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As a returning lord

John Lanchester, 7 May 1987

Einstein’s Monsters 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 127 pp., £5.95, April 1987, 0 224 02435 3
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... I shall be obliged (and it’s the last thing I shall feel like doing) to retrace that long ride home, through the firestorm, the remains of the thousand-mile-an-hour winds, the warped atoms, the grovelling dead. Then – God willing, if I still have my strength, and, of course, if they are still alive – I must find my wife and children and I must kill ...

Clarissa and Louisa

Karl Miller, 7 November 1985

Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady 
by Samuel Richardson, edited with an introduction by Angus Ross.
Viking, 1533 pp., £19.95, August 1985, 0 670 80829 6
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Memoire of Frances, Lady Douglas 
by Lady Louisa Stuart, edited by Jill Rubenstein.
Scottish Academic Press, 106 pp., £9.50, August 1985, 0 7073 0358 3
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... redeemed from the archives of the Border nobility, with the blessing of a former prime minister, Lord Home. The memoir appears to have been written at some point in the 1820s, and is addressed to Frances’s daughter in order to acquaint her with certain passages in her mother’s early experience of an anxious family life. Frances died in 1817, the ...

Stick to the Latin

R.W. Johnson, 23 January 1997

Enoch Powell 
by Robert Shepherd.
Hutchinson, 564 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 09 179208 8
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... to be closed to allow more humane care within the community – and by taking the Tube or walking home after working late so as not to make the ministerial driver wait up late. This MP was a radical critic of Tory incomes policy, was the first in any party to argue for a minimum income for the old and the unemployed, argued for the nationalisation of the ...

Welcome Home

Sukhdev Sandhu: Memories of Michael X, 4 February 1999

Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multiracial Britain 
by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips.
HarperCollins, 422 pp., £16.99, May 1998, 0 00 255909 9
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... the scrum of cameramen snapping away at this strange and freshly-docked cargo; the calypsonian Lord Kitchener acceding to a Pathé newsman’s request and breaking into a reedy ‘London Is the Place for Me’. Suddenly, according to innumerable commemorative church services and TV series, a marvellous post-colonial transformation was about to be wrought ...

Lord Have Mercy

James Shapiro: Plague Writing, 31 March 2011

Plague Writing in Early Modern England 
by Ernest Gilman.
Chicago, 295 pp., £24, June 2009, 978 0 226 29409 4
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... survival – and perhaps their own – must have seemed grim. Just a few doors down from their home on Henley Street, their neighbours the Greens would lose four of their children to the epidemic. Windows were sealed, doors shut, prayers uttered, remedies sought (onions were peeled and scattered on the ground; dried rosemary, burned in a chafing dish, was ...

High Priest of Mumbo-Jumbo

R.W. Johnson, 13 November 1997

Lord Hailsham: A Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... Oxford by-election of 1938, is Under-Secretary for Air in Churchill’s Government by 1945, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Suez, the head of various other ministries, Tory Party Chairman and, for a record 12 years, Lord Chancellor, formally the country’s highest office. (The ...

Lord Vaizey sees the light

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 20 October 1983

In Breach of Promise 
by John Vaizey.
Weidenfeld, 150 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 297 78288 6
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... set of remarkably co-ordinated services had kept the country going. He thus justified what Lord Woolton had begun in the Reconstruction Committee, what Butler and Bevan and others had done, and with the popular support that all this had, he helped persuade politicians that the provisions should be secured and even extended. Gaitskell and Crosland, the ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips, 17 April 2014

... with an effective remedy because he had not been informed of the evidence that had led to the home secretary’s decision. As to this, Strasbourg commended a procedure used in Canada to deal with confidential material, which Amnesty International and other interveners had outlined. The court summarised it: a Federal Court judge holds an in camera hearing ...

Jacob and Esau

Giles Merritt, 24 November 1988

Upwardly Mobile 
by Norman Tebbit.
Weidenfeld, 280 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 297 79427 2
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Reflect on things past: The Memoirs of Lord Carrington 
Collins, 406 pp., £17.50, October 1988, 9780002176675Show More
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... Lord Carrington and Norman Tebbit must be the Jacob and Esau of the Tory Party. Peter Carrington is beyond question a smooth man, and Tebbit is, if not hairy, certainly very prickly. They are also chalk and cheese politically, even though both have in their time been chairman of the Conservative Party. Lord Carrington is the scion of generations of Whigs, a man bred to the ideal of public service and in many ways an unrepentant ‘wet ...

Little Mania

Ian Gilmour: The disgraceful Lady Caroline Lamb, 19 May 2005

Lady Caroline Lamb 
by Paul Douglass.
Palgrave, 354 pp., £16.99, December 2004, 1 4039 6605 2
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... Metternich’s mistress, Princess Lieven, referred to ‘that madwoman Lady Caroline Lamb’, and Lord and Lady Holland compared her to typhus, while within Caroline’s own family her cousin Lady Harriet Cavendish wrote of her ‘absurdities’, and her grandmother Lady Spencer, who was very fond of her, complained in 1811 of her ‘great imprudence ...

Everything and Nothing

Stephen Sedley: Who will speak for the judges?, 7 October 2004

... In June last year, the lord chancellor, Lord Irvine, was dismissed in a cabinet reshuffle. It was announced, not to Parliament but by press release, that his office was not to be filled and that his department was to become part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, headed by a newly appointed minister, Lord Falconer ...

Boofy’s Bill

Alex Harvey, 18 September 1997

... to persecute, to persecute a minority, to persecute as others have persecuted Jews and Negroes. Lord Arran, House of Lords, 12 May 1965 Producing a documentary to mark the 30th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality, I was struck by the very Victorian restrictions on the lives of gay men in the Sixties. Victim, the film in which Dirk Bogarde ...

He huffs and he puffs

John Upton: David Blunkett, the Lifers and the Judges, 19 June 2003

... who had brought an application for judicial review of the terms of his sentence against the Home Office. Had Hindley lived, the Lords’ judgment in Anderson’s favour might also have led to her release from prison, where she was serving a mandatory life sentence. The Anderson ruling took away from the Home Secretary ...

Bringing it home to Uncle Willie

Frank Kermode, 6 May 1982

Joseph Conrad: A Biography 
by Roger Tennant.
Sheldon Press, 276 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 85969 358 9
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Edward Garnett: A Life in Literature 
by George Jefferson.
Cape, 350 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 224 01488 9
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The Edwardian Novelists 
by John Batchelor.
Duckworth, 251 pp., £18, February 1982, 0 7156 1109 7
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The Uses of Obscurity: The Fiction of Early Modernism 
by Allon White.
Routledge, 190 pp., £12, August 1981, 0 7100 0751 5
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... off by Mr Tennant’s not saying anything very interesting about the fictions, of which he thinks Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness are the best. A lot of quite decent lives of famous people are not strictly necessary, though they are often the ones that get read. A good life of Edward Garnett, on the other hand, might, since his is a known but hardly a famous ...

Big Men Falling a Long Way

Christopher Logue, 5 November 2015

... Troy. Tell its King: You are to bring your son’s corpse home. Its ransom – large. Appropriate. Go now. Alone, save for your driver. You will be treated with respect.’ *    Troy.    ‘King,’ Iris said, ‘You are to bring your son’s corpse home. Its ransom ...

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