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Rome’s New Mission

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Early Christianity, 2 June 2011

Christians and Pagans: The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede 
by Malcolm Lambert.
Yale, 329 pp., £30, September 2010, 978 0 300 11908 4
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... the interlopers by inventing evangelistic exploits for ancient saints like Dyfrig or David. Malcolm Lambert is a judicious guide to the shifting opinions of scholars amid these quicksands, casting a sceptical eye even on Bede’s motives for glorifying and sanitising the Roman mission to the Anglo-Saxons. What makes ...

Mockney Rebels

Thomas Jones: Lindsay Anderson, 20 July 2000

Mainly about Linsay Anderson 
by Gavin Lambert.
Faber, 302 pp., £18.99, May 2000, 0 571 17775 1
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... the undertow: his resistance to authority, his sense of not belonging, his homosexuality. Gavin Lambert, a longstanding friend of Anderson’s – they were at Cheltenham together – tells the story of Anderson at his preparatory school writing on a classroom noticeboard ‘I REBEL’. Lambert quotes Helen Mirren as ...

Memories of Lindsay Anderson

Alan Bennett, 20 July 2000

... is no doubt David Hare would have deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities. On the eve of filming O Lucky Man Lindsay has his ailing mother to stay in his flat in Swiss Cottage. Before she arrives he cleans up the ...

Every Rusty Hint

Ian Sansom: Anthony Powell, 21 October 2004

Anthony Powell: A Life 
by Michael Barber.
Duckworth, 338 pp., £20, July 2004, 0 7156 3049 0
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... in the floppy-haired Mark Members? Is J.G. Quiggin really Cyril Connolly? And is Moreland Constant Lambert? Is Dr Trelawney ‘a projection’ of Aleister Crowley? Was Adrian Daintrey Zouch? Is Bagshaw Malcolm Muggeridge? Was Julian Maclaren-Ross the model for Trapnel? Was Widmerpool based on Denis Capel-Dunn? Or Sir ...

Last Night Fever

David Cannadine: The Proms, 6 September 2007

... Sailor’s Hornpipe’; ‘Rule, Britannia!’ composed by Thomas Arne, with orchestration by Malcolm Sargent; and finally ‘Jerusalem’, set to music by Parry, and later reorchestrated by Elgar. All of these involve active participation by the audience which, as the second half advances, becomes ever more boisterous, with lusty singing as well as a ...

Hero as Hero

Tobias Gregory: Milton’s Terrorist, 6 March 2008

Why Milton Matters: A New Preface to His Writings 
by Joseph Wittreich.
Palgrave, 253 pp., £37.99, March 2008, 978 1 4039 7229 3
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... and shows that not everybody meets Milton on a reading list. It’s good to be reminded that Malcolm X read Paradise Lost in prison, whatever one might think of his take on the poem: ‘The devil, kicked out of paradise, was trying to regain possession. He was using the forces of Europe . . . I interpreted this to show that the Europeans were motivated ...

Sophie missed the train

Samuel Earle: Carrère’s Casual Presence, 4 February 2021

97,196 Words: Essays 
by Emmanuel Carrère, translated by John Lambert.
Vintage, 304 pp., £9.99, December 2020, 978 1 78470 582 4
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... to killing someone.’One of the shorter pieces in the collection is Carrère’s review of Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer (1989). He admires the way Malcolm exposes the games writers play to entrap their subjects. But he has one objection: his own innocence. ‘At the risk of transforming this review ...

The Vulgarity of Success

Murray Sayle: Everest and Empire, 7 May 1998

Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond 
by Peter Steele.
Constable, 290 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 09 478300 4
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... winkle any more details out of the Foreign Office – but then again, those other celebrity spies, Malcolm Muggeridge and Graham Greene, were equally close-lipped about what they actually did in the war. Shipton’s job, whatever it was, ended in October 1942. He walked out again, and in December 1942 married Diana Channer, one of the more patient of his many ...

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