrick Wormald

18 April 1985
Saladin in his Time 
by P.H. Newby.
Faber, 210 pp., £10.95, November 1983, 0 571 13044 5
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Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War 
by Ronald Finucane.
Dent, 247 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 460 12040 9
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... army and hammering at the gates of Vienna just as Pizarro was butchering the Incas, was, by the 18th century, the Sick Man of Europe (the first of many), and could be rolled aside by the gallantry of Lawrence in the 20th. The events of the second half of the 20th century, especially those of the last decade, have been a salutary reminder that Western ascendancy was short as well as nasty and brutish. In ...

Adjusting the Mechanism

Colin Burrow: Robert Graves

11 October 2018
Robert Graves: From a Great War Poet to ‘Goodbye to All That’, 1895-1929 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 461 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 4729 2914 3
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The Reader over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose 
by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge.
Seven Stories, 613 pp., £30, September 2017, 978 1 60980 733 7
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... although it was never quite clear how keen the strongly feminist Nancy was on being married to him. Meanwhile he was supposed to be studying English literature at Oxford, where he befriended T.E. Lawrence, whose wartime adventures Graves was to relate in a rather Boy’s-Own style in Lawrence and the Arabs (1927). In the early 1920s he and Lawrenceplanned their very own Boy’s Own adventure, Oxford ...

Just about Anything You Want

Ben Jackson: Guerrilla Open Access

5 October 2016
The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz 
by Aaron Swartz.
Verso, 368 pp., £15.99, February 2016, 978 1 78478 496 6
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... years before Wikipedia, and soon after he was part of the RSS working group; for months, no one knew they were dealing with a teenager. His lack of deference helped to open doors. At 15, he emailed Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford, with a list of suggestions for how to write the code for Creative Commons. ‘Good idea,’ Lessig responded. ‘Why don’t you do that for us?’ Swartz had ...

Feasting on Power

John Upton: David Blunkett’s Criminal Justice Bill

10 July 2003
... is to be found by reference to the one present-day example of judge-only criminal trials in the United Kingdom, the so-called Diplock Courts in Northern Ireland. In their study of those courts, John Jackson and Sean Doran suggest that the arrangement leads to an ‘adversarial deficit’ – the judge’s increased inquisitorial role changes the nature of the proceedings. Pressure is placed on ...

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