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Posthumous Gentleman

Michael Dobson: Kit Marlowe’s Schooldays

19 August 2004
The World of Christopher Marlowe 
by David Riggs.
Faber, 411 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 571 22159 9
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Christopher Marlowe and Richard Baines: Journeys through the Elizabethan Underground 
by Roy Kendall.
Fairleigh Dickinson, 453 pp., $75, January 2004, 0 8386 3974 7
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Tamburlaine Must Die 
by Louise Welsh.
Canongate, 149 pp., £9.99, July 2004, 1 84195 532 9
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History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe 
by Rodney Bolt.
HarperCollins, 388 pp., £17.99, July 2004, 0 00 712123 7
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... rhetorically by moralists as an example of the divine retribution visited on the ungodly, but homosexuality was less of a problem for the Elizabethans than it is for us. The Scottish crime-writer LouiseWelsh, however, still wants her Marlowe queer, using this to provide a motive. In her historical novella, Tamburlaine Must Die, Welsh tries out the idea that the Dutch Church libel was a deliberately ...

Poles Apart

John Sutherland

5 May 1983
Give us this day 
by Janusz Glowacki, translated by Konrad Brodzinski.
Deutsch, 121 pp., £6.95, March 1983, 0 233 97518 7
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In Search of Love and Beauty 
by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
Murray, 227 pp., £8.50, April 1983, 0 7195 4062 3
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Listeners 
by Sally Emerson.
Joseph, 174 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 7181 2134 1
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Flying to Nowhere 
by John Fuller.
Salamander, 89 pp., £4.95, March 1983, 0 907540 27 9
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Some prefer nettles 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 155 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51603 9
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The Makioka Sisters 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 530 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 330 28046 5
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‘The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi’ and ‘Arrowroot’ 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Anthony Chambers.
Secker, 199 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51602 0
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... sequence, central action or climax. The novel, as it were, is not told: it takes place. Its intensest effects are those of charm and pathos. In the narrative’s front rank are a trio of characters. Louise is familial: she has husband, children and grandchildren. Regi is a social butterfly: she has gigolos even in her incontinent bedridden old age. Other than her childhood friend Louise, Regi sustains ...
7 March 1985
Montaigne’s Tower, and Other Poems 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 72 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 436 18806 6
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Collected Poems: 1963-1980 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 557 3
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The Faber Book of Reflective Verse 
edited by Geoffrey Grigson.
Faber, 238 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 571 13299 5
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 279 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 558 1
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 9780850315592
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Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Salamander, 349 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 907540 59 7
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... Silex Scintillans: Part One (1650), the first line reading ‘I See the use: and know my bloud.’ L.C. Martin’s note on it, in the second edition (1957) of The Works of Henry Vaughan, says: Miss (Louise Imogen) Guiney was for some time inclined to believe that ‘use’ was a printer’s error for ‘Usk’, and emendation proposed independently by Sir Edward Marsh in TLS, 19 July 1947. Miss ...

‘Where’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’

Michael Dobson: 17th-century literary culture

11 September 2008
Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 
by John Kerrigan.
Oxford, 599 pp., March 2008, 978 0 19 818384 6
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... an education in ruling-class Latin, whether they were artisans, or Dissenters, or women, or colonial subjects aspiring to places in the Indian Civil Service. I don’t remember the Scots or the Welsh or the Irish being mentioned in this catalogue of the excluded. Uncomfortable with any nationalism except its own, this English critique of English still seemed to assume that literature in Britain ...

Don’t sit around and giggle

Jessica Olin: College Girls

10 May 2007
College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens and Coeds, Then and Now 
by Lynn Peril.
Norton, 408 pp., £10.99, October 2006, 0 393 32715 9
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... In September 2005, the New York Times published an article about female students at elite colleges who saw futures for themselves as ‘stay-at-home moms’. The author, Louise Story, had conducted a study at Yale in which many of those interviewed said that when they had children, they planned to cut back on work or stop working altogether. While administrators seemed ...
5 July 1984
Random Variables 
by Lord Rothschild.
Collins, 238 pp., £12.50, May 1984, 0 00 217334 4
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... in 1944 when Rothschild just happened to be the senior British officer in Paris and had a delicate passage with the Préfet and our ambassador Duff Cooper about the latter’s relations with Madame Louise de Vilmorin. The fourth pays tribute to Bertrand Russell, a great Whig lord like himself and like him a monster of intelligence. In the fifth we are with the Agricultural Research Council, only to be ...

Still Reeling from My Loss

Andrew O’Hagan: Lulu & Co

2 January 2003
I Don't Want to Fight 
by Lulu.
Time Warner, 326 pp., £17.99, October 2002, 0 316 86169 3
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Billy 
by Pamela Stephenson.
HarperCollins, 400 pp., £6.99, July 2002, 0 00 711092 8
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Just for the Record 
by Geri Halliwell.
Ebury, 221 pp., £17.99, September 2002, 0 09 188655 4
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Learning to Fly 
by Victoria Beckham.
Penguin, 528 pp., £6.99, July 2002, 0 14 100394 4
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Right from the Start 
by Gareth Gates.
Virgin, 80 pp., £9.99, September 2002, 1 85227 914 1
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Honest 
by Ulrika Jonsson.
Sidgwick, 417 pp., £16.99, October 2002, 0 283 07367 5
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... to do with needs than choices, but what happens when those needs are shared by the people who know you best? In literature this sort of thing has a heartbreaking history, if one thinks of, say, Jane Welsh Carlyle, or Mrs Tennyson, or Vera Nabokov; but what if Pamela Stephenson, the clinical psychologist married to Billy Connolly, is the modern version? Here is a woman who never fails, in her ultra ...

Dreams of the Decades

Liz Jobey: Bill Brandt

8 July 2004
Bill Brandt: A Life 
by Paul Delany.
Cape, 336 pp., £35, March 2004, 0 224 05280 2
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Bill Brandt: A Centenary Retrospective 
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... dummies left out on a Paris pavement. A group of his photographs had been included in the 1929 exhibition Film und Foto. He had seen Buñuel’s films and, probably, Pabst’s silent films starring Louise Brooks, Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Pabst’s combination of realism and shadowy melodrama, with young women falling from grace into the clutches of sinister and predatory men, are ...

Germs: A Memoir

Richard Wollheim: Childhood

15 April 2004
... Dr George Howell, who was a mining engineer and said to be involved in potentially lucrative oil explorations in the Caucasus. Outwardly the model of lower-middle-class respectability, a pillar of Welsh Nonconformity, who played the organ in chapel on Sunday, short, with a bowler hat, pince-nez, a worn dark suit covered in stains, watch-chain and fob, spats, a grey moustache full of spikes, and a ...

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