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In an Unmarked Field

Tom Shippey: The Staffordshire Hoard, 5 March 2020

The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure 
edited by Chris Fern, Tania Dickinson and Leslie Webster.
Society of Antiquaries, 640 pp., £45, November 2019, 978 1 5272 3350 8
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... The Staffordshire Hoard​ , discovered by the metal detectorist Terry Herbert on 5 July 2009, presents far more of a puzzle to archaeologists and historians than the other famous Anglo-Saxon discovery, at Sutton Hoo. The start of the puzzle is working out what is there. The hoard weighs in at about five kilos of gold and almost two kilos of silver, and some claim you could pack it into a shoebox ...

Success

Marilyn Butler, 18 November 1982

The Trouble of an Index: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Vol. XII 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 166 pp., £15, May 1982, 0 7195 3885 8
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Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 404 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 7195 3974 9
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Byron 
by Frederic Raphael.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 500 01278 4
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Byron’s Political and Cultural Influence in 19th-Century Europe: A Symposium 
edited by Paul Graham Trueblood.
Macmillan, 210 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 333 29389 4
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Byron and Joyce through Homer 
by Hermione de Almeida.
Macmillan, 233 pp., £15, October 1982, 0 333 30072 6
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Byron: A Poet Before His Public 
by Philip Martin.
Cambridge, 253 pp., £18.50, July 1982, 0 521 24186 3
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... a sign of effeminacy, degeneracy, and weakness. Who would write, who had anything better to do?’ Leslie Marchand’s great edition of Byron’s Letters and Journals, now complete with the publication of an index, brings Byron the man and Byron’s story to the fore. Byron has certainly not emerged from Marchand’s labours as a vulgar careerist: on the ...

Diary

John Kerrigan: Lost Shakespeare, 6 February 1986

... just heard that a London dealer has found ‘some sheets of foul papers from an otherwise unknown Webster play’. With so much hype and anger in the air, it’s easy to forget that a modicum of research lies behind the Oxford claim. Having advanced our knowledge of Shakespeare’s Sonnets by elaborating new work on manuscript miscellanies, Gary Taylor had ...

Settling accounts

Keith Walker, 15 May 1980

‘A heart for every fate’: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Vol. 10, 1822-1823 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 239 pp., £8.95, March 1980, 0 7195 3670 7
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... have reminded the reader that Byron was playing Hotspur when he wrote that Sir James Wedderburn Webster ‘talked a deal of skimble skamble stuff’, and playing Launcelot Gobbo when he wrote that knowledge of the existence of seven unpublished cantos of Don Juan ‘will raise the waters’. Byron’s assumption of roles from Shakespeare is frequent and ...

Death in Greece

Marilyn Butler, 17 September 1981

Byron’s Letter and Journals. Vol. XI: For Freedom’s Battle 
edited by Leslie Marchand.
Murray, 243 pp., £11.50, April 1981, 0 7195 3792 4
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Byron: The Complete Poetical Works 
edited by Jerome McGann.
Oxford, 464 pp., £35, October 1980, 0 19 811890 2
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Red Shelley 
by Paul Foot.
Sidgwick, 293 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 283 98679 4
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Ugo Foscolo, Poet of Exile 
by Glauco Cambon.
Princeton, 360 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 691 06424 5
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... We can know Byron better than anyone has ever known him. Leslie Marchand’s edition of the Letters and Journals, which is far more extensive than any previous collection, has now covered Byron’s whole life. J.J. McGann’s complete edition of the poems is proceeding expeditiously: the three volumes to date include all the poems written before Byron left England in 1816, and Volume II has the whole of the masterpiece Childe Harold, including Cantos III and IV, which were written in exile in 1816 and 1818 ...

Francis and Vanessa

Peter Campbell, 15 March 1984

Francis Bacon 
by Michel Leiris, translated by John Weightman.
Phaidon, 271 pp., £50, September 1983, 0 7148 2218 3
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Vanessa Bell 
by Frances Spalding.
Weidenfeld, 399 pp., £12.95, August 1983, 0 297 78162 6
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The Omega Workshops 
by Judith Collins.
Secker, 310 pp., £15.95, January 1984, 0 436 10562 4
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The Omega Workshops 1913-1919: Decorative Arts of Bloomsbury 
Crafts Council, 96 pp., £6.95, March 1984, 0 903798 72 7Show More
The Omega Workshops: Alliance and Enmity in English Art 1911-1920 
Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 80 pp., £4.95, February 1984, 0 947564 00 4Show More
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... problem of keeping up momentum when a great stylistic wave has passed its peak. The excesses of Webster make more sense as an attempt to step out of Shakespeare’s shadow than as a new perception of the nature of man. Mannerism was, in this sense, a way of dealing with the problem of what to do after Michelangelo, and Bacon’s more monumental works with ...

That Night at Farnham

Anne Barton, 18 August 1983

Homosexuality in Renaissance England 
by Alan Bray.
Gay Men’s Press, 149 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 907040 16 0
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Comic Women, Tragic Men: A Study of Gender and Genre in Shakespeare 
by Linda Bamber.
Stanford, 211 pp., $18.50, June 1982, 0 8047 1126 7
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Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare 
by Lisa Jardine.
Harvester, 202 pp., £18.95, June 1983, 0 7108 0436 9
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... audience sympathy for her even as she nears death. She is, in fact, only slightly less guilty than Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, a woman ‘lower in her sexual drive than “a beast that wants discourse of reason” ’. Both characters become acceptable, as opposed to ‘surreally-threatening’, or ‘not-women’, only after suffering reduces them to ...

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